Comments on SolarEn To Sell Satellite Solar Power
This idea has been kicked around by sf authors for several generations. Has the time for SBSP (space-based solar power) finally come? (Read
the complete story)
|"This story has been in news several times in recent memory; take a look at Solar Satellites Beam Back Energy and Solar Power Satellites Urged By Pentagon. These two stories have excellent graphics if no actual hardware in orbit."
(Bill Christensen 4/15/2009 4:30:01 PM)
|"How could this possibly be more efficient than putting solar panels on the ground. Have we COVERED THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH WITH SOLAR PANELS and RUN OUT OF ROOM? No we have not."
(this is insane 4/16/2009 2:47:49 AM)
|"It seems to me that I once did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that showed that we could cover the US annual energy requirements by the simple expedient of covering the state of New Mexico with solar panels. However, there are issues with anything on that scale; rare metals needed for the most efficient solar panels are one. Not to mention putting up that many panels! Also, SBSP could deliver energy to particular locations (especially high latitude locations) more effectively."
(Bill Christensen 4/16/2009 9:02:24 AM)
|"Or we could just build modern nuclear power plants... but I guess proven technology only breeds contempt."
(Squires 4/16/2009 9:07:35 AM)
|"I would have to imagine that the efficiency of solar panels in space would be significantly higher than those based on the ground. And solar energy is SIGNIFICANTLY more abundant ever lasting than nuclear power plants. If they could pull something like this off, it would be huge in terms of limitless CLEAN energy."
(SJ 4/16/2009 3:00:48 PM)
|"Exactly, what he said. Besides, every time I see this item of news I think back to SimCity 2000, where the best power plant you can build is an SBSP one as described above. (Still couldn't find the right picture) But it's not all chocolate and flowers, it comes with a warning: "The effects of a mistargeted beam are as yet unknown.""
(Sabre Runner 4/18/2009 7:06:39 AM)
|"Surely any possible "issues" with "putting up that many panels" on the ground are multiplied a thousandfold if you're trying to put the same amount of mass in geosynchronous orbit."
(still insane 4/19/2009 8:38:53 PM)
|"Hehe, they're talking about this over on io9...
(Chris Johnston 4/20/2009 2:43:25 AM)
|"The neat thing about collecting solar radiation in space is that you don't have to deal with loss caused by the atmosphere, you can keep the solar collector in the sunlight almost all the time, at an optimum angle, less mass would be needed since you don't need to brace it against gravity. Also, reflective collectors could be used to focus sunlight from a greater area to improve efficiency of collectors. BUT - it is true that the current cost of lifting material payload up to low earth orbit (let alone 22,000 miles) is about $4K per pound."
(Bill Christensen 4/20/2009 4:45:16 AM)
|"Chris - heh, nice one. See also the original post from the excellent Bldg Blog (Space-Based Storm Control); here's a quote from SolarEn's 2006 patent for 'Space-based power system and method of altering weather using space-born energy':
'Power system elements are launched into orbit, and the free-floating power system elements are maintained in proper relative alignment, e.g., position, orientation, and shape, using a control system. Energy from the space-based power system is applied to a weather element, such as a hurricane, and alters the weather element to weaken or dissipate the weather element. The weather element can be altered by changing a temperature of a section of a weather element, such as the eye of a hurricane, changing airflows, or changing a path of the weather element.'
Sounds like the weather integrators from Heinlein's 1940's classic Methuselah's Children. Perhaps yet another story is in order..."
(Bill Christensen 4/20/2009 5:39:06 AM)
Get more information on SolarEn To Sell Satellite Solar Power
Leave a comment:
Tediously, spammers have returned; if you have a comment, send it to bill at this site (include the story name) and I'll post it.
Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'
Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'
More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'
First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'
Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'
Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'
Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'
ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'
AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'
Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'
TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'
DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'
Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'
BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?
Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.
Holobox? Who Doesn't Want A Home Hologram?
'...there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'
LG Smart Home AI Agent
'...this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep.'
Transparent MicroLED Screen From Samsung
Has Samsung nailed the Look of Things To Come?
Navajo Say Human Cremains On The Moon Is 'Desecration'
'Like all loonies, we conserve our dead...'