Solar Power Station On The Moon: Japanese Civil Engineers
It’s NASA’s dream for decades to transmit power wirelessly from space through microwaves and laser. While the wireless power transmission is possible over shorter ranges now, a civil engineering firm in Japan, Shimizu, is planning to do it on a giant scale. They are aiming to apply this wireless power transmission between the Earth and the Moon.
A Giant Solar Power Station
The Moon’s equator is believed to be exposed to an equal amount of sunlight and this makes that equator to be the best place to house the 248 km wide and 11,000 km long solar panel grid. The firm is too optimistic about this and they are set to demonstrate the robotic operations and the plans by 2020 and then followed by the construction on the moon by 2035.
How Microwave Power Transmission Works?
Microwaves can be converted into electricity with the help of a special type of antenna in the receiving end, rectenna. They are rectifying antenna, which consists of an array of antenna connected with diodes. The antenna receives the microwave and then AC current is induced, which then is converted into a DC current by the diodes. This electron flow is then directed to the concerned circuits. The same principle is applied in this moon project, and of course in all other wireless power transmission systems.
They house a perfect plan where they automate the whole project with the help of robots. The following picture shows how they’ve planned to achieve building the ‘luna ring’, as they call it.
A solar cell production plant that moves along with the construction unit is a good idea to reduce the logistics work for the robots. The microwave antenna is 20 km in diameter and is used to transmit the microwaves to the rectennas in the earth. It may look so feasible to build, but we are talking about moon here and that already stirred up a few group.
While most of the experts are worried about the cost involved in this gigantic project and the effort needed to install the panels, I’d like to push the concerns of the rest of the world to the top. Microwaves and Laser are lethal and hazardous. Even when it’s low and has an isolated receiving station, people would just be against the idea of a regular exposure of these high energy waves from the moon. It is more than clear that this would be the barrier for the engineers to concrete their project. .
As the project will completely be installed with the help of robots and rovers besides a little assistance from the astronauts, it is obvious that money spent for such an immense project would take decades to refill their vaults. When globally taken as a serious thing to consider, the fact that it could generate 13,000 terawatts of energy might be a good reason to vouch for this project. But the health and atmospheric hazards, as we’ve already given them the enough dosage of pollution, we might actually want to reconsider shooting ourselves with high energy microwaves and laser from the moon. Though it seems isolated in the depicted picture, the marine life will be under threat if these engineers have chosen the waters as the isolated spot.
This post was first published on November 30, 2013.