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Giant solar power station in SPACE could generate energy for Britain

Giant solar power station in SPACE could generate energy for Britain: Scientists could build a multi-billion pound satellite to match output of a nuclear plant… and there’s no need to worry about cloudy weather

  • The government has ordered research into a multi-billion pound solar satellite
  • British prototype called CASSIOPeiA would be a mile long and weigh 2,000 tons 
  • Satellite would harness sun’s rays without drawbacks of weather or nighttime
  • Consultancy Frazer-Nash will consider economics of potential £15bn project

The sky’s certainly not the limit for a team of British scientists who are looking into building a solar power station to send to space.

As it looks for greener ways to produce energy, the Government has ordered research into a multi-billion pound solar satellite to match a nuclear power station’s output.

Solar power on Earth has two main drawbacks – the weather, which absorbs the sun’s rays, and the fact it gets dark at night. But there is no such issue in space, where an orbiting satellite is exposed to the sun all the time.

The Government has ordered research into a multi-billion pound solar satellite to match a nuclear power station’s output

The idea was first imagined in 1941 by Isaac Asimov, the science fiction author who wrote I, Robot. Now designs by the British team, as well as Chinese and American engineers, are being examined for potential deployment by 2050.

The British prototype, called CASSIOPeiA, is expected to cost between £10billion and £15billion. It is likely to be a mile high, about twice the height of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, and weigh 2,000 tons.

The satellite would use mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays onto solar panel layers. The rays would be converted into radiowaves which can cut through clouds, so their power is preserved as they are beamed to Earth.

Offshore antennae in an area measuring about three miles across would receive the beams and then transfer them to the National Grid.

The British prototype, called CASSIOPeiA, would use mirrors to reflect the sun¿s rays onto solar panel layers. The rays would be converted into radiowaves which can cut through clouds, so their power is preserved as they are beamed to offshore antennae on Earth

The British prototype, called CASSIOPeiA, would use mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays onto solar panel layers. The rays would be converted into radiowaves which can cut through clouds, so their power is preserved as they are beamed to offshore antennae on Earth

The satellite is expected to cost between £10billion and £15billion. It is likely to be a mile high, about twice the height of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai (pictured)

The satellite is expected to cost between £10billion and £15billion. It is likely to be a mile high, about twice the height of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai (pictured)

The predicted two gigawatts of power produced could potentially cover two million homes. Eventually five satellites could be sent to a fixed point over the UK.

Science minister Amanda Solloway said: ‘Space solar stations could generate an entirely new source of energy for the UK, while helping us slash our emissions and smash our climate change targets.’

Engineering and technology consultancy Frazer-Nash will consider the economics of the plan.

Martin Soltau, space business manager at the firm, said: ‘They appear to cost less than many nuclear power stations, while producing the same amount of energy. This could help achieve a zero-carbon future.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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