GLASGOW, Scotland, May 16 (UPI) -- Solar power gathered in space and sent back to Earth through microwaves or lasers could provide the renewable energy of the future, Scottish engineers say.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have already tested equipment in space that would provide a platform for solar panels to collect energy and allow it to be transferred back to Earth, the university reported Wednesday.
"Space provides a fantastic source for collecting solar power and we have the advantage of being able to gather it regardless of the time of the day or indeed the weather conditions," Massimiliano Vasile, of the university's department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, said.
In April, an innovative "space web" experiment developed by Strathclyde researchers was carried on a rocket from the Arctic Circle to the edge of space.
The experiment, known as Suaineadh or "twisting" in Scots Gaelic, was a step forward in space construction design and demonstrated that larger structures could be built on top of a light-weight spinning "web," paving the way for the next stage in the solar power project, researchers said.
"The success of Suaineadh allows us to move forward with the next stage of our project which involves looking at the reflectors needed to collect the solar power," Vasile said.
Solar power from space could allow valuable energy to be sent to remote areas in the world, providing power to disaster areas or outlying areas that are difficult to reach by traditional means, the researchers said.
|Additional Technology Stories|
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., May 19 (UPI) --A Hempstead, N.Y., police officer shot and killed a 21-year-old Hofstra University student while aiming for the man holding her hostage, officials said.
MALMO, Sweden, May 18 (UPI) --Oddsmakers pegged Emmelie de Forest as the favorite to win the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Sweden Saturday.
DETROIT, May 18 (UPI) --An invasive insect from Asia first spotted in Michigan two years ago could pose a major threat this year to fruit growers, officials say.