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China to Build a Gigawatt Power Station in Space

中国将在太空中建造10亿瓦特的发电站

Dr Jody Muelaner posted on June 28, 2019 |
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Space-based solar power technically has the potential to provide near limitless renewable energy and to direct it almost instantly to where it is needed at any given time. The space-based solar concept involves power being generated by an orbiting solar power station. This could use either photovoltaic panels or a concentrated solar plant that focuses the sun onto a boiler to drive a steam turbine. The power would then be beamed to receiving stations on earth using microwaves or laser beams. The receiving stations would be connected to local power distribution grids. A network of satellites could beam energy anywhere on Earth, directing power where it is needed.

从技术角度讲,空间太阳能具有提供近乎无限可再生能源的潜力,并可随时将能源传送至所需要的地方去。空间太阳能概念是指将太阳能电站发送至空间轨道上。通过光伏电池板将光能转换为电能并集中暂存到储能器当中,然后以微波或激光的形式将能量传送至地球接收站上。通过接收站将电能连接至当地电网中。一个空间太阳能电站可以将能量传送到地球上的任何地方,将能量输送到任何所需的地方。

The problem is that the cost of building space-based solar power stations has been estimated to be 1,000s of times more than the cost of current earth-based renewable power installations. The main reason for the high cost is that a commercial power station weights 1,000s of tons. It either has to be launched into orbit or the materials have to be mined in space, with the materials processing and all manufacturing carried out in orbit. Until recently, this has all looked ridiculously expensive compared to just building a solar array on the land. However, with companies like SpaceX rapidly bringing down launch costs and developments in lightweight photovoltaics, space-based solar is starting to look more feasible.

但问题是,建造空间太阳能发电站的成本是目前在地球上建造可再生能源电厂的1000多倍。成本高的主要原因是,一个商业发电站的重量为1000吨。它要么必须发射到轨道上,要么必须在太空中建造,比如在太空中开采材料,材料加工制造等。直到最近,与刚刚可以在陆地上建造太阳能电池板相比,这一切看起来都贵得离谱。然而,随着SpaceX等公司运载火箭发射成本的迅速降低,以及轻光伏发电的发展,空间太阳能电站的建设正变得可行。



The first technical paper describing how we might achieve space-based solar power was published by Peter Glaser in 1968. Feasibility studies were then carried out by NASA in the 1970s, with a number of technical s setting out what could be achieved. Both photovoltaics and concentrated solar plants were considered, as well as microwave or laser power transmission. The most ambitious proposals involved capturing an asteroid near Earth into Earth’s orbit and mining it to create a massive solar power station. One such asteroid could provide many times more electrical power than all the power stations on Earth.

1968年,彼得·格拉泽发表了第一篇描述我们如何实现空间太阳能的技术论文。1970年,美国国家航空航天局对此进行了可行性研究,并发布了技术报告,
对可实现的目标进行了论述。该报告研究了光电聚能太阳能发电厂,以及微波或激光传输系统。最具雄心的设想是,将一颗接近地球的小行星俘获至地球轨道,并利用它上面的资源建造一个大型太阳能发电站。一个这样的小行星可以提供比地球上所有发电站之和大很多倍的电力。



NASA illustration from 1977 showing asteroid mining on an Earth-approaching asteroid. (Image courtesy of NASA.)

1977年美国宇航局的示意图,描绘了在被俘获小行星上进行采矿的场景。(NASA供图)

Current Major Players
Japan passed its Basic Space Law in 2008, which makes achieving space-based solar power a national goal. Initially, small demonstration satellites will be launched and then a commercial 1-gigawatt station by 2030. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is developing a number of solar-collecting satellite designs, all intended to be placed in geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 36,000km. A satellite with a fixed photovoltaic panel would not always be pointing at the sun. JAXA is therefore investigating a concept with multiple mirror satellites focusing sunlight from different directions onto a central photovoltaic satellite. It intends to use a pilot signal from the Earth station to allow the satellite to aim as the receiving station. In 2015, JAXA made an initial demonstration of its microwave transmission technology, sending 1.8 kilowatts over a distance of 55m.

当前主要参与者
2008年日本通过了《空间基本法》,以实现空间太阳能发电作为国家目标。起初他们将一个小型实验装置发射至太空,最后将在2030年将建成一个10亿瓦的商业电站。日本宇宙航空研究开发机构(JAXA)正在开发一系列太阳能收集卫星的设计,所有这些卫星都将被放置在离地面高36000公里的地球同步轨道上。为此,JAXA正在研究一个概念,即利用多个镜面卫星将来自四面八方的光折射汇集到一个中央光电转换卫星上。通过地面控制将该卫星指向目标接收站。2015年,JAXA首次展示该微波传输技术,并在55米的距离内传送了1.8千瓦的微波能。

A number of different groups are working on space-based solar in the U.S. The U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL) is researching modular solar and transmitter units for space deployment but have no plans for a full-scale demonstration. Caltech is also developing an ultralight module able to collect solar power and wirelessly transmit it. This is currently less than 1kg/m2 and incorporates beam steering. Solaren is a California-based startup that plans to launch a 200 megawatt space based power station in the mid-2020s.

在美国,众多不同组织正在从事空间太阳能研究。美国海军研究实验室(NRL)正在研究可通过发射并可在太空中部署的太阳能单元模块,但没有全面演示的计划。加州理工学院也在开发一种超轻,能够收集太阳能并进行无线传输的模块。目前这种包括波束转向的模块,重量已降至小于每平方一公斤。Solaren是一家位于加州的初创公司,计划在2020年代中期建造一座200兆瓦的太空发电站。

China’s Roadmap to Commercial Space Based Solar

中国商用空间太阳能发展蓝图



Finally, a gigawatt commercial space based solar power station would be launched by 2050, supplying power to earth and beaming it to spacecraft for deep-space exploration.

——以下为后续新闻——

China to build space-based solar power station by 2035
by Staff WritersXiamen, China (XNA) Dec 03, 2019

stock illustration only
China plans to accomplish a 200-tonne megawatt-level space-based solar power station by 2035, according to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).
The space-based solar power station would capture the sun''''s energy that never makes it to the planet, said Wang Li, a CAST research fellow with the program, when attending the sixth China-Russia Engineering Forum held last week in Xiamen, southeast China''''s Fujian Province.
The energy is converted to microwaves or lasers and then beamed wirelessly back to the Earth''''s surface for human consumption, Wang said.

根据中国空间技术研究院(CAST)的数据,中国计划到2035年建成一个200吨兆瓦级的空间太阳能发电站。
上周在中国东南部福建省厦门市举行的第六届中俄工程论坛上,中国科协项目研究员王力(音译)表示,天基太阳能电站将捕获那些永远不会到达地球的太阳能。
能量被转换成微波或激光,然后通过无线电波传回地球表面供人们使用,王说。

"We hope to strengthen international cooperation and make scientific and technological breakthroughs so that humankind can achieve the dream of limitless clean energy at an early date," Wang said.

王说:“我们希望通过加强国际合作,实现科技突破,让人类早日使用到永不枯竭的清洁能源。”

Compared with traditional fossil energy, which has been increasingly exhausted and is responsible for severe environmental issues, space-based solar power is more efficient and sustainable, providing a reliable power supply solution for satellites and disaster-hit areas or isolated areas on the Earth, Wang said.

王说,与日渐枯竭并导致出现严重环境问题的传统化石能源相比,天基太阳能更高效和可持续,为其他卫星、地球上的灾区,或偏远地区提供了可靠的电力供应解决方案。



Researches in this field will spur the country''''s space science and innovation in emerging industries like commercial space transportations, Wang said.

王说,这一领域的研究将促进国家的空间科学和新兴产业的创新,如商业太空运输。

"The power would then be beamed to receiving stations on earth using microwaves or laser beams."
One micro meteor impact and the beam shifts...

然后,能量将通过微波或激光束发送到地球上的接收站。”
不过一旦受到一颗很小的流星撞击,光束传输方向就会发生改变……