Solar wind energy is more than just hot air


7 Oct 2010

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Winds that are harnessed from the sun could provide energy for planet Earth someday.

Scientists at Washington State University (WSU) have combined the benefits of wind energy and solar power and came up with a solar sail that can harvest solar winds, according to msnbc.com.

8,400-kilometre-wide solar sail

Their creation – an 8,400-kilometre-wide solar sail – will harvest the power that exists in solar winds, and the WSU team hopes its concept could generate 1 billion gigawatts of power.

This amount of power would far exceed the needs of the earth but the only problem facing the WSU team is devising a method to get that power back to Earth.

Some theories for transferring the energy it produces include sending it to "collectors" on space stations, satellites, moon bases or the Earth via powerful infrared laser beams, though they are only theoretical solutions thus far.