Gallery: Powerscape Solar Canopy Provides Power and Shelter in the Dese...

 

The world’s deserts receive a tremendous amount of solar exposure – in fact, it’s estimated that if just 0.3% of the Saharan Desert was used for a concentrating solar plant, it would produce enough energy to power all of Europe. Architect and technologist Otto Ng has designed a large solar canopy called the Powerscape that is capable of generating energy while serving as a functioning habitat. While the canopy has the potential to be a cheap and practical system for harnessing solar energy, the concept of placing a giant canopy over desert areas does raise a few questions.

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  1. Hyncharas September 10, 2012 at 8:13 am

    It seems like an interesting proposition, though it would depend on a number of factors – first and foremost, just how much energy the solar canopy is verified to collect. Another factor might be a matter of moisture collection due to the temperature differential created.

    I don’t think it would be feasible to cover such a large area with current technology and economic impacts; however, if 100km-sq areas were established in the desert using the canopy as agricolonies, and melting polar regions were partly harvested to help irrigate them, it might help improve food security and provide sustainable living in those locations.

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