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Apr 29 2011

What is Space Based Solar Power?

Space based solar power is a system for collecting solar power in space for use on Earth. Instead of placing a solar panel on your roof instead this solar power is collected from large scale solar panels that are out in space.

The main advantage of space based solar power over collection done on the Earth’s surface is that in space there are no obstacles in the way of collection. Many things in the atmosphere and weather conditions can limit how much solar power you can collect in a day when you are above the Earth’s atmosphere you take away most of those obstacles and can collect more energy.

Studies have shown that 144% more energy can be collected from a spaced based solar panel over one located on the Earth’s surface. The other big advantage is the amount of hours it can collect solar power. Most of the year a space based solar panel placed correctly can collect sunlight 24 hours a day one earth you are not going to collect more than 12 hours a day maximum of solar energy.

However, spaced based solar power does create a few problems as well. The primary problem is transmission of energy from the collection panels to the Earth’s surface for use. Since we obviously cannot put wires on a satellite reaching to Earth the power much be transmitted wirelessly to Earth.

Space based solar power is probably a long time away from becoming main stream but it is definitely a technology we should be researching and developing because the benefits of having unlimited solar power are endless.

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