The Sun consists of over 99% of the total mass existing in the Solar System. This fact is enough to realize how much tremendous energy humanity could exploit from our star. If only we would find out how to do it, but there is plenty of hope!
Chinese researchers have a new idea for a technology that could be able in the future to bring solar power to our planet. It has just been successfully tested, as Bloomberg reveals. But hey, hold your horses for a sec! The technology is still somewhat in its incipient phase and certainly cannot be used right now to exploit solar energy. We’ll explain why.
Sending energy only 55 meters through the air
Xidian University in the Shaanxi province of China came up with the new power station that’s capable of capturing sunlight in the air and transforming it into microwave beams. A receiver station on the ground further captures it, and in the end, the former sunlight becomes electricity. The major problem is that the model can only send the energy 55 meters through the air, while the distance to the Sun is a lot larger: 150 million kilometers. But there’s no use thinking, “oh, well, it’s all Greek to me,” as the scientists in charge are confident that the scheme could be expanded one day to capture a lot more sunlight.
Not having to rely on Earth systems anymore for producing electricity would indeed be huge progress! You have to keep the lights up on many evenings, as well as on days when storms can hit – heavy thunder comes, it’s raining cats and dogs, etc. You have to keep your lights on as well because dark clouds are making it look like night. Those are other examples of when electricity can become expensive as long as it’s generated on Earth in the traditional ways, such as through nuclear energy, coal, and natural gas.