New Sources of Power—Solar Energy

by Peter E. Glaser, Vice-Pres. and Head of Engrg. Sciences; Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 461-470

Document Type: Journal Paper


In the very near term, solar energy can provide hot water and space heating, and in the intermediate term, space cooling for both commercial and residential buildings. In the longer term, terrestrial solar power systems based on focused solar energy, wind energy, or ocean thermal gradients are possible regional sources of auxiliary power. Photovoltaic conversion of solar energy to electricity with solar cells could provide supplemental power if the costs of solar cells are reduced. By the year 2000, a satellite solar power station could be a technically and economically viable continuous source of primary electric power whenever needed throughout the world. It will use solar cells to collect the solar radiation, which would then be converted to microwave energy. The microwaves will be beamed to a receiving antenna on earth and be reconverted to electricity. Such solar systems can help meet future energy demands without significant detriment to man's environment.

Subject Headings: Solar power | Electric power | Thermal power | Wind power | Power plants | HVAC | Energy conversion | Microwaves

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