You are on page 1of 26


The search for a new, safe and stable renewable energy source led to the idea of building a power station in space which transmits electricity to Earth. The concept of Solar Power Satellites (SPS) was invented by Glaser in 1968.Research is still going on in this field and NASA is planning to implement one by 2040. SPS converts solar energy into microwaves and transmit it to a receiving antenna on Earth for conversion to electric power. The key technology needed to enable the future feasibility of SPS is Microwave Power Transmission. SPS would be a massive structure with an area of about 56 sq.m and would, weigh about 30,000 to 50,000 metric ton. Estimated cost is about $74 billion and would take about 30 years for its construction. In order to reduce the projected cost of a SPS suggestions are made to employ extraterrestrial resources for its construction. This reduces the transportation requirements of such a massive structure. However the realization of SPS concept holds great promises for solving energy crisis. The selling price of electrical power varies with time. The economic viability of space solar power is maximum if the power can be sold at peak power rates, instead of baseline rate. Price and demand of electricity was examined from spot-market data from four example markets: New England, New York City, suburban New York, and California. The data was averaged to show the average price and demand for power as a function of time of day and time of year. Demand varies roughly by a factor of two between the early-morning minimum demand, and the afternoon maximum; both the amount of peak power, and the location of the peak, depends significantly on the location and the weather . The demand curves were compared to the availability curves for solar energy and for tracking and non-tracking satellite solar power systems, in order to compare the market value of terrestrial and solar electrical power. new designs for a space solar power (SSP) system were analyzed to provide electrical power to Earth for economically competitive rates. The approach was to look at innovative power architectures to more practical approaches to space solar power. A significant barrier is the initial investment required before the first power is returned. Three new concepts for solar power satellites were invented and analyzed: a solar power satellite in the Earth-Sun L2 point, a geosynchronous nomoving parts solar power satellite, and a nontracking geosynchronous solar power satellite with integral phased array. The integral-array satellite had several advantages, including an initial investment cost approximately eight times lower than the conventional design.

The new millennium has introduced increased pressure for finding new renewable energy sources. The exponential increase in population has led to the global crisis such as global warming, environmental pollution and change and rapid decrease of fossil reservoirs. Also the demand of electric power increases at a much higher pace than other energy demands as the world is industrialized and computerized. Under these circumstances, research has been carried out to look into the possibility of building a power station in space to transmit electricity to Earth by way of radio waves-the Solar Power Satellites. Solar Power Satellites(SPS) converts solar energy in to micro waves and sends that microwaves in to a beam to a receiving antenna on the Earth for conversion to ordinary electricity.SPS is a clean, large-scale, stable electric power source. Solar Power Satellites is known by a variety of other names such as Satellite Power System, Space Power Station, Space Power System, Solar Power Station, Space Solar Power Station etc.[1].One of the key technologies needed to enable the future feasibility of SPS is that

of Microwave Wireless Power Transmission.WPT is based on the energy transfer capacity of microwave beam i.e,energy can be transmitted by a well focused microwave beam. Advances in Phased array antennas and rectennas have provided the building blocks for a realizable WPT system . The Solar Power Satellite (or "Space Solar Power," SPS) is a concept to collect solar power in space, and then transport it to the surface of the Earth by microwave (or possibly laser) beam, where it is converted into electrical power for terrestrial use [1]. The recent prominence of possible climate change due to the ―greenhouse effect‖ from burning of fossil fuels has again brought alternative energy sources to public attention, and the time is certainly appropriate to reexamine the economics of SPS. In the analysis of the economics of solar power satellites to provide electric power for terrestrial use, past analyses have typically assumed an averaged (or "baseline") power pricing structure. In the real world, price varies with location, season, and time of day; and the initial markets for satellite solar electricity need to be selected to maximize revenue. It is important to design the system to service the real-world electrical power market, not to an unreal average-price model. The following criteria will have to be used for a credible analysis of solar power satellite economic benefits and rate of return: he maximum selling price

Increasing global energy demand is likely to continue for many decades. Renewable energy is a compelling approach – both philosophically and in engineering terms. However, many renewable energy sources are limited in their ability to affordably provide the base load power required for global industrial development and prosperity, because of inherent land and water requirements. The burning of fossil fuels resulted in an abrupt decrease in their .it also led to the green house effect and many other environmental problems. Nuclear power seems to be an answer for global warming, but concerns about terrorist attacks on Earth bound nuclear power plants have intensified environmentalist opposition to nuclear power. Moreover, switching on to the natural fission reactor, the sun, yields energy with no waste products. Earth based solar panels receives only a part of the solar energy. It will be affected by the day & night effect and other factors such as clouds. So it is desirable to place the solar panel in the space itself, where, the solar energy is collected and converted in to electricity which is then converted to a highly directed microwave beam for transmission. This microwave beam, which can be directed to any desired location on Earth surface, can be collected and then converted back to electricity. This concept is more advantageous than conventional methods. Also the microwave energy, chosen for transmission, can pass unimpeded through clouds and precipitations.

The concept of a large SPS that would be placed in geostationary orbit was invented by Peter Glaser in 1968 [1].The SPS concept was examined extensively during the late 1970s by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The DOE-NASA put forward the SPS Reference System Concept in 1979 [2]. The central feature of this concept was the creation of a large scale power infrastructure in space, consisting

none of the new concepts were developed in detail. that it not require technology not likely to be developed in the time frame of interest. In addition to technical difficulties. While "externality" factors are quite real. all U. rather than being sent over wires to a separate transmitter. consisting of a long high voltage tether system. the baseline concept does not meet economic goals. As shown in table 6-4 of the "Fresh Look" final report [1]. Space solar power is potentially an enormous business. Power distribution is a general problem with all conventional solar power system designs: as a design scales up to high power levels. which complicates the design to an impractical extent).But. Lowering the voltage to avoid plasma discharge would result in unacceptable resistive losses. solar cell efficiency.7] only partially satisfies these criteria. as a result of the huge price tag. During this time international interest in SPS emerged which led to WPT experiments in Japan.8]. Current world electrical consumption represents a value at the consumer level of nearly a trillion dollars per year. (The "solar sandwich" design of the late 70's solved this problem. the amount of revenue that could be produced is staggering. One difficulty is the power distribution system.2. At the technical interchange meeting which kicked off the "Fresh Look" study of solar power satellites in 1995. and launch cost. however—both the dollar value and the potential value of the ecological benefits—is so great that the concept should not be abandoned simply because one candidate system is flawed. The value of the solar power concept. delivering a total of about 300GW. lack of evolutionary concept and the subsiding energy crisis in 1980-1981. The distribution system required to transfer power from the solar arrays to the microwave transmitters. A design is required in which the solar power can be used directly at the solar array. can not operate in the environment of near-Earth space at the voltages required without short-circuiting to the space plasma. with an initial investment low enough to attract investors. It is important to analyze alternative concepts in order to find one that presents a workable system. To tap this potential market. even with extremely optimistic assumptions of system cost. or else yields a cost marginally competitive (but not significantly better) than terrestrial power technologies. it is necessary that a solar power satellite concept has the potential to be technically and economically practical. Economic feasibility requires that the system can be produced at a cost which is lower than the market value for the product. but only with the addition of an unwieldy steering mirror.of about 60 SPS. Technical feasibility requires that the concept not violate fundamental laws of physics. clearly even if only a small fraction of this market can be tapped by space solar power systems. each design analyzed results in a cost which is either immediately too expensive. and represent a true cost impact of fossil-fuel generation. with an internal rate of return (IRR) too low for investment to make money. Only if an "externality surcharge" is added to nonspace power sources to account for the economic impact of fossil-fuels did space solar power options make economic sense. However. it is unlikely that the world community will artificially impose such charges merely to make space solar power economically feasible. . the mass of wire required to link the power generation system to the microwave transmitter becomes a showstopper. The baseline "power tower" developed by the "Fresh Look" study in 1996 and 1997 [1.S SPS efforts were terminated with a view to re-asses the concept after about ten years. innovative concepts for solar power satellites were solicited in the "brainstorming" sessions [1.2. and that it serve a market niche that is able to pay. and that it has no technological show-stoppers.

a great deal of power must be collected and fed into a large transmitter array. is converted to direct current). system concepts of SPS systems [2]. SPS-A GENERAL IDEA Solar Power Satellites would be located in the geosynchronous orbit. The microwaves would be beamed to the Earth‘s surface.The principal objective of this ‗Fresh Look Study‘ was to determine whether a SPS and associated systems could be defined. SSP Concept Definition Study During 1998. NASA conducted a re-examination of the technologies. measuring 10. The difference between existing satellites and SPS is that an SPS would generate more power-much more power than it requires for its own operation. The SERT Program comprised of three complementary elements: System studies and analysis Analysis of SSP systems and architecture concepts to address the economic viability as well as environmental issue assessments.such as that induced by a microwave beam . and may be too weak to activate the rectenna. Each SPS would have been massive.[3].(Rectification is the process by which alternating electrical current . then into microwaves. the larger the angle of divergence of the transmitted km wide or with an average area of 56 sq. The reason that the SPS must be so large has to do with the physics of power beaming.5 km long and 5. The solar energy collected by an SPS would be converted into electricity. This direct current can then be converted to 50 or 60 Hz alternating current [4]. The transmitting antenna on the satellite would have been about 1 km in diameter and the receiving antenna on the Earth‘s surface would have been about 10 km in diameter [5]. where they would be received and converted back into electricity by a large array of devices known as rectifying antenna or rectenna. The Fresh Look Study concluded that the prospects for power from space were more technically viable than they had been earlier.The SPS would weigh more than 50. A highly divergent beam will spread out over a large area. . A principal product of the efforts was the definition of a family of strategic R&T road maps for the possible development of SSP technologies. The smaller the transmitter array. SSP Exploratory and Research Technology Program In 2000.In order to obtain a sufficiently concentrated beam.RECENT NASA EFFORTS Fresh look Study During 1995-96.The surface of each satellite would have been covered with 400 million solar cells. SSP Research and technology Focused on the exploratory research to identify system concepts and establish technical viability SPS technology demonstration Initial small scale demonstration of key SSP concepts and / or components using related system / technologies. NASA conducted the SERT Program which further defined new system concepts. NASA conducted the SSP Concept Definition Study which was a focused one year effort that tested the results of the previous Fresh Look Study.000 tons.

Another important feature of the SPS is its continuous operation i. sharp radiated beams and they propagate along straight lines. the eclipse period will center around midnight [7]. .If the SPS and the ground antenna are located at the same longitude. smaller antenna size. Only for ma total of 22 in a year would the SPS would be eclipsed for a period of time to a maximum of 72 min. The power would be beamed to the Earth in the form of microwaves at a frequency of 2. The rectenna arrays would be designed to let light through. microwave frequency in the range of 2-3 GHz are considered optimal for the transmission of power from SPS to the ground rectenna site[7].e.SPS being placed in the space overcomes this . The day-night cycle .45 GHz is considered particularly desirable because of its present uses for ISM band and consequently probable lack of interference with current radar and communication systems.reduces the amount of solar energy received on Earth‘s surface.Microwaves have other features such as larger band width . Here microwaves are practically nil .Figure 1 Configuration of SPS is space. Microwaves can pass unimpeded through clouds and rain .A microwave frequency of coverage . atmospheric attenuation etc. Because of competing factors such as increasing atmospheric attenuation but reducing size for the transmitting antenna and the other components at higher frequency .24 hours a day. so that crops or even solar panels could be placed underneath it.365 days a year basis.45 GHz.

it generates power during cloudy weather and at night. when viewed from the satellite. although the issue remains controversial [4]. However. In other words SPS receiver operates just like a solar array. same dish could be used both as solar power collector and the microwave antenna. it receives power from space and converts it into electricity. Possible risks for such a large project are very large. The initial development cost for SPS is enormous and the construction time required is very long.the peak intensity of microwave beam would be 23 mW/cm². So such a large program requires a step by step path with immediate pay-off at each step and the experience gained at each step refine and improve the risk in evolutionary steps [9]. pay-off is uncertain. This reduces the size and complexity of satellite [8].So far. the main barrier to the development of SPS is social. Lower cost technology may be developed during the time required to construct the system. no non thermal health effects of low level microwave exposure have been proved. SPS has all the advantage of ground solar. plus an additional advantage.The amount of power available to the consumers from one SPS is 5 GW. Like a solar array. If the satellite position is selected such that the Earth and the Sun are in the same location in the sky. not technological. .

the electrons are forced to take a circular path by a high power permanent magnet. a continuous pulsating magnetic field i. Fig. electromagnetic radiation in microwave frequency range is generated.. Instead of traveling in a straight line. Fig. As they pass by the resonating cavities of the magnetron. and this process continues as long as the magnetron remains energized. Instead of traveling in a straight line.4 shows the formation of a reentrant electron beam in a typical six cavity magnetron. and this process continues as long as the magnetron remains energized.WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION Transmission or distribution of 50 or 60 Hz electrical energy from the generation point to the consumer end without any physical wire has yet to mature as a familiar and viable technology. After the first round of cavity-to-cavity trip by the electrons is completed the next one starts. conceptual model for a WPT system annexed to a grid. This is supplied to an oscillator fed magnetron. Fig. the electrons are forced to take a circular path by a high power permanent magnet. electromagnetic radiation in microwave frequency range is generated. Figure 3. After the first round of cavity-to-cavity trip by the electrons is completed the next one starts. A positively charged anode surrounding the cathode attracts the electrons. such as a physical power distribution line [10].e. However the main thrust of WPT has been on the concept of space-to-ground (extraterrestrial) transmission of energy using microwave beam. The 50 Hz ac power tapped from the grid lines is stepped down to a suitable voltage level for rectification into dc.3 shows the block diagram of a conceptual WPT system annexed to a grid [10].e. As they pass by the resonating cavities of the magnetron. Inside the magnetron electrons are emitted from a central terminal called cathode. The output of the rectifier decides the magnetron anode dc voltage. This in turn controls the radiation power output. the reported works on terrestrial WPT have not revealed the design method and technical information and also have not addressed the full-scale potential of WPT as compared with the alternatives.However.4 shows the formation of a reentrant electron beam in a typical six cavity magnetron. The frequency of the radiation is adjusted by varying the inductance or capacitance of the resonating cavities. . a continuous pulsating magnetic field i..

having a low standing power rating but good RF characteristics is used at the receiving end to rectify the received microwave power back into dc. A simple radio control feedback system operating in FM band provides an appropriate control signal to the magnetron for adjusting its output level with fluctuation in the consumers demand at the receiving side. The feedback system would switch of the supply to the oscillator and magnetron at the sending end if there is a total loss of load. A series parallel assembly of schottky diodes. arrayed installation of antennas will necessitate a compact size. 3. . To compensate for the large loss in free space propagation and boost at the receiving end the signal strength as well as the conversion efficiency. The overall efficiency of the WPT system can be improved by Increasing directivity of the antenna array Using dc to ac inverters with higher conversion efficiency Using schottky diode with higher ratings. Moreover. the antennas are connected in arrays. The formation and control of microwave beam aimed precisely at fixed locations on the Earths surface. MICROWAVE POWER TRANSMISSION IN SPS The microwave transmission system as envisioned by NASA and DOE would have had three aspects [5]: 1. Re-entrant electron beam in a six-cavity magnetron The microwave power output of the magnetron is channeled into an array of parabolic reflector antennas for transmission to the receiving end antennas. The collection of the microwave energy and its conversion into electrical energy at the earth‘s surface. Inverter is used to invert the dc power into ac. The conversion of direct power from the photovoltaic cells. 2. to microwave power on the satellites on geosynchronous orbit above the Earth.Figure 4.

Power distribution at the transmitting antenna=√ (1-r²).5 shows the schematic diagram of a klystron amplifier . . For beam safety and control retro directive arrays are used. klystrons and solid state amplifiers.The ability to accomplish the task of efficiently delivering electrical power wirelessly is dependent upon the component efficiencies used in transmitting and receiving apertures and the ability to focus the electromagnetic beam onto the receiving rectenna. Klystron Fig. beam control and the receiving antenna called rectenna . The key microwave components in a WPT system are the transmitter.At the transmitting antenna. continuous wave signal with a band width of 1Hz. Filtering of noise and suppression of harmonics will be required to meet he regulatory requirement.8GHz system reduces the transmitting and receiving apertures. . Microwave WPT is achieved by an unmodulated. location in the ISM band. However.e. The main components of a transmitter include dc-to-RF converter and transmitting antenna. high power solid state devices can also be used. For the large scale WPT application such as SPS. extremely low attenuation through the atmosphere [2]. Frequency of choice for microwave WPT has been 2. Rectenna is a component unique to WPT systems.45GHz due to factors such as low cost power components. The following section describes each of these components in detail. The next suggested band centered at 5. phased array antennas are required to distribute the RF power sources across the aperture and electronically control the power beam. But this is not preferred due to increased attenuation on higher frequency. The complexity of the transmitter depends on the WPT application. Figure 5 Klystron amplifier schematic diagram. where r is the radius of antenna There are mainly three dc-to-RF power converters: magnetrons. TRANSMITTER The key requirement of a transmitter is its ability to convert dc power to RF power efficiently and radiate the power to a controlled manner with low loss. should be removed from the transmitter as it reduces the life time of RF devices and control electronics . The transmitter‘s efficiency drives the end-to-end efficiency as well as thermal management system i. at frequencies below 10 GHz.Passive inter modulation is another field which requires critical attention. microwave power tubes such as magnetrons and klystrons are used as RF power sources.. any heat generated from inefficiencies in the dc-RF conversion.

Thus the catcher cavity is excited into oscillations at its resonant frequency and a large output is obtained. The tube body and solenoid operate at 300°C and the collector operates at 500°C. Fig. The overall efficiency is 83%. the phase of the pilot signal is captured by the receiver located at each sub array is compared to an onboard reference frequency distributed equally throughout the array. the received signal is phase conjugated and fed back to earth dc-RF converted.6 shows a klystron transmitter. This variation in current enables the klystron to have significant gain. bunching of electrons takes place. As shown in fig. If a phase difference exists between the two signals. they are velocity modulated by the RF voltage existing across this gap. To form the power beam and point it back forwards the rectenna. So we must distribute the high power to individual antenna through a power divider . As the electron beam having constant velocity approaches gap A. In the absence of the pilot .45 GHz for MPT. BEAM CONTROL A key system and safety aspect of WPT in its ability to control the power beam. If we use 2. focused and send down a glass tube to a collector electrode which is at high positive potential with respect to the cathode.7 a coded pilot signal is emitted from the rectenna towards the SPS transmitter to provide a phase reference for forming and pointing the power beams [2]. the number of antenna elements per square meter is on the order of 100. Thus as the beam progress further down the drift tube. Therefore the power allotted to the individual antenna element is of the order of 10 W/element. The microwave power density at the transmitting array will be 1 kW/m² for a typical 1 GW SPS with a transmitting antenna aperture of 1 km diameter. Retro directive beam control systems have been the preferred method of achieving accurate beam pointing.Here a high velocity electron beam is formed. Eventually the current pass the catcher gap in quite pronounce bunches and therefore varies cyclically with time.

45GHz rectenna [2]. RECTENNA Brown was the pioneer in developing the first 2. The input filter is needed to suppress re radiation of high harmonics that are generated by the non linear characteristics of rectifying circuit. The breakdown voltage limits the power handling capacity and is directly related to series resistance and junction capacitance through the intrinsic properties of diode junction and material . and the peak power density decreases by the ratio of the number of transmitter elements. For rectifying Schottky barrier diodes utilizing silicon and gallium arsenide are employed. the diode is the most critical component to achieve higher efficiencies because it is the main source of loss. One method of suppressing harmonics is by placing a frequency selective surface in front of the rectenna circuit that passes the operating frequency and attenuates the harmonics.signal. Because it is a highly non linear circuit.For efficient rectification the diode cut off . an input low pass filter. Rectenna is the microwave to dc converting device and is mainly composed of a receiving antenna and a rectifying circuit. In rectenna arrays. Fig . Figure 8 Schematic of rectenna circuit. It consists of a receiving antenna. harmonic power levels must be suppressed. Diode selection is dependent on the input power levels. the transmitter will automatically dephase its power beam.8 shows the schematic of rectenna circuit [2]. a rectifying circuit and an output smoothing filter.

This integrated unit as shown in fig.One often discussed road to lunar resource utilization is to start with mining and refining of lunar oxygen.4 kW dc power to the microwave transmitter subsystem composed of an active phased array.9 could be a prototype of a large scale experimental module in the orbit CONSTRUCTION OF SPS FROM NON TERRESTRIAL MATERIALS: FEASIBILITY AND ECONOMICS SPS. a near field scanner. where ƒ is the cut off frequency. It is developed to simulate the whole power conversion process for the SPS. Rs is the diode series resistance. the most . Diode cut off frequency is given by ƒ=1/ [2πRsCj]. Another MPT system recently developed by a team of Kyoto University . Recent work also indicate that this unconventional but scientifically well –based approach should permit the production of power satellite without the need for any rocket vehicle more advanced than the existing ones. The plan envisioned sending small segments of the satellites into space using the space shuttle. The SPORTS is composed of solar panels. The projected cost of a SPS could be considerably reduced if extraterrestrial resources are employed in the construction [9]. transmitting array antennas and a receiving array in one package. Cj is the zero-bias junction capacitance. including solar cells.NASDA and industrial companies of Japan . transmitting antennas and rectenna system. This unit is composed of a solar cell panel. microwave generators. The solar panels provide 8. a microwave transmitter subsystem. RECENTLY DEVELOPED MPT SYSTEMS The Kyoto University developed a system called Space Power Radio Transmission System (SPORTS) [1].developed in 2000 [1]. is an integrated unit called the Solar Power Radio Integrated Transmitter (SPRITZ).frequency should be approximately ten times the operating frequency. as mentioned before is massive and because of their size they should have been constructed in space [5]. a microwave receiver.

The mass driver can be used as a launcher of lunar material into free space or as a reaction engine in space. release their payload. metals and oxygen in the Apollo lunar samples. These could be overcome by siting rectenna in environmentally insensitive locations. for use as a component of rocket fuel to support lunar base as well as exploration mission. the potential disturbance of the ionosphere etc. studies shows that people can tolerate such exposures for a period of at least 45 min. the presence of an abundance of glass.The atmospheric studies indicate that these problems are not significant . The mass driver conversion efficiency from electrical to kinetic energy is close to 100 percent. permitting growth and maintenance of vegetation under the rectenna. cellular phones and wireless base stations. However. decelerate with return energy and pick up another pay load for acceleration. One major new development for transportation is required: the mass driver [12]. at least for the chosen microwave frequency [13]. processing and living [12]. Based on well developed antenna theory. the availability of continuous solar energy for transport. On the earth. Modern reviews of this . microwave ovens . SPS posses many environmental questions such as microwave exposure. each rectenna for a full-power SPS would be about 10 km in diameter. the health and safety of space workers in a heavy-radiation (ionizing) environment . This significant area possesses classical environmental issues. An alternative to the use of lunar resources for space manufacturing is the use of earth-approaching asteroidal materials. optical pollution that could hinder astronomers . the environmental levels of microwave power beam drop down to 0.abundant element in the Moon‘s crust. Even though human exposures to the 25 mW/cm²will. such as in the desert. over water etc. As in the case of a linear synchronous motor-generator. public exposures from SPS would be similar or even less. The performance of the mass driver could match that of the space shuttle main engines. Thus. On comparing with the use of radar. Among them are the shallow gravity wells of the Moon and asteroids. The classic rectenna design would be transparent in sunlight. The aluminum and silicon can be refined to produce solar arrays [12]. Because of their large size. So concern about human exposure can be dismissed forthrightly [4]. the low cost transport of those materials to a higher earth orbit by means of a solar-powered electric motor. the SPS would be quite visible and might be objectionable.The mass driver is a long and narrow machine which converts electrical energy into kinetic energy by accelerating 0. Specific research over the years has been directed towards effects on birds. SPS would appear as a very bright star in the relatively dark night sky. police radars. buckets are accelerated by a magnetic field. in general. A number of factors combine to make the concept of using non conventional materials appear to be feasible. where payloads are transferred from orbit to orbit in a spiral trajectory. The power source can be either solar or nuclear. laser pointers etc. MICROWAVES-ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES The price of implementing a SPS includes the acceptance of microwave beams as the link of that energy between space and earth. Each payload-carrying bucket contains superconducting coils and is supported without physical contact by means of dynamic magnetic levitation. But the mass driver has the advantage that any material can be used as fuel and continuous solar power in space is the common power source. Transportation requirement for SPS will be much more needed for known for known commercial applications. SPS in GEO would show more light than Venus at its brightest. be avoided. in particular.1μW/cm² [12]. the issues related to microwaves continue to be the most pressing environmental issues.001 to 10 kg slugs to higher velocities.

Microwaves. The period of high demand is seen to run from approximately 9 AM to 9 PM.S. Power demand in MW for New York and Long Island (sum of power production from ten utilities) as a function of time of day (summer 2000 data). a comparatively cool day..S. however is not a ‗pollutant‘ but . showing the total demand from ten selected utilities serving New York City.research show that only some birds may experience some thermal stress at high ambient temperatures. and some of the surrounding communities. Figures 1–4 show data on electrical power demand and price for urban and suburban New York and for the Boston area graphs the average electrical power demand versus time of day. peak power usage comes in the summer. when people are awake and using power. a man made extension of the naturally generated electromagnetic spectrum that provides heat and light for our sustence DEMAND AND COST Electrical Power Demand While international and third-world markets for electricity are significant (and rising third-world power needs may eventually be the driving force for development of satellite solar power) data on price and demand is most easily available for the U. and when industrial use is maximum. a day when the outdoor temperature was high. (This graph averages demand across several days in May and June 2000). serving the Boston area. . when air-conditioning loads are high. This data compares June 16. For many U. Figure 2 shows demand data as a function of time of day from the New England ISO. Long Island. where a spot market for electrical power exists. more aptly . markets. at low ambient temperatures the warming might be welcomed by birds and may present a nuisance attraction [13]. Of course. with June 19. Figure 1. Serious discussions and education are required before most of mankind accepts this technology with global dimensions.

representing home use of electricity for cooking. When the demand is low. when electrical heaters are used. is also visible. The difference between the power required for these two days illustrates the role of air conditioning loads in the peak power demand. During the lowest demand period. particularly during the hot day. and a "high" cost period running from roughly 8 AM to 8 PM. These data are representative of region where the highest electrical use is in the summer. The cost can be roughly divided into two periods. peaking in the early afternoon. In the winter. The night demand is approximately the same in winter and summer. and so forth. a "low" cost period running from roughly midnight to 7 AM.Electric Demand (MW-hr) New England ISO June 16 (hot day) and June 19 (cool day) hot summer day (upper curve). (The actual spot market price fluctuates significantly from this. At high demand periods. The high demand period is skewed toward the afternoon.. with spinning reserve needed to deal with instantaneous demand spikes. the maximum power demand comes in winter. from 1 to 6 AM.e. higher-cost "peak power" generation is required. with the summertime demand fluctuating by roughly a factor of two between day and night. A secondary evening peak. Published data from southern California [3] shows the same trends. the cost is under a quarter of a cent per kilowatthour. as discussed later.). then the lowest-cost generators are used. not the consumer price. Time is Daylight Savings Time. . graphed at one-hour intervals through the day for a typical day in June 2000. and runs from about 8 AM to 11 PM. This is the price of electricity sold to the electric distribution system. the market price of electricity to the distribution utility) follows the demand. it should also be noted that in some markets (e.g. Electrical Power Cost The cost (i. Florida). television. but the daytime demand is higher in the summer. with a cost of under one cent per kilowatt hour. Figure 3 shows the cost of electrical power in New York City.. generating continuous baseline power. and a smaller peak at 6 to 7 PM (presumably due to electric stoves and ovens) is the highest power use. the afternoon peak vanishes. where the cost is about 4 cents per kilowatt hour.

at night.5. Power cost ($/MW-hr) for New England. higher-cost peaking-power supplies are brought on line to fill the demand. 1 AM to 9 AM. there is a significant difference in the cost of power between the low usage time. . Again. only the low-cost baseline production is required. The difference between high and low cost periods is about a factor of 4. for the two days with demand graphed earlier.Figure 4. Figure 4 shows cost data for New England. The cost tracks demand: when demand is low. comparing a hot summer day with a cooler day. while when demand is high.

and until 1 AM for the hot day. although the difference is only a factor of two for this service region. Price of Electric Power (New York City) Figure 5. Instantaneous spot-market electricity prices can skyrocket to very high values. To avoid this. be as high as ten times the average. As is shown. with consequent loss of revenue. spinning reserve is needed to deal with instantaneous demand spikes [5]. This instantaneous price can. due to instantaneous demand.and the high usage time. the data shown earlier was averaged. Short-term price fluctuations in the New York market. Figure 5 shows the hourly fluctuation of the actual price to the utility for seven different days. energy stored in the rotation of the generator can be drawn. and not easily predictable. or occasionally even higher. Inadequate spinning reserve requires load shedding by the utility. considerably higher than the 4 cents per kilowatt-hour average for the high demand period. electricity can be purchased on the spot market. although they only occur during the high-demand period. over this period the instantaneous price paid by the utility briefly hit spikes of over 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. . but in general these price spikes are short lasting. The term "spinning reserve" comes from the fact that for short-duration demand spikes. To avoid these spikes. for brief periods. since the reserve is high during the low demand period. an order of magnitude higher than baseload prices. The cost remains high until midnight for the cooler day. Short-term Price Fluctuations At high-demand periods. or else results in temporary "brown-out" conditions and loss of frequency regulation. The timing of the price fluctuations are not correlated from day to day.

Analysis It is clear from these figures that.3 hours) apart. depending on market. Servicing the Spot Market Even higher revenue could be achieved if the solar power satellite could service the spot market. for a single satellite to provide power to two separate markets at peak rates for both markets would require the two markets be at longitudes separated by nearly 180 degrees. grazing-incidence is not practical.) For a more practical case.. each relay satellite. bottom). would it be possible to use a single power satellite to provide power to two different geographical markets that are substantially separated in longitude (and hence buy peak-rate power at different times)? This would be the power-beaming equivalent of "wheeling" power from one geographic location to another. in principle up to the most desirable case of a 180 degree separation. This geometry is shown in figure 6 (top). If the downlink power beam is allowed to reach the Earth at 90-degree incident angle (i. and distribution system is doubled. This would require a power satellite with the ability to switch beams from one ground location to a different ground location rapidly (within a few tens of . and orbit maintenance avionics of a sophistication equal or greater that of the solar power satellite. by an amount that varies from roughly a factor of two to over a factor of four. when it is eclipsed by the Earth around midnight. 8 AM to 8 PM for New York). In this case two locations served by the same geosynchronous orbit solar power satellite can be at most 80 degrees (5. rather than the relay satellites. This trade-off is only reasonable if the ground infrastructure cost is not the major fraction of the power cost. except for a period near the spring and autumnal equinox. where the relay satellite is in a lower orbit than the beaming satellite.e. the ground infrastructure of rectenna. If the cost is a substantial fraction of the cost of the solar power satellite itself. The maximum separation is lower if the sites are not on the equator. then larger separations could be achieved. it would require a verticallyoriented rectenna. the fact that this would allow power to be sold at high price during a period when otherwise the satellite would be selling power at low price means that this concept deserves study. If the beam could be diverted through a relay satellite (figure 6. Since the peak price period lasts nearly twelve hours (e. (Among other things. can sequentially service several markets. and hence the price that electrical power can be sold for varies as well. guidance. for brief periods. however. several relay satellites would be required to provide continuous coverage. then it makes more sense to simply build a second SPS. While it is not currently clear that a power relay satellite will be enough lower in cost to make servicing two markets with a power relay practical. then a single geosynchronous satellite could service two sites on the equator separated by no more than 162 degrees of longitude. although conventional designs for a solar power satellite will produce a constant amount of power independent of the demand. rise to an order of magnitude higher than the peak-power cost.g. Since a solar power satellite beams power long distances. This would be sufficient separation to extend the period over which the satellite is providing high-price power from roughly 12 hours per day to roughly 17 hours per day. where instantaneous price of electricity can. and provides continuous power. the actual demand for electricity varies with time of day and with the day of the year.. from a satellite on the horizon). land.) Although a power relay satellite in principle is just a passive microwave mirror. In reality. assume that the maximum allowable zenith angle is 45 degrees. (In the geometry shown in figure 6. Note that in this case. The conventional solar power satellite design tracks the sun. in practice it will have to contain tracking.

Fixed orientation SPS Since power during the peak period is priced at nearly twice the average price. Figure 6. conversely if the power is supplied to a utility at peak-power rates. compared with the power demand of New York from figure 1. this might be a worthwhile trade. the power produced by such a fixed orientation solar power satellite. the service cannot be relied on. and power at the offpeak is nearly valueless. it is worth considering whether it might be possible to simplify the power satellite design by eliminating the tracking. Figure 7 shows. representing a peak-shaving to the utilities of 4%. and hence cannot sell for premium rates. In this graph. such a satellite would have to serve perhaps ten different utilities or more to average enough high-price demand markets. the cost of the ground infrastructure may make this prohibitive. There is probably not enough money represented by the brief highprice spikes to make this concept worthwhile in light of the cost of replicating the ground infrastructure over ten or more sites. non tracking solar array will much power as a tracking satellite. it may be worthwhile. rather than maximum. since the (non-solar) production at noon is lower than the lowest night value. A single solar power satellite can service two markets on the Earth either directly (top) or by a relay satellite (bottom). as an example. the generation capacity not met by the space solar power system does not fall below the lowest value during the daytime. In the example. sell power at peak power rates. If the power is taken offline to service a peak demand elsewhere. the beam cannot be momentarily diverted to service a utility with a temporary demand spike. when the value of the power is roughly double the average value. A satellite which serves the short-term spot market cannot. . Since instant spot demands are short.seconds). this would result in reducing the maximum amount of power produced by the utilities by 850 MW. between high-price spikes. the solar power satellite will be selling at minimum price. A flat-plate. but if the ground infrastructure is low enough in cost. the peak amount of power produced has been scaled so that at the maximum power production by the satellite. but in principle could be directed to produce that power at the most optimum period of the day. Higher power production from the satellite would result in the peak power production at solar noon overfilling the peak demand. since the ability to command premium rates is contingent on reliability of power supply. and thus. If the reduction in cost due to the gain in simplicity of such a satellite is large.

and tie in to power conditioning and distribution networks that are already in place.Figure 7. By "filling in" power when ground solar is unavailable. power demand. In fact. a desirable additional requirement is: wer system keeping in mind that it must complement the ground solar infrastructure. 2. Synergy With Terrestrial Solar Space and Ground Solar Power Analyses of space solar power often assume that ground solar power is a competing technology. This will allow the space solar power to use the pre-existing land that has already been amortized by ground solar power receivers.5GW(peak) solar power station used for peakshaving. These considerations were initially discussed in 1990 [4]. however. Since ground solar is a necessary precursor to space solar power. So in addition to the five requirements for economic analysis given earlier. space solar power and ground solar power are complementary technologies. and power availability from space. Use solar power satellites to beam to receivers when ground solar is unavailable. Power Demand for New York. Some possible ways that this interface could be optimized include: 1. will serve develop technology and the high-volume production readiness for space solar power. and these technologies will make ground solar attractive for many markets. in turn. This requires an analysis of the match between solar availability. Low-cost ground solar power is a necessary precursor to space solar power: Space solar power requires low cost. an analysis of space solar power should consider how it interfaces with the ground-based solar infrastructure that will be developing on a faster scale than the space infrastructure. Integrate solar and microwave receivers on ground. showing a 6. space solar power will serve as the complement to solar. not competing technologies. The ground solar power market. high production and high efficiency solar arrays. and show that space solar power is a preferable technology on a rate of return basis. .

the power production profile is much smoother after the solar power satellite's contribution fills in the peak power. the price curve will shift to make this the high-price period. In this power satellite concept the 6 AM/6 PM timing of the power peaks is not optimally matched to the demand curve. As is clear from the graph. This power production is now envisioned as a ground-based 7. Landis proposed to locate a solar power satellite at the Earth-sun L2 Lagrange point. including daylight savings correction). A better match could be achieved if the two arrays are tilted relative to each other. This is shown in figure 9. The simplest version of such a solar power satellite geometry [7] is shown in figure 8. and eventually supplants the ground solar. The ground solar installation produces power almost entirely during the peak cost time. tilted slightly to the west to shift the peak to 2 PM (i. From the demand graphs. However. A design to produce power to optimally fit the two-peak distribution shown might be a fixed.7]. 1 hour after solar noon. Figure 10 shows the output from a V-shaped solar power satellite optimized to supply the peakpower loads of New York City. the two-panel system shown in figure 9 can be optimized to supply the peaking loads. If in the future ground solar generation becomes a large fraction of the electric supply of the Earth. since much of the power is produced too early or too late in the day. As the power produced by the solar power satellite grows. where it has a constant view of the night side of the Earth [6. The proposed benefit of this location would be that the satellite could supplement daytime ground solar power by providing night power.e. however.Satellite Power for Night Supplement In 1997.5 GW solar field. . two sided array. it is unlikely that this system design would be economically favorable in the near term. instead of a single peaked power distribution.. The demand not filled by ground solar now is a two-peaked distribution. even after the solar production is subtracted. Demand With Ground Solar Supplement Figure 6 compares the power required for New York with the power produced by a fixed solar plant designed to supply power during this daytime peak. in a "V" configuration. it is clear that this approach would result in power supplied during the low demand (and hence low price) portion of the day.

compared with the best terrestrial sites 2.ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES The idea collecting solar energy in space and returning it to earth using microwave beam has many attractions. . Thus about five times energy could be collected. The full solar irradiation would be available at all times expect when the sun is eclipsed by the earth [14]. 1. The power could be directed to any point on the earth‘s surface.

3. No waste product. The power density would be uninterrupted by darkness. Risks involved with malfunction. 8. The realization of the SPS concept holds great promises for solving energy crisis 6. clouds. or precipitation. 4.45 GHz and this frequency is used by communication satellites also. Radiation hazards associated with the system. which are the problems encountered with earth based solar arrays. The frequency of beamed radiation is planned to be at 2. The concept of generating electricity from solar energy in the space itself has its inherent disadvantages also. 4. No moving parts. 2. . 7. 6. low maintenance structures and collectors [14]. Some of the major disadvantages are: 1. 5. 3. The entire structure is massive. The zero gravity and high vacuum condition in space would allow much lighter. High cost and require much time for construction. High power microwave source and high gain antenna can be used to deliver an intense burst of energy to a target and thus used as a weapon[15]. The main draw back of solar energy transfer from orbit is the storage of electricity during off peak demand hours [15]. 7. 5. No fuel required.

Technical hurdles will be removed in the coming one or two decades. It is not a pollutant but more aptly.CONCLUSION The SPS will be a central attraction of space and energy technology in coming decades. From this view point. large scale retro directive power transmission has not yet been proven and needs further development. . we look forward to universal acceptance of the premise the electromagnetic energy is a tool to improve the quality of life for mankind. Finally. a man made extension of the naturally generated electromagnetic spectrum that provides heat and light for our sustenance. Another important area of technological development will be the reduction of the size and weight of individual elements in the space section of SPS. However. the SPS is merely a down frequency converter from the visible spectrum to microwaves. Large-scale transportation and robotics for the construction of large-scale structures in space include the other major fields of technologies requiring further developments.

REFERENCE Remuneration and charging procedures for competitive procurement of reactive power capacity Frias. Soler. W. Issue: 10 . Guillet. J.53Ga0.6 Carrier kinetics in quantum dots through continuous wave photoluminescence modeling: A systematic study on a sample with surface dot density gradient de Sales. da Silva. J.. Part: 1 Digital Object Identifier: 10. 2008 IEEE Digital Object Identifier: 10. Page(s): 1787 – 1794 Land Use and Land Cover Mapping in the Brazilian Amazon Using Polarimetric Airborne P-Band SAR Data Freitas. Page(s): 1 . Proceedings from ESMO-93. Gomez. dos Santos. P. Morais. Journal of Applied Physics Volume: 94 . P. Quivy.. A.316226 Publication Year: 1993 . J.. Geoscience and Remote Sensing. A. M.C. Mura. R. C. Transmission and Distribution Construction and Live Line Maintenance.2000630 Publication Year: 2008 . Cruz. R.. J.1109/TGRS.1586953 Publication Year: 2003 . A.2008.J.. S. Page(s): 459 – 468 Highly stable W/p‐In0. Sant'Anna. IEEE Transactions on Volume: 46 . Page(s): 2956 .. S. da Silva. J. Sixth International Conference on Digital Object Identifier: 10.. Soler.1063/1..1109/PES. 1993. L.. Dutra. C. A. Issue: 3 Digital Object Identifier: 10. M. Power and Energy Society General Meeting .R. F..S. V.H. R.47As ohmic contacts formed by rapid thermal processing .2008.2970 Cited by: 4 Robotic maintenance of the EDF transmission (63 to 400 kV) network: feasibility study and effects on tower design Soler.. M...1993. Correia. Leite. L. T. D. G.Conversion and Delivery of Electrical Energy in the 21st Century...1109/TDCLLM.4596759 Publication Year: 2008 ..V. Soler. J..

. M. M. A.... Homer.2033604 Publication Year: 2010 . Jewell. Power Systems. C.2010. W. Internet Multimedia Services Architecture and Application(IMSAA)...Katz.2009.102066 Publication Year: 1989 ..2009. D. Karlicek.. . Power Systems. L.. Torres. K. Page(s): 1 – 6 A Lab Setup Illustrating Thyristor-Assisted Under-Load Tap Changers Monroy. Dittmann. Frias. Wynn. Issue: 2 Digital Object Identifier: 10.A. M. IEEE Volume: 26 . G. Kisor. Maher. T. M. Issue: 4 Digital Object Identifier: 10.. Applied Physics Letters Volume: 55 . V..1063/1. J. R. Issue: 3 Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TPWRS.1109/MP. Thomas.623 Cited by: 2 Regulating electricity demand peaks for home appliances using reversible fair scheduling Kardaras. Page(s): 615 .. C. J. Rossello-Busquet.L.1109/IMSAA. F. J. Iversen.4280328 Publication Year: 2007 . Soler..2222 Sniffing out problems for humans in space Nix.5729405 Publication Year: 2010 . Page(s): 18 – 24 Calculation of the Elastic Demand Curve for a Day-Ahead Secondary Reserve Market Soler. .. Soler. IEEE Transactions on Volume: 25 . M.. C.B. G mez-Exp sito. P.K. J...A. Soler.1210 Cited by: 1 . B. M. P. Page(s): 1203 . A.1109/TPWRS. Ryan.2039717 Publication Year: 2010 . A... Dautremont‐Smith. Page(s): 2220 . Issue: 21 Digital Object Identifier: 10.2007.. Manatt. E. Gomez.erjillos. L.. D. A. IEEE Transactions on Volume: 25 . 2010 IEEE 4th International Conference on Digital Object Identifier: 10. Weir. D. achiller-Soler.. A. Kimerling. Potentials. Platero.B.