Developing solar power stations in space might resolve the energy problems

Developing solar power stations in space might resolve the energy problems

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian-Polish scientist, wrote a work of fiction explaining that mega solar power stations in space could generate massive quantities of energy back to Earth. Scientists are converting this phenomenon into a reality. The European Space Agency discovered that this might be the solution for Europe’s energy needs and is now collecting funds to actualize these projects. Climate change remains a problem, especially when the energy and transportation industries evaluate the mechanisms to mitigate this problem. The increasing temperatures and changing weather patterns indicate the effects of climate change. Resolving this problem calls for retracing of the methods used to produce and utilize the energy. 

The renewable energy industry has witnessed radical changes over the years, with new technology enhancing efficiency and reducing energy generation costs. The primary challenge for the inception of renewable energy among consumers is that they fear that they are not reliable in offering a constant power supply. For instance, wind energy and solar power are available when there is wind and the Sun is shining, implying that electricity cannot be obtained 24/7. The renewable energy industry is looking for methods and storing renewable energy when it is widely available. Nevertheless, scientists have realized that exploring Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s idea of developing a solar station in space can generate enough reliable solar energy. 

One of the advantages of this technology is that the station could rotate to incline itself directly where the sun rays come from. Additionally, if the solar cells are above the atmosphere, which absorbs and reflects the solar rays, they can receive more energy and store it for consumption on terrestrial grounds. However, this concept’s disadvantage is how to develop, assemble, and send out the solar structures to conduct this phenomenon in space. Experts outlined that one space station may cover over 1400 football fields. Additionally, utilizing lighter materials might be problematic since it would be expensive to launch them in space via rockets. Scientists analyzed these problems and proposed the development of numerous smallsats integrated into space to form a large solar station. 

Recently, advances in manufacturing are also being examined for this use, like 3D printing. They are developing new processing methods for processing ultralight solar cells on solar sails at the University of Liverpool. A solar sail is a lightweight, foldable as well as highly reflective membrane worthy of harnessing the radiation pressure effect of the Sun to propel a non-fuel spacecraft forward. To build massive, fuel-free solar power stations, they are researching integrating solar cells into solar sail structures.

Moreover, scientists thought it would be ideal for developing some of the materials for this project at the International Space Station. This move would also enable them to think of techniques to develop payloads heading to deep space at the station.