In light of increased pressure for a viable renewable Energy source, plans of building huge solar energy parks in less populated areas to power far-away cities are to become a reality.

 While transporting solar Energy over 4000 km to Europe, energy losses are becoming a problem.  Currently, our grid operate

Arrays of photovoltaic solar panels are seen at the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South taken over El Centro, California, U.S., May 29, 2020. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Bing Guan

s on high AC voltage, high because that reduces line losses,  as governed by the Joule effect: Powerlost= I2R,   and AC because that better accommodates switches from high to low voltages. For transport, voltages are ramped up to 700000 Volts, but in a general plug, we connect at 120/240 V.


Energy isn’t in infinite supply, and reducing losses from the 5% that is common at the moment, is crucial.

One way of doing that is to use superconductors with low cooling requirements (usually needing substantial Energy in and of themselves), they have higher Energy densities and don’t need ramped-up voltages and transformers. An option even is to directly perform electrolysis to produce hydrogen, which is relatively easy to transport and becoming increasingly popular for its “Energy sponge” properties. O combat losses to heat,(ironic…, in a desert) another idea is to use mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a central tower in what is called solar focussing, generating heat that can be used to generate electricity that is stored in molten sand for example. 

A benefit of this is that the Power-plant on site can continue to generate Electricity even after sunlight is gone. 

Another idea is to use DC at high voltage for transmission over a large distance, it is costlier but there are less losses.

Yet another option is to massively develop Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) , that will raise efficiency by modifying the Power input,  this permits AC lines to accept a higher power load, boosts their dependability of transmission and help prevent power oscillations. 

On the more innovative side of reimagining Energy transport are solar power satellites, space solar farms would obviously need to transmit energy wirelessly, and though it might seem daunting to beam the equivalent of what a nuclear power plant produces through the atmosphere, reports say the radiation is merely around a few percentages of what one would experience from a microwave. And did anyone say anything about lasers? It seems, like many new inventions: dangerous…, yet cool.


These have been tales of just another day of trying to optimize energy usage, loss minimization is indeed a very important part of power grid improvements. No matter how we produce Energy it will always have to be transported, it will be subject to resistance in the material,  losses to heat, leakages, and losses whenever it is converted. 

System inefficiencies truly are nerve-wracking but it’s interesting to find out to what extent we can optimize, and where we actually have to transform completely, and wherever that is, it’s now exciting in Energy science because it is possible to explore several aspects of the required technology for the simple fac that they’ll act as a guide to future developments.

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