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Author Topic: Solar or Wind Power? Why not both?  (Read 526 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: September 30, 2010, 03:49:11 PM »

Our energy problems are over!

Quote
Using a massive 8,400-kilometer-wide (5,220-mile-wide) solar sail to harvest the power in solar wind, the team hopes their concept could generate 1 billion billion gigawatts of power, far more power than humanity needs -- if they can get that power back to Earth.

"It's quite amazing how much power it can actually produce," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a scientist at Washington State University and a co-author of the paper, which appears in the International Journal of Astrobiology. "In principle it should work quite well, but there are some practical issues."
....
Of course, all of that power has to be able to get to Earth. Some of the energy the satellite generates would be pumped back into the copper wire to create the electron-harvesting magnetic field. The rest of the energy would power an infrared laser beam, which would help fulfill the whole planet's energy needs day and night regardless of environmental conditions.

The main shortfall of this approach is that over the millions of miles between the satellite and Earth, even the tightest laser beam would spread out and lose a lot of its original energy. While most of the technology to create the satellite already exists, a more focused laser would be necessary, said Schulze-Makuch.
OK, maybe not yet.
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 06:58:52 PM »

Ha! If only.
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 08:25:18 PM »

Give it time, wireless power transmission is still in its infancy. I would think that the logistics and engineering of building such a satellite would be a greater challenge than the requisite necessary advances in laser technology. Though at this point, it's mostly an engineering problem...so something that will become feasible with time.
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 08:31:27 PM »

Too big, too awkward. Controlled nuclear fission is the way.

Although in a much more immediate way, the next energy breakthrough would be batteries that can last for months or a couple of years without recharge for an affordable price. If they were biodegrable or rechargeable even better. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 08:40:58 PM »

Too big, too awkward. Controlled nuclear fission is the way.

Although in a much more immediate way, the next energy breakthrough would be batteries that can last for months or a couple of years without recharge for an affordable price. If they were biodegrable or rechargeable even better. Smiley

Energy storage is certainly important, I want my laptop to be able to run for a month straight without having to recharge. But we still need a source of energy, I think we should go for nuclear fission in the short term, nuclear fusion a little further out, and eventually we will need to harness solar energy at the levels discussed in the article, but it will be a while until our demand grows to the point where such drastic approaches become necessary.
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prodromos
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 09:14:43 PM »

Our energy problems are over!

Quote
Using a massive 8,400-kilometer-wide (5,220-mile-wide) solar sail to harvest the power in solar wind, the team hopes their concept could generate 1 billion billion gigawatts of power, far more power than humanity needs -- if they can get that power back to Earth.

"It's quite amazing how much power it can actually produce," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a scientist at Washington State University and a co-author of the paper, which appears in the International Journal of Astrobiology. "In principle it should work quite well, but there are some practical issues."
....
Of course, all of that power has to be able to get to Earth. Some of the energy the satellite generates would be pumped back into the copper wire to create the electron-harvesting magnetic field. The rest of the energy would power an infrared laser beam, which would help fulfill the whole planet's energy needs day and night regardless of environmental conditions.

The main shortfall of this approach is that over the millions of miles between the satellite and Earth, even the tightest laser beam would spread out and lose a lot of its original energy. While most of the technology to create the satellite already exists, a more focused laser would be necessary, said Schulze-Makuch.
OK, maybe not yet.


I can see it now. Cyber terrorists gain access to the satellites' telemetry and burn Washington DC off the map.
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 09:35:08 PM »

This is what the next step in energy generation really is:



http://www.engadget.com/2005/08/25/the-hamster-powered-cellphone-charger/
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 10:17:55 PM »

Our energy problems are over!

Quote
Using a massive 8,400-kilometer-wide (5,220-mile-wide) solar sail to harvest the power in solar wind, the team hopes their concept could generate 1 billion billion gigawatts of power, far more power than humanity needs -- if they can get that power back to Earth.

"It's quite amazing how much power it can actually produce," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a scientist at Washington State University and a co-author of the paper, which appears in the International Journal of Astrobiology. "In principle it should work quite well, but there are some practical issues."
....
Of course, all of that power has to be able to get to Earth. Some of the energy the satellite generates would be pumped back into the copper wire to create the electron-harvesting magnetic field. The rest of the energy would power an infrared laser beam, which would help fulfill the whole planet's energy needs day and night regardless of environmental conditions.

The main shortfall of this approach is that over the millions of miles between the satellite and Earth, even the tightest laser beam would spread out and lose a lot of its original energy. While most of the technology to create the satellite already exists, a more focused laser would be necessary, said Schulze-Makuch.
OK, maybe not yet.


I can see it now. Cyber terrorists gain access to the satellites' telemetry and burn Washington DC off the map.

You would need a different type of laser for power transfer than you would need for a weapon, worst case with the kind of laser they're talking about is that you could burn small holes in things very quickly. Of course, this power system in space could have interesting military applications...applications that will probably be seen much earlier than than it being used for clean energy.
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 10:34:15 PM »

Our energy problems are over!

Quote
Using a massive 8,400-kilometer-wide (5,220-mile-wide) solar sail to harvest the power in solar wind, the team hopes their concept could generate 1 billion billion gigawatts of power, far more power than humanity needs -- if they can get that power back to Earth.

"It's quite amazing how much power it can actually produce," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a scientist at Washington State University and a co-author of the paper, which appears in the International Journal of Astrobiology. "In principle it should work quite well, but there are some practical issues."
....
Of course, all of that power has to be able to get to Earth. Some of the energy the satellite generates would be pumped back into the copper wire to create the electron-harvesting magnetic field. The rest of the energy would power an infrared laser beam, which would help fulfill the whole planet's energy needs day and night regardless of environmental conditions.

The main shortfall of this approach is that over the millions of miles between the satellite and Earth, even the tightest laser beam would spread out and lose a lot of its original energy. While most of the technology to create the satellite already exists, a more focused laser would be necessary, said Schulze-Makuch.
OK, maybe not yet.


I can see it now. Cyber terrorists gain access to the satellites' telemetry and burn Washington DC off the map.

You would need a different type of laser for power transfer than you would need for a weapon, worst case with the kind of laser they're talking about is that you could burn small holes in things very quickly. Of course, this power system in space could have interesting military applications...applications that will probably be seen much earlier than than it being used for clean energy.

Even at the distance the satellite would be from the earth, and the divergence of the infrared laser over that distance, I dare say that 1 billion billion gigawatts would produce quite a bit of toast if pointed at the wrong area.
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