In Russia started thinking about building a giant solar power plant that from space would transfer energy to Earth. On the pros and cons of the project experts told.
The initiative for the establishment of power plants in space research institution acted as the head of Roscosmos — Central Research Institute of Machine Building. The concept of such a station is not new, it proposed in 1968 in the U.S. Pete Glaser. Essence — the transfer of electricity from the earth giant solar panel. To gather the necessary power, the panel shall have an area of several square kilometers. Place it better in geostationary orbit. From there, electricity is converted to a high-powered microwave stream, it will go back to Earth, where it is necessary to install a large antenna field. There microwaves again turn into electricity.
In TsNIIMASH offer microwaves instead take a laser. Poorly focused radio beam, and a receiving antenna would have to take square kilometers (!) Of the Earth. In the area of laser variant reduced tenfold. However, the laser power required is not there yet, but you can take a lot of infrared laser diodes, distributed solar panel. Their summed and transmitted radiation to the Earth.
Plans for 2030-40 year of construction of space stations already have with the U.S., Japan, Europe and China. And the fact that they are joined by Russia, quite naturally, according to the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics (PAK) Alexander Zhelezniakov:
"We also have to deal with these issues. If the energy of the cosmos will be cheap, then this is advantageous because the Earth has long energy-hungry. We have to think about the future. It's not only a question of competition with other countries. It's the economy. We are building a new power plant in the world, and if there is an opportunity to create something similar in space — why not do it? "
Deputy chief editor of the magazine "News of Cosmonautics" Igor Lisov calls the idea of beautiful, but requires huge investments. And therefore uneconomic:
"We need to look at the situation with open eyes and not wishful thinking. In none of the countries is a serious work that went at least to the level of experiments on the transfer of energy from the orbit of the Earth. "
The project plays on the myth that soon the energy humanity is over. Unless, of course, to consider the sources of oil and gas exclusively. But for sure will be developed, and other terrestrial species, the same fusion. With his appearance cosmic power are unlikely to need, I'm sure a corresponding member of the RAC Andrew, son of John:
"It is very expensive — to bring the station into orbit, and then exploit it. I'm not talking about the impact on the ecology of the Earth. God forbid, the laser beam moves to the side. What will happen to the Earth? We do not know how this will affect the ozone layer: there will be a laser burn the ozone hole? The consequences would cost one hundred times the cost of electricity produced. The offering TsNIIMASH must make reports of ecologists and economists. "
Such projects, if they are implemented, then a very long time. But to advance research in this area is still necessary, experts say. In the process, you may receive a lot of interesting technical solutions, such as the creation of more efficient solar cells or lasers.