The US Army tests a solar panel in space with which to send energy anywhere on Earth
A team of scientists from the United States forces has successfully tested a solar panel in space with which to provide energy to the Earth. Although we have already used solar panels both here on Earth and in space, this time the two concepts are unified to take advantage of both. So far, the small prototype they have created has given positive results.
The idea behind it is power provide power in remote locations when it is not possible to obtain it in other ways. For example, when a blackout occurs due to a natural disaster, in such cases simply direct a beam from space and power a specific place on Earth.
A ray of light, when there is no light
According pick up CNN, a team of researchers from the United States Army has successfully tested the technology these months. Last May they sent in the Pentagon’s secret X-37B plane a panel to put this technology to the test. The panel, called the Photovoltaic Radio Frequency Antenna Module (PRAM), was about the size of a pizza box.
Since the panel is in space and not here on Earth, nothing comes between him and the sun’s rays. That is, there is no atmosphere that hinders the entry of light or limits the rays that arrive. This is why the device can receive more illumination than it would receive here on Earth. Likewise, it is not affected as much by the degradation of efficiency that occurs when solar panels are heated on Earth. Hence the efficiency records here are 47%.
At the moment the device has been able to generate around 10 watts, which although it is not much, is more than enough to demonstrate the capabilities of the panel. The system is also scalable, so much larger panels can be created that store more energy.
Now the next step is to send that captured energy to Earth and stored. It is a more complex process, although theoretically possible, according to the researchers. The idea would be to use a microwave and millimeter wave beam to send the energy back to Earth. A receiver here on the surface would be in charge of capturing that beam of light and saving the energy sent. In other words, a laser that sends energy from a satellite to Earth.
The advantage of such a system is that can provide energy to any part of the world where there is a receiving antenna and it is urgently needed. Beyond that, the researchers will now have to prove that sending the energy back to Earth is feasible.