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Space Based Solar Power


storste1w
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I am a high school student and am creating a website of a class. The topic is space based solar power. I have read alot about it in the past few days, but all i can find is old data. Do any of you guys know of recent studies done on sbsp that make is more effiencent or more cheap.

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Welcome to hypography, jinder! :) I hope you’ll find it a fun place to learn and contribute long after you’ve finished researching this topic.

 

To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been much important progress in space based solar power – AKA solar power satellites – since early studies of the idea in the 1970s and ‘80s. Though new studies appear every few years, the basic technology and the main difficulties (or perhaps better, main difficulty) they identify don’t seem much different to me.

 

The main difficulty with solar power satellites is, or course, the very high cost of putting mass into orbit. Early proponents of SBSP hoped that this cost would, due to any or several of various hoped for technologies, decrease dramatically, but as these technologies failed to be realized, these hopes faded. At the same time, as the years have progressed, problems with ground-based solar – primarily that of storing energy during the day to allow power during the night – that once made SBSP attractive vs. GBSP.

 

I think the likelihood of SBSP ever being an actuality is now very low – it simply offers little that GBSP cannot much more cheaply.

 

My main regret in this is that, with the reduced likelihood of solar power satellites, that of Starwisp interstellar probes is likewise reduced.

 

Do any of you guys know of recent studies done on sbsp that make is more effiencent or more cheap.

Its Wikipedia article has a better timeline on old and recent studies of SBSP, andlinks to articles and primary and secondary sources, than I do. I’d recommend browsing there, as a start.

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Hello Jinder, welcome to Hypography.

 

I'm a student as well and the only thing which comes to my mind regarding this topic is the claims the Japanese have made about creating a Solar Panel Ring around moon to power the Earth. Here's an article about it.

 

http://stevebeckow.com/2011/05/japan-plans-solar-panel-ring-around-the-moon/

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I'm a student as well and the only thing which comes to my mind regarding this topic is the claims the Japanese have made about creating a Solar Panel Ring around moon to power the Earth. Here's an article about it.

 

http://stevebeckow.com/2011/05/japan-plans-solar-panel-ring-around-the-moon/

Though it has pretty steep start-up requirements – build a robotic factory on the Moon that builds a bigger robotic factory on the moon that builds the solar panel ring and giant microwave or laser to transmit the gathers solar power to Earth – this, like most other beamed-from-space power plans, has a nifty national security side benefit: a 13,000 terawatt (1.3e16 W) microwave or laser “death ray” that can be aimed not just at a receiving stations, but at anybody who threatens your national security. :o

 

Whether this is a good or bad thing, or makes realizing such a project more or less likely, is more a political than an engineering question.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Catalyst have a nice short video summary of the plans.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2008/03/13/2187801.htm

 

They point out that the microwaves are the wrong frequency to hurt people. You could fly a plane through it. (Not advisable, but you could).

 

Now while I love the idea of space-based solar power, especially as an excuse to get off this rock and settle the moon, I'm more concerned about climate change and peak oil, gas, and coal solutions that we could implement right now.

 

I think with a mix of fast-rail, New Urbanism solutions that require less cars and energy in the first place, and GenIV nukes we can do this. Fast.

 

Check out my latest GenIV nuke post over here. There's even a shiny video to watch.

http://scienceforums.com/topic/23313-finding-new-ways-of-getting-our-energy-and-crating-non-polluting-technologies-are-critical/page__view__findpost__p__308366

 

But yeah, I LOVE the idea of a moon base rail-gunning solar modules into place around the earth. That would be so awesome! A moon-base might also allow us to build our first Lagrange Space Station (rail gunning moon-constructed modules and ROCK for solar insulation) and I know a few Hypographers that would like to see that!

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