Space and Energy
This page gives a general overview on the research in the ACT that is aimed on space energy systems and the impact/potential on terrestrial energy applications.
Due to the challenging nature of many space mission, the technology requirements for any space systems require state of the art technologies. These technologies could also see many application in terrestrial industries. For example, space-based observations are already used in developing models for the assessment of space weather effects on the terrestrial electricity grid. Furthermore, sophisticated models use real-time information from earth observations to plan and operate large-scale renewable resources like solar or wind farms.
Space and Terrestrial Synergies
Besides research on the development of advanced space power systems, the work at the Advanced Concept Team is also aimed to link with terrestrial energy applications. One of the questions here is how current and future space assets could contribute in the development of a sustainable world energy grid. In fact, observations from space are already being used today in the planning and monitoring of the grid infrastructure [link]. The goal of the ACT is to investigate new roles for space to contribute in a variety of areas:
- Space Power Station (SPS)
- Earth observation and monitoring (weather forecasting, planning, grid inspection)
- Communication networks (GPS, grid synchronisation)
- Distribution network (wireless power transfer)
To investigate possible synergies between the space sector and the terrestrial energy industry, a study was performed as part of the GSP program with ESA experts in collaboration with Abengoa Hidrogeno. In this work the roadmap of several technical domains within ESA were explored on possible overlaps with terrestrial activities. These domains include;
- Space weather effects
- Hydrogen production and storage
- Thermal Control
- Life Support
- Energy Storage