Experiment Beams Solar Power from Space

According the MSNBC, a team led by former NASA executive and physicist John Mankins captured solar energy from a mountaintop in Maui and beamed it 92 miles to the main island of Hawaii. The long-range energy transmission experiment opens the possibility of sending solar energy from space to earth.

The team, sponsored by the Discovery Channel, also beamed the power almost 100 times farther than NASA’s major 1970s power transmission in the California’s Mojave Desert. The experiment demonstrated that progress could be made toward space-based solar power satellites in less than 5 months with less than $1 million.

The concept uses mirrors to concentrate solar power on the cells.

The 120 gigawatts of solar power hitting the planet every second is more than all of human kind has used since the dawn of the industrial era. That power can be tapped into space without having to worry about losses in efficiency from the atmosphere, clouds or nighttime.

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