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Thread: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

  1. #1
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    Default Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62982113

    The European Space Agency will this week likely approve a three-year study to see if having huge solar farms in space could work and be cost effective.The eventual aim is to have giant satellites in orbit, each able to generate the same amount of electricity as a power station.

    without freedom of speech, we wouldn't know who the idiots are.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    Ah yes, more, we need more.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    I don't see the sense in this. It has to heat the atmosphere. Add the cost of lifting the array into space just to get an unattenuated view of the Sun vs the savings of a more robust mounting hardware on the ground and it's hard to believe it's cost effective.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    ESA?

    Any hardware will be 20 years in the future.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I don't see the sense in this. It has to heat the atmosphere. Add the cost of lifting the array into space just to get an unattenuated view of the Sun vs the savings of a more robust mounting hardware on the ground and it's hard to believe it's cost effective.
    Common sense can be misleading sometimes - remember the Monty Hall thread?

    1) In some transmission bands, air and clouds and even living beings are virtually 100% transparent. It will heat the atmosphere, yes, but the losses can indeed be comparable to what they'll lose on conversions.
    2) A structure only needs to be robust when it's on the ground. In space, a set of thin tubes with solar panels as thin as a shopping bag is sturdy enough.
    3) There is no land taken, no bad weather, no dust settling that has to be washed away... what's lost at launch, may or may not be offset by higher efficiency.

    Just to be clear, I'm playing the devil's advocate here. This looks a hundred times more legitimate than the concrete towers as energy storage, but I'm still very sceptical.
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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I don't see the sense in this.
    imagine being able to beam 10,000 megawatts directly into a certain bedroom window in mar o lago
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    Quote Originally Posted by WszystekPoTrochu View Post
    2) A structure only needs to be robust when it's on the ground. In space, a set of thin tubes with solar panels as thin as a shopping bag is sturdy enough.
    You misunderstood what I said.

    Try to consider this - building sides, windows, walkways and roads made from photovoltaic material serving 2 purposes and avoiding the cost of lifting it into space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    imagine being able to beam 10,000 megawatts directly into a certain bedroom window in mar o lago
    You are a bad influence, Paul, but I like it.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    There is also the danger from micrometeorite hits and possibly space junk as well.
    Still I do like the idea.
    without freedom of speech, we wouldn't know who the idiots are.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    One other thing - it costs roughly $10,000 to put 1 pound of anything into orbit. That doesn't include assembly of the array or the cost of facilities to receive the energy beam.

    One pound of photoarray doesn't generate that much energy compared with $10k of photoarray spread across the roof our our homes.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    I am reluctant to deploy Ralph Esperanza again…..but……..

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    I have been stand alone solar for over 40 years.
    without freedom of speech, we wouldn't know who the idiots are.

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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    One other thing - it costs roughly $10,000 to put 1 pound of anything into orbit. That doesn't include assembly of the array or the cost of facilities to receive the energy beam.

    One pound of photoarray doesn't generate that much energy compared with $10k of photoarray spread across the roof our our homes.
    That is an excellent point, even though SpaceX charges 1/8th of that price.

    I'm thinking "why ESA"

    Untitled.jpg

    Of course, a solar array plus pump water storage power plant still feels a cheaper solution - and way, way less prone to, say, a missile from russia or china.
    I'm curious to see what the three year study brings. If we'll ever even hear about them again.
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    Default Re: Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space

    #4: +1

    A sexy sci-fi idea that doesn't make much practical sense.

    Now a Dyson Sphere, that's something else. ;-)
    Gerard>
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