February 25, 2019
Solaren Corporation (“Solaren”) President & CEO, Gary T. Spirnak said “The space solar power (SSP) plant that Solaren is developing is highly synergistic with U.S. and international space exploration activities. Solaren’s commercial space solar power system can deliver megawatt-class electrical power to the Moon as early as the mid-2020s.”
Solaren has developed a patented (Patents granted in all major space-faring countries: US, China, Japan, EU, Russia, India, Canada & Brazil) ultra-lightweight power plant design that enables all-weather, 24/7, zero emission space solar electricity, that is cost-competitive with existing terrestrial sources of electricity. As early as the mid-2020’s, Solaren plans to launch a megawatt-class SSP prototype plant into geostationary Earth orbit (GEO). The world’s first space solar power plant, our system will demonstrate the capability to provide safe and efficient power from space. Demonstration of the megawatt SSP plant will pave the way for follow-on Solaren SSP Production plants to deliver hundreds to thousands of megawatts of baseload electricity to terrestrial customers around the world.
One of the biggest limiting resources for space exploration is electrical power. The Moon’s two week day night cycles provide additional challenges for battery storage. Solaren’s commercial megawatt-class Lunar SSP can provide continuous power through these cycles, enabling rapid exploration and construction. Lunar SSP provides the power infrastructure to support lunar bases and outposts operations while enabling commercial activities such as lunar mining and tourism.
Solaren’s SSP prototype plant could be relocated after checkout and operations in GEO to the desired lunar orbit or libration point using internal electric propulsion. A one megawatt capable receive antenna could be delivered to and deployed on the moon as early as 2026 to support near term surface exploration. The Solar Power Satellite in lunar orbit would continuously beam RF power to the lunar receive antenna, directly converting RF power to direct current electricity to be used in support of NASA, international and commercial needs. With Lunar SSP in place, spot beam capability could allow for simultaneous support of multiple bases, outposts, or expeditions. The delivery of additional receive antenna elements would enable rapid growth in lunar infrastructure to meet expanding government and commercial lunar activities.
Baseload Space Solar electricity enables innovative lunar infrastructure options with little need for heavy and inefficient battery storage on the lunar surface. Innovative solutions will be needed to support extended surface exploration while protecting humans from the ionizing radiation from the solar wind and galactic cosmic rays. Potential solutions are to live underground (for example, in lunar lava tubes) or to cover habitable structures with a thick layer of lunar regolith. Significant electrical power is needed to dig into the lunar surface and move large amounts of lunar soil. Alternatively, Lunar SSP could be used to power superconducting magnetic shielding that would protect humans on the lunar surface similar to the way the Earth’s magnetic field protects us here at home. Finally, long term exploration will require
for in-situ resource extraction and processing to create fuel and other consumables. Water ice on the lunar surface can be collected and through electrolysis broken down into its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen for rocket stages, fuel cells, or to provide breathable oxygen to surface residents.
The lunar orbits under consideration keep SSP elements in continuous sunlight even when the surface is in darkness. Power can be easily beamed to any location, including lunar north and south poles, to support NASA, international and commercial activities wherever they may be.
Solaren’s megawatt-class Lunar SSP plant enables a rapid return to the lunar surface with greatly expanded capabilities for exploration, bringing back to Earth new knowledge, new opportunities, and new wealth.
Launching in the mid-2020s and operating as the world’s first space solar power plant, Solaren’s megawatt-class commercial system will demonstrate the capability to provide unprecedented power – power that will support the return of humans to the moon for long-term exploration and pave the way for human missions to Mars and beyond.
Headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, Solaren is an energy and aerospace company that is principally engaged in the research, design, development, integration and operations of Space Solar Power plants, and the sale of clean, baseload, space solar electricity.
Solaren’s patented Space Solar Power plants generate zero-emission electricity from space, energy that is cost competitive with terrestrial sources of baseload electricity.