American scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (US NRL), led by Paul Yaffe, have successfully tested a prototype solar panel that is theoretically capable of relaying “solar” electricity from space to anywhere on Earth.
The panel – a photovoltaic module (PRAM) the size of a pizza box – was launched into space by the top-secret military space drone X-37B.
Due to the absence of the Earth’s atmosphere, which blocks sunlight, the panel can “absorb” more energy in space than on Earth. So far, we are talking about only 10 W, which is quite enough for the tablet to work.
However, the most difficult thing – the transfer of energy to Earth – is still ahead. Such technologies are still in their infancy, but they are the future. The energy delivered from space would be indispensable in areas affected, for example, by large-scale natural disasters.
An article published in the IEEE Journal of Microwaves reports on the success of a group of Paul Jaffe and his colleagues in finding that high-power microwave and millimeter-wave transmission is possible in principle. However, for such a project to be profitable, panels like PRAM must be combined into giant arrays of tens of square meters. kilometers.