The earth-orbiting solar power station can beam energy straight out of space to earth to fuel electric vehicles and rocket ships.
China Academy of Space Technology has recently been reported to be working on the development of an orbital solar power plant that is being designed to capture solar energy while in space and beam the energy back to earth.
The Chinese media reported that the country would be taking its renewable energy generation efforts to hit a new milestone with this solar power station that would be orbiting the earth at 36,000 kilometers and would be tapping solar energy without terrestrial weather interference from the atmosphere or changing seasons and night-time loss.
China plans to launch a test facility before 2025. The country’s pursuance of space-based clean energy is being considered a demonstration of China’s commitment towards the greater use of renewable energy and proclaiming its place among global leaders in space technology. China’s Science and Technology Daily reported that construction of an experimental space power plant is underway in the city of Chongqing.
One of the biggest problems for a floating power plant is solving the mechanism for beaming energy back down to earth. Reportedly, scientists behind the project are still working on the problem. At present the plan involves solar arrays in space capturing light from the sun and transmitting them back to earth in the form of a microwave or a laser. From there, the electricity would be used just like the energy that is usually generated by conventional solar power plants.
Pang Zhihao, a researcher at the China Academy of Space Technology, has been quoted to say that a space solar power station is a promising means of providing an infinite source of clean energy. Sources close to the matter have reported that if the launch goes according to plan and the energy-transmitting beam functions successfully, Chinese scientists are planning to test and launch bigger and more enhanced facilities through 2050.
Reports suggest that the clean energy beamed from the floating solar plant can be used to charge electric cars at any time and any place. It could supply energy at six-times the intensity of solar farms on earth and can power missions deeper into space, if the beam is accurate enough to focus on space ships that are out exploring the universe.