Have you ever wondered whether or not space-based solar power will become a reality? No, we’re not joking and yes, this power-beaming experiment is set to take place in our lifetime…in 2024.
According to the Air Force Research Laboratory – otherwise known as AFRL – they are planning to develop a project called SSPIDR. Space.com states, this “aims to mature the technology needed to harvest solar energy and beam it down for use on earth.”
Have you heard of ground-based solar? Space.com reports that yes, it’s an attractive solution currently, however has its limitations… size of an area, size of collectors required and the climate are factors. “But if the solar panels were in orbit, they could have unfettered access to the sun’s rays, providing an uninterrupted supply of energy,” journalist Mike Wall states.
The AFRL would ultimately like satellites that harvest the sun’s light, that are equipped with innovative “sandwich tiles”. These tiles would convert solar power to radio frequency power and then “beam it” back to Earth.