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neilzero
2008-Mar-18, 09:53 PM
My guess is we can build several LEO demonstration SSP, of increasing power up to ten megawatts by 2016 at a cost of several billion dollars. After that it may not be practical to build more power in GEO orbit, but we won't know unless we try. Also some needed technology for large scale likely will not develop unless we proceed with enthusiasm.
Other alternative energy than fusion and SSP are likely impractical, except as small scale or medium scale. Failure to reduce our dependence on Arab oil will likely prove far more costly. Let's start writing SSP reasarch contracts. See http://spacesolarpower.wordpress.com Neil

JustAFriend
2008-Mar-19, 12:30 AM
Lots of us have pushed for it since the '80s.

...but right now we don't have the capability to launch any ambitious projects.
(Shuttle is booked to 2010 to complete the ISS and then it retires... next generation won't be up for 5-10years... MAYBE)

Maybe in another 10 or 20 years. (sigh...)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-19, 11:28 AM
Other alternative energy than fusion and SSP are likely impractical, except as small scale or medium scale.

The large scale is made up of the small scale. If enough communities use small-scale alternate sources, the large-scale ones will have few customers left.

GOURDHEAD
2008-Mar-19, 01:01 PM
The large scale is made up of the small scale. If [the resources and processes exist or can be developed for] enough communities [to] use small-scale alternate sources, the large-scale ones will have few customers left.The conditional clause is highly deterministic and now is the time to determine, with suitable urgency, its viability.

There are limited supplies of fissionable material and highly efficient photovoltaic cell material available and exclusively using biofuels to produce biofuels is currently at an unknown level of efficiency and will compete, at least at the allocated acreage level with food production. I'm not sure we know the long term adverse environmental effects of harnessing geothermal and wind power and the harnessing of hydroelectric power has to be balanced against its environmental effects. Whether or not we limit the rate of use of fossil fuel, that also will not be available for more than a few hundred years, if that long. I hope we are able to integrate over a sufficient number of variables across reasonable limits to avoid the hyper-panic, that will otherwise result, to solve the energy usage problems of the Earth's population. It will involve a very long, very hard, slog and does not lend itself to soundbite nor soundbyte solution nor resolution.

IsaacKuo
2008-Mar-19, 01:50 PM
In any case, terrestrial solar is a booming business now, and this large market will continue to fund R&D improving costs and efficiency. Whether or not we implement any sort of space solar power, terrestrial solar is where the technology improvements will come from. The improved solar cell technology might be used for SSP someday, but in the meantime terrestrial solar has plenty of room to expand.

samkent
2008-Mar-19, 03:26 PM
Don’t forget that SSP will still contribute to global warming were terrestrial solar will not. Although the amount will be small compared to fossil fuels.

Terrestrial solar may be larger than it was five years ago, I wouldn’t considerate booming. The price consumers pay for a system has gone up substantially but efficencies have increased only a few percent.

mugaliens
2008-Mar-19, 05:10 PM
In any case, terrestrial solar is a booming business now, and this large market will continue to fund R&D improving costs and efficiency. Whether or not we implement any sort of space solar power, terrestrial solar is where the technology improvements will come from. The improved solar cell technology might be used for SSP someday, but in the meantime terrestrial solar has plenty of room to expand.

And even though it's 1/6th as efficient as light outside the atmosphere, it's very promising with it's current efficiencies far beyond 1990's solar technologies.

So, if every rooftop might provide enough solar energy for the household, on average, it might be time to adopt that as a national standard

Or anywhere close?

We'll still need additional power supplies to the grid. Trust me.

But solar power roof cells, particularly given the current technology, can seriously offset your bills.

Hey, I know a guy in Portland, OR, who's doing it, and in that dark, rainy area, he still managed to break even in less than 4 years.

We're there, folks. Just get on it.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-19, 05:32 PM
NOT originally posted by me:
The large scale is made up of the small scale. If [the resources and processes exist or can be developed for] enough communities [to] use small-scale alternate sources, the large-scale ones will have few customers left.


The conditional clause is highly deterministic and now is the time to determine, with suitable urgency, its viability.

There are limited supplies of fissionable material and highly efficient photovoltaic cell material available and exclusively using biofuels to produce biofuels is currently at an unknown level of efficiency and will compete, at least at the allocated acreage level with food production. I'm not sure we know the long term adverse environmental effects of harnessing geothermal and wind power and the harnessing of hydroelectric power has to be balanced against its environmental effects. Whether or not we limit the rate of use of fossil fuel, that also will not be available for more than a few hundred years, if that long. I hope we are able to integrate over a sufficient number of variables across reasonable limits to avoid the hyper-panic, that will otherwise result, to solve the energy usage problems of the Earth's population. It will involve a very long, very hard, slog and does not lend itself to soundbite nor soundbyte solution nor resolution.

SSP will take far more development and initial resources to reach large-scale, low-cost use than any Earth-based renewables.

publiusr
2008-Jul-21, 09:07 PM
But it can be used to advance solar sail technology--beamed enrgy propulsion--and even asteroid deflection. Earth based solar can't touch that.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-22, 07:05 PM
Other alternative energy than fusion and SSP are likely impractical, except as small scale or medium scale.

Since when is nuclear power (fission) been "impractical?"

Were you aware of Toshiba's 6'x20' nuclear reactor designed to produce enough power for an office building or a large neighborhood?

At half the current price ($/kW-hr) of electricity off the grid?


Failure to reduce our dependence on Arab oil will likely prove far more costly.

Failure to appropriately leverage existing technology before investing billions in unproven technology will likely prove far more costly.


Let's start writing SSP reasarch contracts.

Let's start building pebble-bed reactors.

antoniseb
2008-Jul-22, 07:17 PM
I've closed this resurrected thread. If anyone wants it reopened send a link to the thread to a moderator.