Call Us

Call us Today
(888) 846-4937

Senator Martin Heinrich visits AFRL and its Advanced Solar Power Initiatives

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 16th June

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) visited the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) project June 3 to learn more about the program designed to collect solar power from space and beam it to the ground for a reliable, alternative source of energy.

As part of his "Electrifying America's Future Resolution," the senator visited AFRL and Sandia National Laboratories to learn more about the important technologies the agencies are developing to advance resilient solar power.

Col. Eric Felt, director of AFRL's Space Vehicles Directorate, explained the project to Heinrich, which was made easier by the senator's scientific background, having worked at AFRL prior to his career in politics.

Space solar power beaming is not a new concept, but until recently was not possible due to immature key technologies. The solar cells being developed currently, for example, exceed 33% efficiency.

"When I was at the labs, we were looking at about 12% efficiency in solar cells, so it's encouraging that we've nearly tripled our capability," Heinrich said.

Both leaders remarked on the high cost of delivering fossil fuel to forward operating locations.

"We intend to provide on-demand power to our warfighters in areas where delivering it can be both expensive and dangerous," said Felt.

Heinrich added, "The cost of diesel fuel can exceed $1,000 per gallon in some locations, when you factor in all of the global transport costs."

In addition to serving military purposes, a space solar-beaming capability could be useful to the public.

"Having a source of energy on-demand would be a game changer for our military, and has important possibilities for civilian application, where underserved communities are concerned," said Heinrich. "The work going on in New Mexico, to advance our country's energy production is both promising and something we can be very proud of."

To watch a SSPIDR video and learn more about the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations Research project, visit here

Related Links
Air Force Research Laboratory
All About Solar Energy at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly paypal only

Molecular coating enhances organic solar cells
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (SPX) Jun 11, 2021
An electrode coating just one molecule thick can significantly enhance the performance of an organic photovoltaic cell, KAUST researchers have found. The coating outperforms the leading material currently used for this task and may pave the way for improvements in other devices that rely on organic molecules, such as light-emitting diodes and photodetectors. Unlike the most common photovoltaic cells that use crystalline silicon to harvest light, organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) rely on a light-ab ... read more