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THE Solar Power & Space Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby vision-master » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 16:29:57

eastbay wrote:Everything humans have ever made breaks down.

More importantly, everything we've made in the past few decades breaks down really fast and as we all know, all space based technology breaks down even faster due to deteriorating orbits, tech glitches, you name it. So this will require very costly periodic maintenance flights. This gismo won't just sit up there untended merrily pouring free energy down to everyone.

Don't forget to add that to the EROEI.


Let the German's figure it out. :razz:
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby eastbay » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 16:33:00

vision-master wrote:
eastbay wrote:Everything humans have ever made breaks down.

More importantly, everything we've made in the past few decades breaks down really fast and as we all know, all space based technology breaks down even faster due to deteriorating orbits, tech glitches, you name it. So this will require very costly periodic maintenance flights. This gismo won't just sit up there untended merrily pouring free energy down to everyone.

Don't forget to add that to the EROEI.


Let the German's figure it out. :razz:



If anyone can, we all know they will. But the best they'll do is make it even more complex requiring even MORE maintenance! 8O
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby Madpaddy » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 17:19:47

The Germans!

From what I heard they even had problems getting showers to work properly.
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 17:31:43

Lifetime of a solar cell in orbit is hardly forever, more like 7 years of useful energy production.
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby Lanthanide » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 17:51:22

I think relying on an array of orbiting solar panels for a large percentage of energy use is much worse than relying on oil. At least with oil there are many sources over the world and any temporarily drop in production (hurricanes, politcal events etc) can be mitigated and worked around immediately. It's a bit harder when the panel develops a fault and it'll take you 45 days to get a space mission set up and launched before anything can be done about it.

Space solar seems like a good idea, and certainly it could be a useful part of the mix, but unless we have a very energy-rich future where missions to space were easy and cheap (or something like the space elevator), the panels just seem to be too risky to be part of baseload generation.
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby mos6507 » Sat 13 Sep 2008, 19:43:49

vision-master wrote:Ever wonder why we never went back, eh? E'nough said.


I thought you didn't even believe we went there!
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Re: Space-Based Solar Power Breakthrough to Be Announced

Unread postby Dezakin » Mon 15 Sep 2008, 13:13:51

Lanthanide wrote:I think relying on an array of orbiting solar panels for a large percentage of energy use is much worse than relying on oil. At least with oil there are many sources over the world and any temporarily drop in production (hurricanes, politcal events etc) can be mitigated and worked around immediately. It's a bit harder when the panel develops a fault and it'll take you 45 days to get a space mission set up and launched before anything can be done about it.

Space solar seems like a good idea, and certainly it could be a useful part of the mix, but unless we have a very energy-rich future where missions to space were easy and cheap (or something like the space elevator), the panels just seem to be too risky to be part of baseload generation.


Spaced based solar power is eventually inevitable but for the next century all but useless. The real reason we'll eventually use space based solar power is simply that the earth is limited by radiative capacity and thats where you have to go once industrial civilization surpasses consumption of 10^16-10^17 watts. We're at 10^13 now so we've got at least a couple of centuries before we'll need it. Today, anything on earth is far easier.
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Space Solar Power at change.gov

Unread postby JohnDenver » Tue 16 Dec 2008, 18:11:01

Interesting (and amazingly civil) discussion of space solar power at the Obama website.
Space Solar Power (SSP) - A Solution for Energy Independence & Climate Change

This is the proposal (pdf).
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Re: Space Solar Power at change.gov

Unread postby heroineworshipper » Tue 16 Dec 2008, 18:47:13

But his proposal for universal eternal life is even more amazing!!!
People first, then things, then dollars.
There will be enslavement, cannibalism, & zombie invasions.
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Howard Bloom on Space Solar

Unread postby Carlhole » Thu 26 Feb 2009, 18:14:51

H+ Magazine

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Lot of interesting reading at this magazine's site. Just click on a story title on the cover picutre and you'll be taken to the pdf-style online pages.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 12 Oct 2013, 19:47:13

Bumpety bump

Seems appropriate with all the space talk going on.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 12 Oct 2013, 21:37:25

Solar power in space is useful for objects in space, or possibly for use in large mirror like structures to provide light on the surface of the night hemisphere. The idea of using it to beam power down to the surface is fraught with too many weapon connotations to ever be deployed without an over bearing one world government.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 12 Oct 2013, 22:47:10

Although I am an enthusiastic promoter of space technology, I am waiting to hear more details before endorsing this idea. Among the problems I see, is the very real possibility of very intense Global Warming that has absolutely nothing to do with CO2, and everything to do with increasingt the amount of solar radiation falling on the planet by whatever the aggregate area of the orbital mirrors would be.

Those of you with an interest in the tech details should read this book, it contains a description of this idea (and several others) first published in the 1970's:

http://www.amazon.com/Step-Farther-Out-Jerry-Pournelle/dp/0441785832

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Note that the Kindle E-Book was last updated in 2011, and the hardcopy versions are all older.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 13 Oct 2013, 05:34:56

KaiserJeep wrote:Although I am an enthusiastic promoter of space technology, I am waiting to hear more details before endorsing this idea. Among the problems I see, is the very real possibility of very intense Global Warming that has absolutely nothing to do with CO2, and everything to do with increasing the amount of solar radiation falling on the planet by whatever the aggregate area of the orbital mirrors would be.


I first read about the idea in The War Against The Chtorr by David Gerrold. In that series the mirrors are a military device used to light up a small area of a few square kilometers/miles bright as noon to allow bad guys to be easily seen during raids. Since that time night vision capabilities have vastly improved, but night vision is still a false color image where reflected daylight would be full spectrum vision.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 13 Oct 2013, 09:54:48

I remember that series. More recently, John Ringo has written of an interstellar war using solar-pumped lasers energized by orbital mirrors in his "Troy Rising" series (Live Free or Die, Citadel, and The Hot Gate). Very enjoyable if you have not read it. It is possible he lifted the idea from Larry Niven who wrote of solar-pumped lasers in the early Kzinti wars.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby lowem » Thu 17 Oct 2013, 03:48:06

Tanada wrote:Solar power in space is useful for objects in space, or possibly for use in large mirror like structures to provide light on the surface of the night hemisphere. The idea of using it to beam power down to the surface is fraught with too many weapon connotations to ever be deployed without an over bearing one world government.


The microwave beam weapon thing is a bit of a misconception. In many / most of the design cases, it does not necessarily have to be a tightly focused beam. In fact on the ground it is a rectangular antenna array spanning many feet / meters across, with the beam intensity low enough that it is supposed to be safe for people / animals (/livestock?) walking about below them.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 17 Oct 2013, 07:22:57

lowem wrote:
Tanada wrote:Solar power in space is useful for objects in space, or possibly for use in large mirror like structures to provide light on the surface of the night hemisphere. The idea of using it to beam power down to the surface is fraught with too many weapon connotations to ever be deployed without an over bearing one world government.


The microwave beam weapon thing is a bit of a misconception. In many / most of the design cases, it does not necessarily have to be a tightly focused beam. In fact on the ground it is a rectangular antenna array spanning many feet / meters across, with the beam intensity low enough that it is supposed to be safe for people / animals (/livestock?) walking about below them.


Sure, and if people were logical rational creatures they would acknowledge that Radiation is not nearly as deadly as the hype surrounding it. Then we could all adopt Fission power plants which have killed fewer people over the last 75 years combined than coal power kills each and every year. Being as people are not logical or rational if you build a receiver for microwaves anywhere on the planet and start beaming power down the claims that you are irradiating large numbers of people/ causing cataracts in eyes/ causing cancer in brains will multiply faster than three shakes of a lambs tail.
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby vision-master » Thu 17 Oct 2013, 08:16:20

Some researchers are now saying Giza was a Power Plant ~ just sayen' ..........
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 17 Oct 2013, 11:47:25

vision-master wrote:Some researchers are now saying Giza was a Power Plant ~ just sayen' ..........

Ridiculous. Everybody knows those pyramids are landing pads for Goa'uld motherships. But then, as long as the gub'mint keeps the Stargate a secret, nobody will believe that story.
:roll:
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Re: Electricity from Space

Unread postby Timo » Thu 17 Oct 2013, 12:38:26

KaiserJeep wrote:
vision-master wrote:Some researchers are now saying Giza was a Power Plant ~ just sayen' ..........

Ridiculous. Everybody knows those pyramids are landing pads for Goa'uld motherships. But then, as long as the gub'mint keeps the Stargate a secret, nobody will believe that story.
:roll:

Those aren't landing pads. They ARE the morherships! Republicans are the Goa'uld.
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