by Nicholas Brown.
Giant lunar solar panel installation planned by Japan will beam the energy back to the Earth via microwave transmissions.
Shimizu Corporation, wants to use the moon as a platform for solar power generation. One might wonder why they would place solar panels in such a remote location, and how the power might be transmitted to Earth.
As outstandingly costly and technically challenging as it is to send anything to the moon, it is at the very least, a firm surface (so the solar panels don’t have to float around in space) and the moon has two weeks of daytime with no cloudy weather, so the solar panels can generate power consistently for two weeks at a time.
In this solar panel installation, the panels would stretch all the way around the moon in a ‘Luna Ring’ so that when one set of panels rotates away from the Sun, the panels on the other side of the Moon would face the Sun, effectively enabling this system to generate consistent solar power all year, so no backup is ever needed (except for maintenance).
The ‘Luna Ring’ of solar panels will be 6,800 miles by 12 miles. It could beam 13,000 terawatts of energy down to Earth via microwave power transmission and lasers. If this sounds like a space age project, it’s because it is.
As is the case with every project, there will be drawbacks. This project requires plenty of physical work, which is why Shimizu intends to use robots to do most of it, while humans would perform only supervisory roles.
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