Powering the Earth with Moon Solar Panels
Recently there was an article in the New Space journal, in which the author, Lewis-Weber, has offered an option to overcome the expected energy crisis. According to Lewis-Weber’s idea, people should put self-reproducing solar cells on the surface of the moon and later, these panels will create duplicates of themselves in a standalone mode. After that, they are expected to go into Earth’s orbit, gather the energy from the sun, and wirelessly deliver it to our planet.
Energy From the Sun
The idea of getting power from the sun isn’t new: more and more people install solar systems on the roofs of their houses as this is a good way to save money and nature. As a rule, when they need help with solar panels, they turn to companies, which provide support, installation and maintenance of these photovoltaic systems. But building such a system on the moon sounds like an insane plan.
In fact, people began thinking about a space-based project during the oil crisis in the 1970s. When prices went high and then back down, the project of installing a solar PV system on the surface of our moon was impossible (because of the technical aspect). But now this idea is gaining more attention and modern innovations make it nearly real.
Sun is often called a “fusion reactor in the sky” and that is true. But the opponents of gaining energy from this star say that we can’t get enough solar power because it is possible to gather solar energy only during the day. There are cloudy, gloomy days. Some say that considering the current efficiency of solar panels, we need a lot of space to install enough solar cells. In order to power the modern world, we need enough area as big as the state of Nevada!
The Innovative and Expensive Idea
The idea of putting the same number of solar cells in space environment seems to be rather attractive. Independent of the atmosphere, cloudy weather, these panels would receive nearly unbroken sunlight; besides, that light would be 27% brighter. There is one more benefit of space located solar cells: people from disaster-injured areas or developing countries could also get electricity. It can be possible to help thousand of families choose solar energy over public utilities and live a greener life.
The only problem is that it does require a lot of solar power satellites and a lot of money to bring this idea to life: according to preliminary calculations, it would cost billions and billions of dollars. Actually, the price for the panels is the main reason, which makes people forget about the advantages of energy resource and think that investing in the solar industry is not a good idea.
Saving the Planet
This is the reason the article in “New Space” has gained a lot of attention: the author has offered to send up one programmed solar panel, which could make duplicates of itself. And, because of the fact that there aren’t resources for designing all the necessary robots on Earth’s orbit, Lewis-Weber suggested to dispatch the self-replicating system with self-reproducing robots to the moon and turn Earth’s natural satellite into a self-sustaining solar panel plant.
Today ecologists are ringing loud bells and more and more people are concerned about Earth’s ecosystem and the climate change. This idea needs a lot of research and development as well, but the results could be striking and the proposal has already won several rewards at the Defense competition. The factories and industries around the world have already caused substantial damage to everything around us: the air, water, and soil.
As a rule, an average human does not muse on the future of our planet, the level of air pollution or left the amount of drinkable water. A rare person knows how to use tech to go green. Though we don’t tend to think about it, planetary resources are exhausting and that is why we must start thinking and developing such innovative ideas.