A plan to build and orbit a Chinese solar energy station for commercial use by 2040 has been developed by space technology pioneer Wang Xiji. The plan calls for a complete analysis of space solar power applications, detailed design of system solutions and verification of key technologies by 2020.“The development of a solar power station in space will fundamentally change the way in which people exploit and obtain power,” said Wang while presenting the results of his team’s research at the China Academy of Sciences.
“Whoever takes the lead in the development and utilization of clean and renewable energy and the space and aviation industry will be the world leader,” said Wang at the fourth China Energy Environment Summit Forum on Aug 28.
Wang, 90, believes such a station will trigger a technical revolution in the fields of new energy, new material, solar power and electricity, and possibly even another industrial revolution.
Wang envisions the program using existing technology to launch solar-collector satellites into geostationary orbit. These satellites would convert the sun’s radiation into electricity 24 hours a day and safely transmit it via microwaves to rectifying antennas on Earth. The concept had first been proposed in 1968 by U.S. space expert Peter Glaser.
Currently, the U.S., Japan, Europe and Russia have plans to invest several billion dollars to establish a number of 1 million-kilowatt power stations between 2030 and 2040.
Though China has taken no such steps for a space-based solar energy station, it has made rapid progress in developing earth-based solar power. In 2010 China had 800,000 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic power capacity and 168 million square meters of area using solar-powered water heating.
China’s 12th five-year plan aims to boost the country’s solar photovoltaic power generation capacity to 10 million kilowatts by 2015 and 20 million kilowatts by 2020.
The efficiencies that can be realized by an orbiting solar power station would let it harness five times the solar energy captured by comparable stations on the ground.
also discussed at Pakistan Defense: http://www.defence.pk/forums/china-defence/119745-chinas-space-solar-power-station-million-tons-cost-up-1-trillion.html#post1946550
At 10:44 on July 12, 2011
China's space solar power plant: thousands of tons cost up to $ 1 trillion
Source: Guangming Daily
Space solar power diagram (Figure)
Do you dare? Construction of power stations in space
The very large solar arrays placed in Earth orbit, composed of solar power stations, solar power plant will be solar energy into electrical energy. American scientist Peter Glasgow in 1968 race (Peter Glaser) first proposed the idea of space solar power station built, the basic idea is: the very large solar arrays placed in Earth orbit, composed of solar power stations, will be inexhaustible , inexhaustible solar energy into thousands of megawatts of power, then electrical energy into microwave energy, and the use of microwave or wireless transmission to Earth.
Energy conversion device converts electrical energy into a form of microwave or laser (laser or directly through the solar energy conversion), and using the antenna beam can be sent to the ground. Have information that, in theory, in the sunny geostationary orbit, each square meter of solar heat can produce 1336 watts, if deployed in a geostationary orbit width of 1,000 meters of solar arrays ring, assuming the conversion 100% efficiency, then it receives in the year is almost equal to the flux of solar radiation on Earth are known to contain recoverable oil reserves of the total energy.
Ground receiving system receives the space solar power station can transmit to the beam, and through the conversion device to convert it into electricity. The whole process has gone through solar energy - electricity - microwave (laser) - Power of energy into the process. Space solar power plant construction and operation of the process also need to include large-scale delivery systems, space transportation systems, and complex logistics system.
China's development of space solar power station "four-step" scenario
Currently, the domestic space solar power station is still in its infancy stage.China Academy of Space Technology in the space solar power station sponsored national seminar on the development of technology, experts proposed the development of space solar power station in China "road map." Summed up in four stages:
Phase I: 2011 and 2020
Full analysis of space solar power plant applications, space solar power station to carry out detailed design of system solutions and key technologies, key technologies for authentication.
Verify wireless energy transmission technology focus, efficient high-power solar power technology, launched large-scale structure of the assembly and high voltage power supply system, there are ground-power wireless energy transmission experiment, the ground started large-scale structure and assembly technology, testing, to face the stratosphere airship wireless energy transmission experiment, relying on the space station launched a large-scale structure and assembly technology testing.
Space solar power station will be very huge objects, quality of tons or more. (Figure)
Phase II: 2021 -2025 years
Use of our space station platform, the participation of the astronauts to conduct China's first low-orbit space solar power system development, system validation carried out in 2025. Focus on verification of large deployable space structures and assembly of large space condenser system and its control, power supply management system, large-scale structure of the attitude control technology, wireless energy transfer technology (laser, microwave), space solar power plant operation and maintenance management .
Phase III: 2026 -2040 years
In the low-orbit validation of key technologies on the basis of further research more economically and technically viable space solar power system solutions and key technologies, breaking the track between the high-power electric propulsion technology, developed by Earth's orbit validation system, about 2030 around the launch of the space - ground, space - space wireless energy transmission system to carry out validation, the development of commercial systems provide important operating parameters. System operating life of 10 years. Preliminary consideration of the system for their own space in the low-orbit assembly, and the use of the space station and astronauts some assembly work, and solve problems in space assembly, assembly and testing is completed, the overall delivered to geosynchronous orbit.
Phase IV: 2036 -2050 years
Combined with the operational status verification system, combined with technological development, the development of China's first commercial space solar power systems, space solar power plant to achieve commercial operation, operational life of 30 years.
Space solar power station faces huge challenges
The current building space solar power station is the first technical problem.Space solar power station is a huge project for existing spacecraft technology made a great challenge: a large scale, quality and reach million tons, higher than the current satellite four orders of magnitude, requires new materials and new vehicle technology; area of several square kilometers, higher than the current satellite six orders of magnitude, we need a special structure, assembly and attitude control of space technology; power, generating power for GW, higher than the current satellite six orders of magnitude, the need special power management and thermal control technology; long life, at least 30 years, compared with more than double the current satellites, new materials and in-orbit maintenance technology; high efficiency, the need for advanced space solar power conversion technology and microwave conversion transmission technology.
Second is cost. Some experts estimate, the construction of a space-based solar power would cost 300 billion to 1 trillion U.S. dollars. Therefore, the cost might be restricting the development of space solar power station of the main factors. In the new concepts, new technologies and large-scale commercial before the income is difficult to compensate for the overall system construction and operating costs.
Long-range energy transfer is a huge technical issues (information)
Once again, the environmental impact. Although the power of large space solar power station, but due to microwave energy transmission distance (36,000 km), according to the transmission characteristics of microwave energy, the energy density of the actual receiving antenna is low.
Finally, operational issues. Space solar power plant operation in many issues, including the need to take appropriate measures to secure control of the beam problem, the impact of the aircraft, space debris on space solar power station may cause local damage, easy to attack, could become space junk, etc. In addition, there are orbits and frequencies, capacity, ability to launch and other issues.
Outside the program
USA 1979 SPS Reference System: This is the first relatively complete space solar power plant system design, completed in 1979 by the United States to the United States half of the generating capacity of the target design. The design for the layout of the geostationary orbit on 60 power-generating capacity of 5 GW of power generation satellites.
Integrated Symmetrical Concentrator systems: NASA in the late 1990s, the SERT research program proposed in the plan. Located on both sides of the mast with a large clam-shaped solar reflector to the condenser is located in the center of two photovoltaic arrays. Condenser for the sun, the mast, the battery array, transmitting array as a whole, rotation on the ground. Condenser and the mast rotation in response to each other daily and seasonal variations of the track.
Distributed tethered satellite system in Japan: a single module to reduce the complexity and weight of Japanese scientists proposed a distributed concept of tethered satellite. The basic unit consists of a size of 100 meters × 95 meters of the unit board, and satellite platforms, cell boards and satellite platforms using four 2 km to 10 km of rope suspension together. By the solar cell board, microwave conversion device and the transmitting antenna consisting of sandwich board, contains a total of 3800 modules. The total weight of each cell board is about 42.5 tons, microwave energy transmission power of 2.1 MW. Board composed of units from the 25 sub-panels, 25 sub-boards throughout the system. The design of the modular design is very clear, is conducive to system assembly, maintenance. But the system continued to show great quality, in particular, the use of less efficient.
European solar sail tower: Europe in 1998, "Space and explore the use of the system concept, structure and technology research" proposed in the plan of the European concept of solar sail tower. It is based on the solar tower concept of the United States, and the use of many new technologies. The most important is the use of lightweight structures that can be expanded - a solar sail. It can significantly reduce overall system weight and reduce the difficulty of assembling the system. Each of which a solar sail as a battery array module size of 150 m × 150 m, automatically launched into orbit, assembled in low-Earth orbit system, and through the electric thrusters to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Since the program uses the gradient method to achieve stable directional transmitting antenna on Earth, so solar panels can not achieve sustained directed against Japan. (Purple Xiao Shao Huiying)
Space solar power test vehicle simulation diagram (Figure)
Imagine the map of space solar power station (information)
Imagine the map of space solar power station (information)
Space solar power installations imagine diagram (Figure)
Ground huge solar panels solar power station (information)
Use in future space solar power will be a core technology (information)
Dr. APJ Kalam also gave a recent address in China On Space Solar Power
|Speeches / Lectures|
Address at the CEES 2011
|Delhi – Beijing Teleconference , Aug 27 2011|
|Updated on Aug 28 2011|
|By, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam|