Delivering a revolutionary vision to enable Net Zero and global energy security with Space-Based Solar Power.
Company - Space Solar
Product/Service - CASSIOPeiA
- Space Utilities
- Space Solar Power
- Wireless Power Transfer
- First launch
- Not announced
Space-Based Solar Power is the concept of harvesting solar energy in space and beaming it to earth continuously, safely and securely.
The system comprises a kilometre scale satellite in a high earth orbit. It features lightweight solar panels and a system of mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto the panels. The electricity generated is converted into high frequency radio waves, and the power is beamed to a receiving antenna at a fixed point on the ground below.
- Solar Reflectors – The orientation of the satellites is sun pointing to constantly reflect sunlight onto the solar panel array below.
- Solar Panels and Transmitters – 60,000 layers of power modules collect the sunlight from the reflectors and convert this to high-frequency radio waves.
- Power Transmission – A coherent, collimated beam of radio waves is transmitted to a rectifying antenna on the ground.
The system collects the solar energy and transmits it down to earth. A 2GW satellite weighs 2,000 tonnes, is 1.7km in diameter and its unique architecture allows it to operate in a range of orbits, including Geosynchronous, at 36,000 km, or Highly Elliptical Orbits. This gives good operational utility for a range of energy markets and regions on earth.
The ‘rectenna’ is a large but sparse net-like structure holding the small dipoles which convert the microwave energy into electricity.
It is typically several kilometres in diameter, though the area is just 8% of a wind farm delivering equivalent energy output, and could be sited offshore adjacent to wind farms.
CASSIOPeiA – the market leading Solar Power Satellite design
Of the Solar Power Satellite concepts which can deliver 24/7 baseload power, the most capable is CASSIOPeiA. Conceived by the UK company IECL it has patented design features which offer strong economic and operational benefits, with a best-in-class specific power predicted to be 1 kW/kg.
This results in a low Levelised Cost of Electricity competitive with intermittent terrestrial renewables.