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Solar energy from space

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by W.Petefish, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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  2. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    The problem is the cost to get material to low Earth orbit. Even with SpaceX's proposed Falcon Heavy it's about $1000/lb. The serious studies I've seen say the cost has to come down to much less than $100/lb to make orbiting solar collectors even close to competitive. There are a bunch of other technical issues like micro-meteor and space junk erosion of the panels as well.
    The bottom line seems to be that for this to be feasible we need much, much lower costs for mass to orbit.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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  4. wstuff

    wstuff Junior Member

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    This is a very interesting subject, although to me more than a bit scary, the ultimate decisions on these projects lie with the funding. The funding will come from the USA no doubt and that leaves Money hungry Congressmen and Senators making this decision. Usually less for thought is used and immediate gratification wins over. I would be concerned with a low orbit sun shade ( or a 100 of them) affecting the weather patterns we now have. I think it is pretty clear that weather patterns in the last 10 years have changed dramatically and I'm not sure accurate history of weather goes back far enough to predict that our current status is an historical repeat. I guess I'm on the page of lets develope what we have on the planet to make an impact before we try and go to space to solve our energy problems and of course big money and again big control of a resource. I don't want to be CHICKEN LITTLE here BUT is the sky falling!
     
  5. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    This keeps coming up every 8 months or so like it's some great novel idea. Really it's not. No where near worth the extra cost and complications.
    There are plenty of roofs that could use solar panels first.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I remember it from SimCity 2000. It came out in 1994!

    th.jpg

    Microwave - SimCity Wiki - The best wiki for all of your SimCity needs!
     
  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    It's been around a lot longer than that. The 1940s even.

    I remember this image in a book when I was a kid:

    755px-NASA_solar_power_satellite_concept_1976.jpg



    And deserts. Put a whole load of solar collectors in the deserts at roughly 120 degree intervals and run a ring of high voltage cables around the earth.
     
  9. wstuff

    wstuff Junior Member

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    I wish all you people were in Congress, you think first and act later, unlike Congress which is the polar opposite.
     
  10. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I'd vote to do the space elevator first.
     
  12. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Had this served up as a Google Ad earlier: Space Energy

    Note I'm not advocating investing...
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  14. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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