new millennium has introduced increased pressure for finding new renewable energy
sources. The exponential increase in population has led to the global crisis such
as global warming, environmental pollution and change and rapid decrease of fossil
reservoirs. Also the demand of electric power increases at a much higher pace
than other energy demands as the world is industrialized and computerized. Under
these circumstances, research has been carried out to look into the possibility
of building a power station in space to transmit electricity to Earth by way of
radio waves-the Solar Power Satellites. Solar Power Satellites(SPS) converts solar
energy in to micro waves and sends that microwaves in to a beam to a receiving
antenna on the Earth for conversion to ordinary electricity.
is a clean, large-scale, stable electric power source. Solar Power Satellites
is known by a variety of other names such as Satellite Power System, Space Power
Station, Space Power System, Solar Power Station, Space Solar Power Station etc.
One of the key technologies needed to enable the future feasibility of SPS is
that of Microwave Wireless Power Transmission.WPT is based on the energy transfer
capacity of microwave beam i.e, energy can be transmitted by a well focused microwave
beam. Advances in Phased array antennas and rectennas have provided the building
blocks for a realizable WPT system.
global energy demand is likely to continue for many decades. Renewable energy
is a compelling approach - both philosophically and in engineering terms. However,
many renewable energy sources are limited in their ability to affordably provide
the base load power required for global industrial development and prosperity,
because of inherent land and water requirements. The burning of fossil fuels resulted
in an abrupt decrease in their .it also led to the green house effect and many
other environmental problems. Nuclear power seems to be an answer for global warming,
but concerns about terrorist attacks on Earth bound nuclear power plants have
intensified environmentalist opposition to nuclear power.
switching on to the natural fission reactor, the sun, yields energy with no waste
products. Earth based solar panels receives only a part of the solar energy. It
will be affected by the day & night effect and other factors such as clouds.
So it is desirable to place the solar panel in the space itself, where, the solar
energy is collected and converted in to electricity which is then converted to
a highly directed microwave beam for transmission. This microwave beam, which
can be directed to any desired location on Earth surface, can be collected and
then converted back to electricity. This concept is more advantageous than conventional
methods. Also the microwave energy, chosen for transmission, can pass unimpeded
through clouds and precipitations.
The concept of a large SPS that would be placed in geostationary
orbit was invented by Peter Glaser in 1968. The SPS concept was examined extensively
during the late 1970s by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA). The DOE-NASA put forward the SPS Reference System
Concept in 1979. The central feature of this concept was the creation of a large
scale power infrastructure in space, consisting of about 60 SPS, delivering a
total of about 300GW.But, as a result of the huge price tag, lack of evolutionary
concept and the subsiding energy crisis in 1980-1981, all U.S SPS efforts were
terminated with a view to re-asses the concept after about ten years. During this
time international interest in SPS emerged which led to WPT experiments in Japan.
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