Solar Farm Grid boost at night! How do they do that?
The European Research Council singled out €2.5 million for a project to develop an orbital system to keep solar farms functioning after dark.
The grant was received by engineers from the University of Glasgow, who propose to install huge reflectors in space, directing light to large solar power plants on the Earth’s surface. This will significantly increase the productivity of farms, especially at dusk and dawn, when energy generation decreases and consumption increases..
Over the next five years, the Solspace project participants will develop various concepts and solve complex technical issues. For example, how to place reflectors in low Earth orbit for sufficient light transmission efficiency, but at the same time capture the radiation and keep solar farms in sight at all times.
Modern technology uses only a fraction of the solar energy available in space, and the issue of delivering additional clean energy is still poorly understood. Previously, China, Japan and Russia proposed various options for using cosmic radiation to produce energy in open space with its subsequent sending to Earth, but so far none of them has been implemented.
The Glasgow team is proposing to keep the core infrastructure on the surface by deploying in orbit only huge light reflectors. At the same time, they are considering the possibility of producing structures directly in space using 3D printing technologies..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: NASA