Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project Could Power the Entire Planet
Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) is being developed and it has been claimed that it could power our entire planet. The project would collect solar power in space, transmitting the energy wirelessly to earth through microwaves, which would enable terrestrial power availability unaffected by the weather conditions.
Solar power is one of the prime sources of energy on earth. But as of now, this energy is not being channelized to its maximum potential. Caltech announced that Donald Bren, Chairman of Irvine Company and a lifetime member of Caltech Board of Trustees, has donated over $100M to space-based solar power project.
Their concept of SSPP is based on the modular assembly of ultralight. Some of the advantages of using this concept are: substantially reducing cost, implementing a lightweight technology by utilizing ultra-thin composite materials and reducing complexity.
The main aim of the project is to be able to enlarge the scale of solar energy usage on daily bases as solar energy is the most abundant renewable source of energy.
Co-director of the project Ali Hajimiri told TechCrunch;
The final system is envisioned to consist of multiple deployable modules in close formation flight and operating in synchronization with one another, each module is several tens of meters on the side and the system can be built up by adding more modules over time.
Although researchers are still working on different ways to collect sufficient and usable energy, this project have tremendous potential and could see a launch sooner than expected.