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Japanese Scientists: Solar Panels on the Moon to Supply all of Earth’s Energy

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  • Panels would be maintained by remotely-controlled robots

It sounds like something out of science fiction – a huge swathe of the moon covered with solar panels to beam captured energy back to Earth.

But plans to turn the moon into a gigantic mirrorball manned by robots to provide all the Earth’s energy came a step closer to reality today when they were unveiled by Japanese scientists.

The ambitious project would result in 13,000 terawatts of continuous solar energy being transmitted back to receiving stations on Earth, either by laser or microwave.

Supplying the Earth with power: The ambitious plans would result in robot vehicles being used to construct the huge strip of panels to capture solar energy

Supplying the Earth with power: The ambitious plans would result in robot vehicles being used to construct the huge strip of panels to capture solar energy

Return: Astronauts would be required to get the work under way. Pictured is American Harrison Hagan Schmitt on the moon in 1972

Return: Astronauts would be required to get the work under way. Pictured is American Harrison Hagan Schmitt on the moon in 1972

The plans were unveiled by Japanese construction giant Shimizu Corporation’s research division, and would result in a 6,800 mile-long band stretching around the light side of the moon’s equator.

It would measure up to 248 miles in width and feature 12 mile-wide antennae to transmit the power.

The quest for finding alternate energy sources has been hastened in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power station crisis sparked by the tsunami in March.

No intended timeline for the project – which would result in the biggest public infrastructure installation ever constructed – has been announced.

The future of energy production? The strip of panels, up to 248 miles wide, will stretch 6,800 miles across the equator of the moon if the plan goes ahead

The future of energy production ? The strip of panels, up to 248 miles wide, will stretch 6,800 miles across the equator of the moon if the plan goes ahead.

JAPANESE PLAN SWITCH TO SOLAR

Politicians in Japan are considering a plan to install solar panels on every public building in the country.

Solar panelsThey are set to announce the move at the upcoming G8 summit in France, where green energy generation will be high on the agenda.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to tell his counterparts Japan intends to continue using its nuclear power stations, despite the Fukushima crisis.

But he will also reveal plans to step-up renewable energy use in the technologically-advanced nation.

But Shimizu Corporation said on its website: ‘A shift from economical use of limited resources to the unlimited use of clean energy is the ultimate dream of all mankind.

‘The Luna Ring, our lunar solar power generation concept, translates this dream into reality through ingenious ideas coupled with advanced space technologies.

‘Virtually inexhaustible, non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives.

‘Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring for the infinite coexistence of mankind and the Earth.’

The firm claims the project would eliminate inefficiency due to bad weather and fulfil all of the world’s energy needs.

The plans call for astronauts to return to the moon and begin work with the help of robots that will be required to level the highly-cratered surface.It claims the soil on the moon can be used to make water, concrete, oxygen and ceramics necessary for the project. Construction of a railway system to convey materials for maintenance would also be a feature of the project.

Via DailyMail

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One Response

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  1. Interesting idea, the only problem I see is how efficent is the conversion of electric power into laser light or microwaves.

    Also how much oil / gas is needed to build a spacerocket ? Has someone estimated how much investment of oil is needed to build the system and how much energy will the system make during its lifetime. Would the earthlings be better advised to just burn the oil and make electricity with it in the old fashioned way ?

    It might be possible that most of the energy will be lost in the conversion processes. What about using CuInSe2 based solar cells on earth as they are cheaper than Si cells.

    Mark Foreman

    June 3, 2011 at 6:25 am


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