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K.Sushmitha II year EEE KSRM COLLLGE OF ENGG Id no: 305376
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Energy development is the on going effort to provide abundant and accessible energy, through knowledge, skills and constructions. For years humanity has dreamed of a clean, inexhaustible energy source. This dream has lead many people to do what, in retrospect, seems obvious, and look upward toward nature's "fusion reactor", the sun. The sun powers the biosphere, which is to say that the energy used by almost all plants and animals comes from the sun. So why not use solar energy to power industry, transportation, and the home as well? Promoted as early as 1968 by Peter Glaser, then a NASA scientist, solar power satellites can be built to convert direct solar radiation received in the full, unobstructed intensity possible in space to direct current (DC), electrical power. Such collectors are known as solar power satellites (SPS). The solar energy collected by an SPS would be converted into electricity, then into microwaves. The microwaves would be beamed to the Earth's surface, where they would be received and converted back into electricity by a large array of devices known as a rectifying antenna, or retina.
Can you ever imagine life without lights, fans, cars, computers and television or of fetching water from the well and river? This is what life would have been like had man not discovered the uses of energy both renewable and nonrenewable resources. Nonrenewable resources
are of different types for e.g. solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy etc. Now let us focus on solar energy as it is one of the abundant forms of energy available. Power "For the successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." Richard Feyman Energy. It has been already said that the rationale for going into space, apart from the fact that the human race must extend its limits and explore and then conquer space, has to do with retrieving energy, mainly the Sun's energy. About 80 % of the total energy demanded by our society is supplied from fossil fuels. 90% of the CO2 which is the major cause of the greenhouse effect comes from combustion. It is now widely accepted that the only way to reduce the environmental risks while sustaining the economic growth is to develop a large-scale alternative energy system which is ecologically benign. A scientific venture must be pursued when it follows certain logic and the solution is correct, even if technology for proper utilization is not current or not available. Such is this case. Although the human race would perhaps not be able in the very immediate future to exploit the untapped potential of solar energy, it is certainly a direction that must be followed. Exclusive dependence on fossil fuels will inevitably lead to energy shortages. (see Introduction) It must be remembered that this scheme was one of the main determinants in choosing the location of the space colony. The liberation
points along the Earth's path were chosen primarily for their constant exposure to sunshine Solar Energy here on Earth Why should we go into space to get solar energy and not profit directly from it here on Earth? The answer is twofold
A large-scale receiving antenna, retina, is necessary to collect the microwave power from space. The Atmosphere :
Solar Power Satellites
A possible scheme for producing power on a large scale contemplates placing giant solar modules alongside the colony where energy generated from sunlight would be converted to microwaves and beamed to antennas on earth for recon version to electric power. On ground, the microwave power is rectified and converted to the commercial electric power. To produce as much power as five large nuclear power plants (1 billion watts each) several square km of solar collectors, weighing more than 5 million kg would have to be assembled in the settlement. An earth-based antenna 5 miles in diameter would be required for reception. These vast assemblies are often referred to as Solar Power Satellites (SPS) .The concept of the SPS is revolutionary with a high potentiality to solve the global environmental problems, as it uses the limitless solar energy, it utilizes the space outside of the earth ecology system, and it has no by-product waste. The use of Even though one of its panels could never be deployed, Skylab effectively demonstrated solar energy.
The benign atmosphere protects us from the intensity of the sun's rays, that are filtered by our gaseous cover. That same protective effect which shields us and allows life on Earth also prevent us from fully receiving the Sun's energy. It is estimated that, in average, between 0.1 and 0.2 kW/m2 of solar energy can be received from the Sun on the Earth's surface. In near Earth space the quantity o energy that can be collected is approximately ten times as much, that is, around 1 to 2 kW/m2 in average. This first reason is obviously decisive.
The Earth's rotation : But even if extra sensitive solar panels could be engineered, there is another problematic factor that complicates full utilization of the sun's energy. The rotation of the Earth, as we very well know, gives rise to days and nights, which means that during 12 hours in average no sunlight hits the surface of our planet. Because of this, solar energy devices have to trap the heat during the night period and great pains are taken to ensure that minimum heat gets lost. None of these problems will be met in space, where sunshine is constant and with far greater intensity.
Apart from using the sun's energy to supply the Earth, the colonists would benefit from the abundance of energy for their own home processes. Solar energy can be directly converted into electricity by means of
photoelectric cells. These cells produce an electrical voltage as long as light shines on them . The photoelectric effect consists in the formation and liberation of electrically charged particles in matter when it is irradiated by light or other electromagnetic radiation. The term photoelectric effect designates several types of related interactions. In the external photoelectric effect, electrons are liberated from the surface of a metallic conductor by absorbing energy from light shining on the metal's surface. The effect is applied in the photoelectric cell, in which the electrons liberated from one pole of the cell, the photocathode; migrate to the other pole, the anode, under the influence of an electric field.
Solar power satellite concept
The sun powers the biosphere, which is to say that the energy used by almost all plants and animals comes from the sun. So why not use solar energy to power industry, transportation, and the home as well? Well, a principal difficulty with solar power is that the sun doesn't always shine on a particular location: half the time the earth blocks the sun, and for much of the remaining time clouds and fog do. But what if the solar energy were collected by a set of satellites above the earth’s atmosphere? Then we might obtain solar power for 24 hours every day of the year. This is the idea behind solar-power satellites.
A satellite with solar panels to convert light energy into electricity can be put into orbit. Indeed, most satellites in orbit today are powered by solar panels. But how can we get the energy from the satellite back to earth? Clearly it would be impossible to use the electric lines we use for long-distance power transmission on earth. This is where microwaves come in. The idea is that a satellite be equipped with a microwave generator, so that the electrical energy from the solar panels can be converted into a microwave beam. Then the microwave beam can be directed to antennas on the surface of the earth, which would convert the microwaves back to electrical energy. The energy could then either be used at the site of the antenna or injected into the electric-power network.
It was during the late 1960s that the engineer Peter Glaser first had the notion of solar power satellites. The principle of transmitting power by microwaves had already been demonstrated, though not put into practice. (Microwaves in practical devices, such as radar systems and long-distance telephone relays, were used to convey information.) To convey information, the intensity of the received signal need only be less than one nanowatt (one billionth of a watt). Glaser’s idea was to put the solar-power satellites in geosynchronous orbits, so that each would hover over a single location on the earth. This meant, however, that the satellites had to be very high (36,000 kilometers or about 22,000 feet), and this in turn meant that the antenna on the satellite and the receiving antenna on the ground had to be extremely large (a kilometer or more in diameter). The idea did not seem practical, and after some initial funding by the U.S Department of Energy and NASA there was little interest in pursuing the technology. Today, however, the situation is changed because of the very large number of Communications satellites in low orbits. It might be possible to make these satellites dual purpose— solar-energy collectors as well as communications devices. Because of the much lower orbits, the antennas on the satellites and on the ground need not be nearly so large. A drawback however, is that satellites in low-earth orbit circle the earth rapidly (about every 90 minutes) and therefore do not provide a connection
for a very long time. There are also other concerns. One is that the transmission down to the ground might be interrupted by clouds and weather. Another is the safety of the people and animals near the receiving antennas who might be exposed to the microwave radiation. Today, the viability of solar-power satellites as a long-term solution to our energy needs is being investigated by government agencies and individual companies in many countries.
Current Solar Power Satellite Designs
Solar satellites of various shapes and sizes have been designed by NASA, aerospace firms and independent engineers since the 1960s. They range in size from a hundred meters to more than five kilometers in diameter. Their basic components are (1.) solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity, (2.) a framework to hold the
cells and their support equipment, (3.) devices which will convert the
day and night. They never pass into the Earth’s shadow. That’s important to solar powered communications satellites, and even more important to solar satellites. This orbit will allow solar satellites to send their electricity down to a specific spot on Earth 24 hours a day for decades at a time. Most of the components for these designs already exist, having been in production on other commercial projects for decades. Also, plants and animals have been grown under the weak beams these solar satellites will produce, with no physical damage. Environmental protection is not an issue, as we will explain later. The reason solar satellites haven’t been deployed isn’t a technology issue; its economics.
electricity into radio waves or laser beams able to safely send the power down to Earth, and (4.) receiving antennas on Earth to convert the beams back into electricity and feed it into standard power gridsv One solar satellite variation generates electricity from an orbiting, high-tech boiler and turbine system. Huge reflectors concentrate sunlight on the boiler, and lasers or radio waves would transmit the energy to receiving antennas on Earth.
POWER GENERATION AND POWER LINE
Solar Cell: The following baseline data used for Solar Cell Unit is based on the current performance of ground-use a-Si solar cells and their possible evolution in the near future. Further detail of solar cells under test will be presented. Conversion Efficiency 15 % Unit Weight 0.22 Kg/m2 Specific Power 950 Watt/kg Thickness 0.2 mm Array Module: A subarray is composed of 12 solar cell units. The array module, composed of 110 subarrays, is a mechanical element for assembly. Each array module generates 180A at 1 kV. The weight of the array module is 270 kg per each module.
Solar satellites will orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth, in the same orbit used by today’s communications satellites. At that height it takes 24 hours for an object to circle the planet, so from the Earth’s surface the com satellites (or solar satellites) appear to stay directly overhead all
Forty-five array modules are assembled in each wing; northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest. Power Collection and Distribution: The Wing Summing Bus collects the electric power from the array modules. Each bus line has hot and return bus cables. The bus lines are insulated copper plates 1 mm thick. They get wider as they approach the center of the SPS2000 satellite to keep the joule loss per surface area constant. The Wing Summing Bus Lines are connected to the Central Bus Lines (322), which are interfaced with the spacetenna system. The Central Bus Lines are insulated copper plates 0.7 mm thick by 100 mm wide. The Bus Lines are mechanically attached to the truss pipes using insulated adapters. The power loss in the bus lines is 7 % in total. The total weight of the power lines is approximately 11,000 kg. Power Transmission System Power transmission from the satellite to a rectenna is made by 2.45 GHz microwave beam emitted from the spacetenna, the antenna onboard the satellite, provided with retro directive beam control capability. Using the principle similar to that of the U.S. Reference System, electrical and mechanical design of this system is simpler by employing a square shape and a single power level. Detailed design of the spacetenna will be shown. This makes the microwave beam broad, and results in relatively inefficient power transmission and an increase in microwave exposure outside the rectennas. However in
this case, the microwave power level is much lower than in the case of the Reference System, and well below international safety standards. The beaming angle as large as 60 degrees of this case makes this requirement more important than in the case of the Reference System. Spacetenna Design: Antenna characteristics are shown by Table 2. Table 2: Spacetenna Characteristics Electrical Characteristics Frequency 2.45GHz Beam control Retrodirective Beam scanning angle +30 degrees (east-west) +16.7 degrees (north-south) Power distribution constant Power density 574W/m2 Max. power density on ground 0.9mW/cm2 Input power to spacetenna 16 MW Transmitting power 10 MW Mechanical Characteristics Shape and Dimension 132m x 132m square Mass 134.4 ton Number of Array module 88 Number of subarray 1936 Number of antenna elements 2,547,776 units Number of pilot receiver 7,744 units Rectenna and Electricity Supply “An antenna comprising a mesh of dipoles and diodes for absorbing microwave energy from a transmitter and
converting it into electric power.” Microwaves are received with about 85% efficiency Around 5km across (3.1 miles). nuclear. The rectennas will be huge, but the land underneath need not go waste. Since the array absorbs the microwaves, but allows sunlight and
rainfall through, the land could be used for farming or ranching. Or, as in this case, the rectenna could be built as a vast set of greenhouses, feeding millions. Rectenna Technology: For SPS2000 two basic rectenna designs have been considered to date, the highefficiency "wire mesh reflector" supported on a rigid frame above the ground, and the low-cost "magic carpet" which could be pegged to the ground. Power collection, conditioning and energy storage will be provided according to customers' requirement. Rectenna system: SPS2000 rectenna systems may be developed for different purposes,
such as a small-scale, low-cost system; a full-size maximum-output system; a system intended to be developed later into a commercial system. At least one SPS2000 rectenna site will be used as an SPS operation research center. Rectennas may deliver power into an existing grid, or operate independently. Rectenna site conditions: To deliver power for the maximum length of time, rectennas will be at least 1200 km apart. Rectenna construction and operation will have environmental and economic impacts, which will need to be analyzed for each site Magic carpet Material pegged to the ground 5,000 MW Receiving Station (Rectenna). This station is about a mile and a half long. Launch costs Without a doubt, the biggest problem for the SPS concept is the currently immense cost of all space launches. Current rates on the Space Shuttle run between $3,500 and $5,000 per pound ($8,000/kg and $11,000/kg), depending on whose numbers are used. In either case the concept of building a structure some kilometers on a side is clearly out of the question. Development of a vehicle that can launch 100-ton loads at less than $400/kg is likely to be necessary.
Gerard O'Neill noted this problem in the early 1970s, and came up with the idea of building the SPS's in orbit with materials from the Moon. The costs of launch from the Moon are about 100 times lower than from Earth, due to the lower gravity. However this concept only works if the number of satellites to be built is on the order of several hundred, otherwise the cost of setting up the producti on lines in space and mining facilities on the Moon are just as huge as launching from Earth in the first place. However it appears that O'Neill was more interested in coming up with a justification for his space habitat designs than any particular interest in the SPS concept on its own. More recently the SPS concept has been suggested as a use for a space elevator. The elevator would make construction of an SPS considerably less expensive, possibly making them competitive with conventional sources. However it appears unlikely that even recent advances in materials science, namely carbon nanotube, can reduce the price of construction of the elevator enough in the short term.
Solar Satellite Power Costs
Earth-built components for a single solar satellite will weigh from several thousand tons to several hundred thousand tons, depending on the design and power output needed. The largest versions could supply power to an entire city, state or provine while the smaller versions could supply individual factories with heavy electrical needs, like aluminum smelters. Communications satellites weigh from a few hundred pounds to over ten tons. Launching them on today’s unmanned rockets costs from $3,000 to $5,000 per pound (of satellite). Manned launches cost ten times as much. Several start-up launch companies hope to drop the unmanned launch cost to $1,000 per pound during this decade, but that’s not nearly low enough The cost of electricity in the U.S. varies from region to region, depending on how it’s produced. Hydropower from dams is commonly the cheapest and
nuclear is often the most expensive. The cost at the point of generation ranges from 4 cents to about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, which includes a profit of less than one cent per kilowatt hour. A few more cents are added to cover various taxes and the cost of transporting it over power lines to where it’s needed. The cost of fuel for all other Earth-based power plants fluctuates widely over the 30-40 year life of the plant. It can often exceed construction costs, and the suspected environmental damage from carbon-based fuels is well known. Nuclear fuel causes less direct damage, but has higher environmental risks. Disposal costs of depleted nuclear fuel and the costs of tearing down old nuclear plants are extremely high.
uses about 1,000-2,000 kilowatt hours a month, and a city of 250,000 with factories, stores, homes and streetlights might need as much as a billion kilowatt hours a month. Proposed solar satellites will generate from a few million to a few billion kilowatts each, depending on their size. Solar satellites will generate about one kilowatt hour of electricity for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the satellite’s weight. A lot of this weight will be low cost frames, but a lot will also be higher cost solar cells, electronics and guidance systems. If solar satellite components cost an average of $100 per pound to manufacture and (optimistically) $1000 per pound to carry to orbit, they’d have to sell their power for 30-50 cents per kilowatt hour to pay off these costs in 30 years. That doesn’t include the cost of launching the assembly and maintenance crews into space at much higher rates, and launching and operating the living quarters for these crews. Even if solar satellite assembly robots were used, you’d need people in orbit to maintain, repair and refuel the robots. The launch costs and maintenance costs for these crews could add another $200 per pound to solar satellite costs over a 30-year period. Several innovative designs have been proposed which unfurl sheets of solar cells like umbrellas after they’re launched, then allow them to automatically connect themselves piece by piece into huge structures in orbit. These designs will reduce - but
The cost of fuel for all other Earth-based power plants fluctuates widely over the 30-40 year life of the plant. It can often exceed construction costs, and the suspected environmental damage from carbonbased fuels is well known. Nuclear fuel causes less direct damage, but has higher environmental risks. Disposal costs of depleted nuclear fuel and the costs of tearing down old nuclear plants are extremely high. An average U.S. home or apartment
certainly not eliminate - the solar satellite manpower needs. Some 20% of communications satellites fail in orbit because of electrical problems, fuel shortages or because their solar panels fail to open as planned, even though this industry has 40 years of experience behind it. The “Space Island Space Hardware” section below will explain how we’ll make it possible for solar satellites to be launched, assembled and operated cheaply enough to profitably sell their power for ten cents per kilowatt-hour.
shape of the satellite looks like a
saddle back roof. The roof is formed by solar panels and the spacetenna is built on the bottom plane to transmit microwaves to the ground. Of an SPS is 20 years and it delivers 5 giga watts to the grid, the Commercial value of that power is 5,000,000,000 / 1000 = 5,000,000 kilowatt hours, which multiplied by $.05 per kWh gives $250,000 revenue per hour. $250,000 × 24 hours × 365 days × 20 years = $43,800,000,000. In order to be competitive, the SPS must surmount some extremely formidable barriers. Either it must cost far less to deploy, or it must operate for a very long period of time. Many proponents have suggested that the lifetime is effectively infinite, but normal maintenance and replacement due to meteorite impacts makes this unlikely. A potentially useful concept to contrast SPS with is the constructing a ground-based solar power system that generates an equivalent amount of power. Such a system would require a large solar array built in a well-sunlit area, the Sahara Desert for instance. However, an SPS also requires a large ground structure -- the rectenna on the ground is much larger than the area of the solar panels in space. The groundonly solar array would have Unit Weight 0.22 Kg/m2
significant disadvantages as well. Night time at a terrestrial solar
The World's First Prototype Solar Power Satellite
+16.7 degrees (north-south) Power distribution constant Power density 574W/m2 Max. power density on ground 0.9mW/cm2 Input power to space antenna 16 MW Transmitting power 10 MW Mechanical Characteristics Shape and Dimension 132m x 132m square Mass 134.4 ton Number of Array module 88 Number of subarray 1936 Number of antenna elements 2,547,776 units Number of pilot receiver 7,744 units Rectenna and Electricity Supply “An antenna comprising a mesh of dipoles and diodes for absorbing microwave energy from a transmitter and converting it into electric power.” Microwaves are received with about 85% efficiency Around 5km across (3.1 miles).The advantages of costing considerably less to construct, and would require no significant technological advances. However, such a system has a number of
Station reduces the average amount of electricity produced by more than 50%, since no power at all is generated during the night and the Sun's angle is low in the sky during much of the day. Some form of energy storage would be required continue providing power through the night, such as pumped storage hydroelectricity. This is both expensive and inefficient. Weather conditions would also interfere greatly with power collection, and could prove to cause much greater wear and tear on the solar collectors than the environment of Earth orbit; Asandstorm could cause devastating damage, for example Beamed microwave power allows one to send the power to where it is needed, while a solar generating station in the Sahara would primarily provide power to the surrounding area where there is not significant demand (Alternately, the power could be used on-site to produce chemical fuels for transportation and storage). Many advances in construction techniques that make the SPS concept more economical could make a groundbased system more economical as well. For instance, many of the SPS plans are based on building the framework with automated machinery supplied with raw materials, typically aluminum. Such a system could just as easily be used on Earth, no shipping required. However, it should be noted that Earthbased construction already has access
to extremely cheap human labor that would not be available in space, so such construction techniques would have to be extremely competitive. Current work NASDA (Japan's national space agency) has been researching in this area steadily for the last few years. In 1990s, Japan research flew a small airplane powered by microwaves beamed up from the ground. Indeed, because the island nation has no energy resources of its own, Japanese officials have announced plans to have their first solar power satellite in operation by the year 2040. WPT, however, also has great potential for non-terrestrial applications, including electrically propelled spaceships for interplanetary (within Solar System) as well as interstellar transport (at sunlight speeds) by providing beamed power for space propulsion systems, such as those using space Sails In 2001 plans were announced to perform additional research and prototyping by launching an experimental satellite of capacity between 10 kilowatts and 1 megawatt of power In Japanese continued to study the idea of SPS throughout the 1980’s –1995 NASA began a Fresh Look Study Set up a research, technology, and investment schedule NASA Fresh Look Report SPS could be competitive with other energy sources and deserves further study Research aimed at an SPS system of 250 MW Would cost around $10 billion and take 20 years National Research Council found the research worthwhile but under funded to achieve its goals
Global energy demand continues to grow along with world wide concerns over fossil fuel pollution, the safety of nuclear power and waste, and the impact of carbon-burning fuels on global warming. As a result, spacebased, solar power generation may become an important source of energy in the 21st Century. Possible power generation of 5 to 10 gigawatts –“If the largest conceivable space power station were built and operated 24 hours a day all year round, it could produce the equivalent output of ten 1 million kilowatt-class nuclear power stations.” If microwave beams carrying power could be beamed uniformly over the earth they could power cell phones. More reliable than ground based solar power. Today, however, the situation is changed because of the very large number of communications satellites in low orbits. It might be possible to make these satellites dual purpose—solarenergy collectors as well as Communications devices. Because of the much lower orbits, the antennas on the satellites and on the ground need not be nearly so large. Thus, the viability of solar-power satellites as a long-term solution to our energy needs is being investigated by government agencies and individual companies in many countries