Act On Solar Power Solar cells can put power stations in space
4th November 2010
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solar-space-stationThe dwindling supplies of fossil fuels that the earth is facing with modernization and increased use of electricity has lead to researchers and scientists looking for alternative sources renewable energy.

These alternative sources of energy have to be competent enough to provide the required energy not only for consumer products but also for use in vehicles and for powering homes and commercial establishments.
One of these sources of energy is solar energy which is found aplenty around us.

Though solar energy is already being harnessed today to provide electricity to homes and establishments, research is being carried on to build and use large scale solar power stations in space.

These power stations will be able to able to beam electricity to not only earth, but also to the moon and other planets. With this, there will be no need of people from earth depending on the dwindling supply of fossil fuels for their energy needs.

Scientists are working at developing these next generation solar cells that work wit th help of advanced technology that has the capacity of placing a solar power system in earth’s orbit. In fact, these researchers fromRochester Institute of Technology have just been awarded a three year, GBP200,000 grant to develop nanomaterials that will be used in these solar power stations for efficient utilization of solar energy.

These nanomaterials are basically materials which are no bigger than a billionth of a meter in size and are to be used in this space solar power program. Though this idea of space solar power has been around since the 1970s, nothing much has been used to implement it.

However scientists and other visionaries have always remained intrigued by the idea of creating space solar power systems. They had ideas of a football field sized ‘blankets’ made of solar cells that has the capacity to generate tremendous amounts of power for use on planet earth.

With this idea, these scientists are working at creating a new and improved solar cell that is competent enough to produce electricity for the whole earth. These solar cells are thin, light and efficient in producing electricity.

The solar cell used here are thin film devices that sandwich tiny granules of semi-conductor material known as Quantom dots and carbon nanotubes. Moreover, to put such large sized arrays in space, these products will have to be both lightweight and flexible. In addition to this, these solar cells have to have the capacity of withstanding the rigors of space.

Though today’s technology is not sufficient to make this happen, there are many theoretical possibilities that are offered by nanomaterials that makes it possible for this idea and vision to become a reality soon.

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