Solar Power Satellites in addition to Microwave Power Transmission Andrew K. Soubel Energy

Solar Power Satellites in addition to Microwave Power Transmission Andrew K. Soubel Energy www.phwiki.com

Solar Power Satellites in addition to Microwave Power Transmission Andrew K. Soubel Energy

Keppler, Kay, Features Editor has reference to this Academic Journal, PHwiki organized this Journal Solar Power Satellites in addition to Microwave Power Transmission Andrew K. Soubel Energy Law Spring 2004 Chicago-Kent College of Law soubel@msn.com Outline Background Solar Power Satellite Microwave Power Transmission Current Designs Legal Issues Conclusion Background 1899-1990

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Nikola Tesla 1856-1943 Innovations: Alternating current Wireless power transmission experiments at Wardenclyffe Wardenclyffe 1899 Able to light lamps over 25 miles away without using wires High frequency current, of a Tesla coil, could light lamps filled with gas (like neon) 1940’s to Present World War II developed ability to convert energy to microwaves using a magnetron, no method as long as converting microwaves back to electricity 1964 William C. Brown demonstrated a rectenna which could convert microwave power to electricity

Brief History of Solar Power 1940-50’s Development of the Photovoltaic cell 1958 First US Satellite that used Solar Power 1970’s Oil embargo brought increased interest in addition to study Solar Power from Satellites 1968’s idea as long as Solar Power Satellites proposed by Peter Glaser Would use microwaves to transmit power to Earth from Solar Powered Satellites Idea gained momentum during the Oil Crises of 1970’s, but after prices stabilized idea was dropped US Department of Energy research program 1978-1981 Details of the DOE Study Construct the satellites in space Each SPS would have 400 million solar cells Use the Space Shuttle to get pieces to a low orbit station Tow pieces to the assembly point using a purpose built space tug (similar to space shuttle)

Advantages over Earth based solar power More intense sunlight In geosynchronous orbit, 36,000 km (22,369 miles) an SPS would be illuminated over 99% of the time No need as long as costly storage devices as long as when the sun is not in view Only a few days at spring in addition to fall equinox would the satellite be in shadow Continued Waste heat is radiated back into space Power can be beamed to the location where it is needed, don’t have to invest in as large a grid No air or water pollution is created during generation Problems Issues identified during the DOE study Complexity—30 years to complete Size—6.5 miles long by 3.3 miles wide Transmitting antenna ½ mile in diameter(1 km)

Continued Cost—prototype would have cost $74 billion Microwave transmission Interference with other electronic devices Health in addition to environmental effects 1980’s to Present Japanese continued to study the idea of SPS throughout the 1980’s In 1995 NASA began a Fresh Look Study Set up a research, technology, in addition to investment schedule NASA Fresh Look Report SPS could be competitive with other energy sources in addition to deserves further study Research aimed at an SPS system of 250 MW Would cost around $10 billion in addition to take 20 years National Research Council found the research worthwhile but under funded to achieve its goals

Specifications Collector area must be between 50 (19 sq miles) in addition to 150 square kilometers (57 sq miles) 50 Tons of material Current rates on the Space Shuttle run between $3500 in addition to $5000 per pound 50 tons (112,000lbs)=$392,000,000 Continued There are advantages Possible power generation of 5 to 10 gigawatts “If the largest conceivable space power station were built in addition to operated 24 hours a day all year round, it could produce the equivalent output of ten 1 million kilowatt-class nuclear power stations.” Possible Designs

Deployment Issues Cost of transporting materials into space Construction of satellite Space Walks Maintenance Routine Meteor impacts

Possible Solutions International Space Station President’s plan as long as a return to the moon Either could be used as a base as long as construction activities Microwave Power Transmission How the power gets to Earth From the Satellite Solar power from the satellite is sent to Earth using a microwave transmitter Received at a “rectenna” located on Earth Recent developments suggest that power could be sent to Earth using a laser

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Microwaves Frequency 2.45 GHz microwave beam Retro directive beam control capability Power level is well below international safety st in addition to ard Microwave vs. Laser Transmission Microwave More developed High efficiency up to 85% Beams is far below the lethal levels of concentration even as long as a prolonged exposure Cause interference with satellite communication industry Laser Recently developed solid state lasers allow efficient transfer of power Range of 10% to 20% efficiency within a few years Con as long as m to limits on eye in addition to skin damage Rectenna “An antenna comprising a mesh of dipoles in addition to diodes as long as absorbing microwave energy from a transmitter in addition to converting it into electric power.” Microwaves are received with about 85% efficiency Around 5km across (3.1 miles) 95% of the beam will fall on the rectenna

Rectenna Design Currently there are two different design types being looked at Wire mesh reflector Built on a rigid frame above the ground Visually transparent so that it would not interfere with plant life Magic carpet Material pegged to the ground 5,000 MW Receiving Station (Rectenna). This station is about a mile in addition to a half long. Rectenna Issues Size Miles across Location Aesthetic Near population center Health in addition to environmental side effects Although claim that microwaves or lasers would be safe, how do you convince people

Conclusions More reliable than ground based solar power In order as long as SPS to become a reality it several things have to happen: Government support Cheaper launch prices Involvement of the private sector

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