PowerSat Corp. aims to harness the solar power from space as a part of a major move toward energy efficiency. The Washington-based power company has filed a provisional patent for two technologies, i.e. BrightStar and Solar Power Orbital Transfer or SPOT, which enable the reduction of launch and operation costs by roughly $1 billion for a 2,500-megawatt (MW) power station. This well-timed development would confirm an unrestrained supply of supple energy undaunted by weather and geographical restrictions. It’s a 24/7 solution to the world’s energy crisis. Soaring high on hopes with a $3-$5 million in angel funding, this 2.5-gigawatt project would actually cost around $4-$5 billion. However, the tangible fruition of plans might go on to take more than a decade since PowerSat hopes to go functional by 2021.
PowerSat innovates with two new technologies:
Solar power, captured via solar power satellites (known as powersats), is distributed from space down to earth wirelessly. However, it is not as simple as it seems to be. To annul the restrictions and to make it a cost-cutting project, PowerSat introduces two new technologies dubbed as BrightStar and Solar Power Orbital Transfer or SPOT.
Brightstar couples a bunch of hundreds of smaller satellites to transmit the power collectively. After being launched into geosynchronous Earth orbit at an altitude of 22,236 miles, these powersats collect solar rays that are 5 to 25 times stronger than on the earth’s surface. Finally, Solar Power Orbital Transfer, a wireless power transmission, ensures its reception in the form of a beam. The receiving stations are the net-like structures elevated on utility poles and support small, inexpensive antenna modules. CEO Mannes says that the technology efficiently eliminates the need of a chemically fueled space tug and brings the satellite’s weight down by 67 percent.
Check out the video to see it actually working:
Powersats come packed with a variety of benefits including safe, long-term production and no mining hitches. In addition, the power thus generated isn’t responsible for any nuclear waste and doesn’t produce harmful emissions. Simplifying it further, the baseload-power corresponds to the one produced by a traditional coal or nuclear power plant but you need not to worry about the nuclear emissions. Hence, it’s perfectly safe for the environment and has no fuel costs as well. Evermore impressive is its 24/7 availability since neither geography nor the weather limits it. Also, the power is easily switchable to one satellite source to multiple receiving stations round the globe. Therefore, it definitely cashes on the limitations of the traditional energy sources.
No doubt, the scientists have been trying to turn this sci-fi into a reality, still the financial exigencies obstruct the way to realization. As the technology focuses on exploiting the untapped energy, it itself becomes the foremost hurdle in some way. No one wants to risk huge investments in an unverified technology.