Navy Research Laboratory unveils ambitious solar energy project

March 24, 2014 0 By Stephen Vagus

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Navy Research Laboratory aims to generate solar power in space

U.S. Navy - Solar EnergyThe U.S. Navy Research Laboratory has revealed a project that aims to harness solar power in space and transmit it back to the earth. This concept is not new, as many projects before this have aimed to accomplish the same goal. Gathering solar power from space is, however, a major challenge in terms of logistics and technology, especially when it comes to delivering this energy to earth. In order to accomplish its goal, the Navy Research Laboratory has unveiled two modules that it has been testing extensively over the past few years.

Modules collect solar power and transmit electricity back to earth

The two modules are designed to capture solar power using an array of reflectors and then beam the electrical power generated by photovoltaic panels back to the planet. The first module is equipped with an array of reflectors that are meant to concentrate sunlight, thereby making its energy potential greater.  The second module is a satellite equipped with solar panels. This satellite would generate electrical power and then transmit this energy to a received based on earth.


Clean Energy Quotes To Remember - “For example, a breakthrough in better batteries could supplant hydrogen. Better solar cells could replace or win out in this race to the fuel of the future. Those, I see, as the three big competitors: hydrogen, solar cells and then better batteries.”

- Bob Inglis, Politician


Organization awaits approval for ambitious project

The Navy Research Laboratory is currently waiting to receive approval for its plan to generate solar power from space. If the organization is granted approval for its ambitious project, both modules developed by the Navy Research Laboratory will be assembled in space by a team of robots. Researchers working on the project expect that it would be able to generate enough energy to power a medium-sized city or a military base.

Funding for the project may be difficult to find

The exact cost of the project or whether or not it will actually be successful in its goals is unclear. Similar projects have sought funding in the past, but few of these projects have managed to find any support. The Navy is currently considered one of the strongest supporters of solar energy in the U.S., and this may go a long way in helping the project from the Navy Research Laboratory find the financial aid it needs.