As we look to a greener and more sustainable society, many governments and organizations are considering renewable energy sources. Solar power is both clean and inexhaustible that’s readily available, with its practical applications becoming increasingly compelling. It’s a pollution-free energy source that serves to reduce our collective reliance on electricity, oils and fossil fuels.
The space solar power system utilizes solar energy by combining technologies to efficiently convert sunlight into lasers or microwaves in satellite orbits 36,000 km above the ground. These satellites then wirelessly transmit beams to the ground without being affected by atmospheric fluctuations and efficiently convert high-intensity rays into electric power.
A satellite in geostationary orbit can receive energy from the sun almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, because the satellite is not affected by the absorption or scattering of energy by the earth’s atmosphere. It can effectively receive about ten times more energy per unit area than on the ground.
Since the wavelength of lasers is about 3 to 4 orders of magnitude shorter than microwaves, we are exploring how to use lasers to transmit over long distances efficiently without being affected by diffraction.
Leveraging our emerging photonics and photoelectric conversion technologies, we are closer to achieving high-efficiency, ultra-long-distance wireless power transmission in the very near future.
In addition to energy transmission from space, we can use space solar technology as a power distribution system for mobile devices such as drones and automobiles, a power distribution system using microgrids and power supply for remote islands and evacuation centers in the event of a disaster.
The space solar power generation project forms part of the NTT zero environmental impact research program, which aims to take on work that contributes to the regeneration of the global environment and transformation of our future.
This research and development area seeks to develop technologies that will enable innovation in smart energy.
Our object is to reduce the impact of society on the global environment and bring about positive change. Working alongside the other partnerships, we aim to put this technology into practical use after 2030.