Star Wars has been thrilling the movie world since 1977. The Death Star in particular has attracted many fans of the dark side of the Force. The massive spaceship can destroy entire planets with a single laser beam and frightens the empire's enemies. However, even the Death Star has room for improvement: Besides a fatal weakness, there are also problems with the energy supply. After the destruction of a planet, the Death Star's reactor takes a whole day to recharge enough energy for a new shot. But what would it look like in times of sustainable energies? E.ON has done some research and this much can be said: Instead of going to the dark side of power, the spacecraft should go to the sunny side.
Space stations like the ISS produce their electricity self-sufficiently with photovoltaic systems. The Death Star would also have more than enough space available for solar modules: In the first part of the space saga, the flying battle station has a diameter of around 160 km. If the empire were to use the side facing the next sun, the station would cover an area of around 40,000 km². Space for maintenance and ventilation shafts as well as defensive installations have already been taken into account.
According to calculations by E.ON, E.ON solar modules with an assembly area of around 1.75 m² each and an electrical output of 171.4 MWp per km² could generate a total output of around 6.8 TW on this area. If the modules were exposed to the sun around the clock, 2.472 billion households – with an annual consumption of 2,500 kWh – could be supplied with the generated energy.
But that's not all. The second death star from the third part of the space saga has a diameter of 900 km. Under the same conditions as for the predecessor station, the battleship could thus generate a gigantic 218,000 TW of electricity - and would thus cover approximately 10 times the Earth's energy requirements.
Darth Vader and the Emperor don't have to worry about the optics either: In order not to impair the image of the dark side of power, the solar experts recommend »all-black« modules.