Solar power satell
SBSP would differ from current solar collection methods in that the means used to collect energy would reside on an orbiting satellite instead of on Earth's surface. Some projected benefits of such a system are:
- Higher collection rate: In space, transmission of solar energy is unaffected by the filtering effects of atmospheric gasses. Consequently, collection in orbit is approximately 144% of the maximum attainable on Earth's surface.
- Longer collection period: Orbiting satellites can be exposed to a consistently high degree of solar radiation, generally for 24 hours per day, whereas surface panels can collect for 12 hours per day at most.
- Elimination of weather concerns, since the collecting satellite would reside well outside of any atmospheric gasses, cloud cover, wind, and other weather events.
- Elimination of plant and wildlife interference.
- Redirectable power transmission: A collecting satellite could possibly direct power on demand to different surface locations based on geographical baseload or peak load power needs.
Besides the cost of implementing such a system, SBSP also introduces several new hurdles, primarily the problem of transmitting energy from orbit to Earth's surface for use. Since wires extending from Earth's surface to an orbiting satellite are neither practical nor feasible with current technology, SBSP designs generally include the use of some manner of wireless power transmission. The collecting satellite would convert solar energy into electrical energy on-board, powering a microwave transmitter or laser emitter, and focus its beam toward a collector (rectenna) on the Earth's surface. Radiation and micrometeoroid damage could also become concerns for SBSP.