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Could we get our Solar Power from Space?

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Environmental News, solar energy

Solar Power is the future – we know that already – but even for those of us who are ahead of the curve, with solar panels on our roofs and cheaper, greener electricity, the developments in solar power in 2015 are nothing short of futuristic.

First there was Solar Impulse, the solar powered plane flying around the world without using a drop of fossil fuel, and now there’s news from Japan that we could one day be generating our solar power from satellites in space.

Yep, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have this week succeeded in transmitting solar energy wirelessly from a satellite – something that has never been done before.

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not a bad view…

Using microwave technology, Mitsubishi sent 10 kilowatts of power wirelessly through the air to a receiver 1,640 feet (about 55 metres) away – enough energy to power your kitchen stove for an hour.

This distance and the amount of energy transmitted may not be much, but that’s not the important bit. Until now, all green energy, including solar power, had to be connected by wires. Wireless internet connection is pretty normal, but for electricity? So much more complicated. So being able to actually beam solar generated electricity across this distance is a massive advancement in technology and innovation, and has enormously positive implications for the future.

The test, which took place in Magoya, Japan, channelled electric power via microwaves and laser lights to a small target using a delicate directivity control device. It’s part of Mitsubishi’s program to devise a space-based solar powered system.

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Mitsubishi’s satellites could look a little like this

There are immediately a huge number of plus sides to space-generated solar power that we can think of. For instance, the satellite would be above the clouds, meaning that the weather wouldn’t get in the way of generating solar power.

It also means that there’s no limit to how big the solar panels could be. Solar Panels on our homes are great for generating the energy to power our domestic lives, but in the future we’ll need to find ways to power everything else too. Solar Farms are one answer, but solar satellites could generate this energy without ever running out of space!

One of the plans the Japanese have considered is even to install solar panels on the moon! This Lunar project would stretch 6,790 miles around the moon’s equator and beam the converted solar energy directly to earth.

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soon there won’t just be footprints left on the moon…

This new technology won’t just revolutionize solar power: part of the problem with offshore wind power is that to channel all the electricity generated back to the national grid, pipes have to be built under the seabed, which is very expensive. If this electricity could be sent wirelessly, this problem could be completely avoided!

And the best piece of good news? Aside from saving the environment? The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has announced that this could all be a reality within 25 years.

If you’re not amazed by this development in green energy, then you might be an alien. Or from the future.

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there’s no denying it’s sunny up there

If you’d like to start benefiting from solar power now though, instead of in 25 years’ time, why not see if you’re eligible for our Free Solar Panels through the link below?

Click to apply button

jemma.leslie@ashadegreener.co.uk'
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A Shade Greener newbie, green energy aficionado & polar bear enthusiast.

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