An unprecedented study, conducted by scientists from the Universities of Surrey and Swansea in the United Kingdom, indicates that gardens Solar energy in space It is a viable option for generating Renewable energy in Earth. This discovery paves the way for the potential commercial application of this technology, which is seen as a promising alternative in the fight against these diseases Climate crisis.
According to the Next webThe researchers monitored the performance of solar panels installed on a satellite over a period of six years and 30,000 cycles. As a result, the experiment showed that it is indeed possible to produce lightweight, low-cost solar panels that can generate power in space.
“We are thrilled that a mission designed to last a year is still going after six years,” said Craig Underwood, emeritus professor of spacecraft engineering at the University of Surrey Space Center in England. “This detailed data shows that the panels resisted radiation, and that their thin structure did not deteriorate even under the harsh thermal and vacuum conditions of space.”
For the study, the researchers developed a new type of solar cell technology using cadmium telluride, a crystalline chemical compound. For experts, compared to current alternatives, these panels are lighter and able to cover larger areas, in addition to being more powerful and relatively cheaper to produce.
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The University of Surrey has also developed instruments that measure the panel’s performance in orbit. The satellite itself was designed and built at the Surrey Space Center in collaboration with trainee engineers from the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL).
The data collected did not show any type of material failure or deterioration, but the efficiency of energy production decreased over time. According to the researchers, these results demonstrate the “fundamental solidity” of using technology in space.
The idea of harnessing solar energy from space and returning it to Earth has gained traction in recent years as a response to the climate crisis. Sunlight is, on average, ten times more intense at the top of the atmosphere than on Earth, and harnessing this energy from space would be more efficient than intermittent solar solutions that depend on the planet’s weather.
Although there are still technological challenges to overcome, many countries are moving forward with projects to achieve so-called space-based solar power (SBSP), with the European Space Agency (ESA) also working on its own project, Solaris.
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