Tenaga surya yang dikumpulkan di luar angkasa dapat digunakan untuk menyediakan energi terbarukan di masa depan. Hal tersebut kemungkinan dapat terjadi berkat penelitian inovatif yang dilakukan oleh para insinyur di University of Strathclyde di Glasgow.
Panel Surya tersebut akan menjadi sumber energi yang dapat diandalkan dan memungkinkan mengirimkan energi ke daerah terpencil di dunia, misalnya seperti memberikan daya ke daerah bencana atau daerah terpencil yang sulit dijangkau dengan cara tradisional.
Because of the thinned array curse, it is not possible to make a narrower beam by combining the beams of several smaller satellites. The large size of the transmitting and receiving antennas means that the minimum practical power level for an SPS will necessarily be high; small SPS systems will be possible, but uneconomic.
Very lightweight designs could likely achieve 1 kg/kW, meaning 4,000 metric tons for the solar panels for the same 4 GW capacity station. This would be the equivalent of between 40 and 80 heavy-lift launch vehicle (HLLV) launches to send the material to low earth orbit, where it would likely be converted into subassembly solar arrays, which then could use high-efficiency ion-engine style rockets to (slowly) reach GEO (Geostationary orbit).
With an estimated serial launch cost for shuttle-based HLLVs of $500 million to $800 million, total launch costs would range between $20 billion (low cost HLLV, low weight panels) and $320 billion ('expensive' HLLV, heavier panels).
Economies of scale on such a large launch program could be as high as 90% (if a learning factor of 30% could be achieved for each doubling of production) over the cost of a single launch today. In addition, there would be the cost of an assembly area in LEO (which could be spread over several power satellites), and probably one or more smaller one(s) in GEO. The costs of these supporting efforts would also contribute to total costs.
The example 4 GW 'economy' SPS above could therefore generate in excess of $154 billion over its lifetime. Assuming facilities are available, it may turn out to be substantially cheaper to recast on-site steel in GEO, than to launch it from Earth. If true, then the initial launch cost could be spread over multiple SPS lifespans.
Assuming, likely unrealistically, that 100% of the returned asteroid was useful, and that the asteroid miner itself couldn't be reused, that represents nearly a 95% reduction in launch costs. However, the true merits of such a method would depend on a thorough mineral survey of the candidate asteroids; thus far, we have only estimates of their composition. There has been no such survey. Once built, NASA's CEV should be capable of beginning such a survey, Congressional money and imagination permitting.
"Kita harus kembali ke dasar pembangunan, BACK TO BASIC!, untuk penghematan Energi, jangan segan kembali ke hal-hal bermanfaat yg sudah disediakan oleh pemerintah sebelumnya. Pernah dibuat prototipe kapal yg memanfaatkan energi angin, energi sinar matahari, jangan disia-siakan."
Indonesian Space Sciences & Technology School
Indonesian University Space Research Association
To Be Continued