There’s one area of cutting-edge energy innovation that is particularly far out: space. Of course, tapping into outer space for terrestrial activities is nothing new: Satellites have been monitoring weather patterns and connecting to the internet for decades.
But now scientists are busy developing products and methods beyond our atmosphere that can be integral to a clean energy future. Here are two exciting examples of green, space-based initiatives.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory has recently taken an ambitious step towards generating solar energy from space by launching a photovoltaic device outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. While NASA has been researching photovoltaics in space since the 1970s, this latest launch is a rare project able to yield tangible results:
Another new development that turns to space for eco-friendly purposes is “skycooling,” a field ENGIE has been studying for the past two years. It’s a zero-carbon process used to cool objects and spaces by sending heat from Earth beyond the outer reaches of our atmosphere. Andrew Harbord of ENGIE’s Strategic Innovation and Disruption Department explains: “The principal of what we’re doing is really about cooling things down, hopefully eventually replacing current air conditioning in hospitals and offices, as well as industrial refrigeration.” Here are more details:
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