Japanese engineers plan to turn the moon into a giant solar panel station
Engineering firm plans to install a 6,800 mile 'solar belt' around the moon's equator
Thursday 28 November 2013
It sounds like a tale from a science fiction novel, but a team of Japanese engineers really is hoping to turn the moon into a giant solar panel.
Shimizu, a giant civil engineering and construction firm, plans to install a 'solar belt' around the moon's equator.
To be built almost entirely by remote-controlled robots, the Luna Ring would run around the 6,800 mile lunar equator and be 248 miles in width.
The solar energy collected would converted and beamed back to earth as microwaves and laser, where it would then be converted into electricity and then potentially supplied to the national grid.
Shimizu says the Luna Ring could generate a massive 13,000 terra watts of energy. The Sizewell B nuclear reactor in Suffolk produces 1,198 megawatts (MW).
According to the firm's engineers, the moon's equator is exposed to a steady amount of sun and not subject to some of the weather problems associated with solar energy generation on earth.
“Virtually inexhaustible, non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives,” says Shimizu.
The company plans to have a pilot demonstration by 2020 and for construction to begin by 2035.
This is not the first time solar energy generated in space has been mooted as an answer to the earth's dwindling energy resources. NASA has been investigating space-based solar systems for decades.
And not everyone is convinced - Prof Werner Hofer, director of the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy at the University of Liverpool, said: “Doing this in space is not a good idea because it is fantastically expensive and you probably never recover the energy you have to invest.”
Life & Style blogs
WWE 2K15 gameplay trailer: First look at Sting, Triple H and Daniel Bryan in next-gen graphics
iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
Dale Bolinger guilty: What is sexual cannibalism?
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
First day of Autumn: Google Doodle celebrates 2014 Autumn equinox
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...