Skip to content

Solar, but in space!!!

From Corey S. Powell at WSJ:

In this age of wireless everything, engineers are trying to perform the ultimate act of cord-cutting: generating abundant solar electricity in space and beaming it to the ground, no power cables required.

The idea and how it works is basically putting a huge solar array in space, and beaming it the power via microwave like a huge wireless charger, which is genuinely cool. But it’s not like we’d suddenly be getting rid of large power farms on earth:

Bringing space-based solar power to the masses will require not just a lot of satellites but also a lot of antenna farms on the ground. Two gigawatts of beamed power would require about 25 square miles of receiver, according to a Solaris-funded report by the research firm Roland Berger.

Doing some googling, 2 GW of solar farm would likely also require close to 25 square miles of land use, but you’d get less interruption due to weather since microwaves don’t give a fuck about clouds. And I’m sure a lot of this tech will continue to miniaturize over time.

Regardless, this kind of tech development excites me, even though it’s still in early stages.

Published innews