China wants to reach a whole new levelextraction of renewable energy. Chinese scientists are planning to build the first space solar power plant in Earth orbit. It is going to be placed at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers above the Earth, where, regardless of the time of day, meteorological conditions and atmospheric impact of the planet, it can effectively and most importantly constantly collect solar energy for its subsequent transmission to ground stations.
The electricity it generates will bebe converted into microwaves or a laser beam for transmission to special collectors located on Earth. The project of the station was proposed by Chinese engineers in 2015. According to the Australian Sydney Morning Herald, with reference to the Chinese edition of Science and Technology Daily, specialists from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology have begun to develop an early experimental prototype of the installation.
According to Ban Zhihao from the National AcademySpace technology, space solar power can be an "inexhaustible source of clean energy for humanity." Electric cars can be charged anytime and anywhere. The station will be able to supply electricity almost constantly and 6 times more efficiently than any solar farm on earth.
The project will be implemented in severalstages. High-performance solar power plant will not start immediately. During the years 2021-2025, several compact prototypes are planned to be launched into the stratosphere for collecting solar energy and conducting tests for its transfer to the ground collector. By 2030, scientists want to put the megawatt class power plant into Earth orbit, and by 2050 - gigawatt.
According to the vice president of the Chinese Academyspace technology, China can become the first country in the world to create a space solar power plant with real practical value.
It is noted that the main technical difficulty inthe deployment of such a station in orbit is not in the technology of collecting solar energy - the necessary development is already there. The main problem is the weight of the station, which, according to current estimates, will be about 1000 tons. The weight of the same International Space Station is more than two times less and amounts to about 400 tons, says Pan Zhihao.
At the moment, Chinese experts are studyingAs one of the potential ways to solve this problem, use robots and 3D printing technology for the direct construction of a power plant directly in space. In addition, since the energy collected by the space power plant is planned to be converted into microwaves for transmission to ground collectors, scientists also want to study the potential impact of microwave radiation on the atmosphere and the planet’s ecology.
It is expected that the orbital spaceThe power plant will help reduce air pollution from emissions from numerous terrestrial stations using fossil fuels. In addition, the use of the station as an energy source for the needs of the developing deep space exploration program is called as one of the possible prospects.
The news source adds that Japan, India, and also some European countries are also discussing the ideas of using solar energy in space.
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