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Power plant in space by 2035

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Summary

 

Uk creating solar plant in space, this allows higher yield of power and then beam it to the earth. 50 major aerospace companies have joined the initiative and will be launced by 2035

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Quotes

Quote

 Over 50 British technology organizations, including heavyweights such as aerospace manufacturer Airbus, Cambridge University and satellite maker SSTL, have joined the U.K. Space Energy Initiative, which launched last year in a quest to explore options for developing a space-based solar power plant.

 

My thoughts

 I never knew beaming electricity is possible. Hope no flight cross its path. Imagine the energy passing through air. My concerns is poor birds that will pass by? Will there be any unforeseen environmental impact in the name of zero emission.

 

Sources

 https://www.space.com/space-based-solar-power-plant-2035

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10 minutes ago, LWM723 said:

You can't "beam electricity". Maybe a long extension cord.

You would be surprised on just what you can do with electricity. Its certainly possible to do many things with it, although i would not imagine this is gonna do it. More then likely its gonna be one of four sources, a Heat pump based system, a  Solarpanel type based system, Nuclear reactor to a massive scale, and a new energy solution to the different types of light, radiation etc thats in space that can be captured.

 

 

Of course this will all be done in probably 100 years or so, as we still have to be able to make elements from their basic components to make them to scale. Synthetic lithium and such for battery storage, and all the needed things to make each one. That is if someone manages to make it profitable to mine asteroid belt type rocks fast enough since that alone could take years per trip. 

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55 minutes ago, LWM723 said:

You can't "beam electricity". Maybe a long extension cord.

You can absolutely beam energy in a number of different forms over long stretches of space.

 

Radio, lasers, cell phones, satellites… none of which require “a long extension cord”. Hell, our sun routinely throws enormous amounts of energy at us on a daily basis in the form of radiation and photons.

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1 hour ago, LWM723 said:

You can't "beam electricity". Maybe a long extension cord.

Well you can beam energy. Most ways we generate electricity is done by converting different types of energy so I would imagine that this just beams energy down through a certain means and then they covert it to electricity. 

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Definitely file this under the "things that only exist to get people to fund things" folder.

 

Can't wait for the 100th company to make a flying drone prototype that you can ride again as well. Thats always a fun story that makes the rounds every year.

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You can "transmit" radio waves but not high voltage electrical waves in a way as to power an electric grid. Two different things altogether.
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This looks like a kindergarten playing with magnifying glass.

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19 minutes ago, LWM723 said:

You can "transmit" radio waves but not high voltage electrical waves in a way as to power an electric grid. Two different things altogether.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how electricity is generated and what means you can achieve it by. Nobody is suggesting you dump live current in the air and expect it to reach a destination. The idea would be to collect solar energy, convert it to electricity, convert said electricity into something like a laser or targeted microwave and then shoot it at Earth to again be converted back into electricity.

 

All energy is heat, all heat is energy. I suggest reading into surface level thermodynamics if you want to actually learn how this would work.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, LWM723 said:

You can't "beam electricity". Maybe a long extension cord.

So explain wireless phone charging. According to Nikola Tesla, it was possible. Not saying he ever succeeded.

 

That said, I have to call BS on this one in particular, as I saw an article the other day claiming that an Elysium-type space station hotel would be in space by 2025. I guess they better hurry up with both projects.

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Recommended reading: https://space.nss.org/colonies-in-space-by-t-a-heppenheimer/

 

And yes beaming power via microwaves has been demonstrated 50 odd years ago. The two hardest parts of this have allways been the launch capacity and getting someone sufficiently interested to fund it. If Airbus is involved this probably does have enough interest, and between Space X, Arrianne Space, and Blue Origin there are 3 major commercial heavy lift vehicles in development so that parts going to be a solved problem. Perfectly plausible, though i imagine they'll go with somthing a bit smaller than the proposal described in the link.

 

Then again with the space hotel proposals, maybe not.

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I recall japan and china also thinking about this, but with microwaves instead or something.

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19 hours ago, Forbidden Wafer said:

I'm in favor of shooting down any attempts of building death rays in the space. 

I'd prefer potential death rays in space to destroying the environment.

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20 minutes ago, Beskamir said:

I'd prefer potential death rays in space to destroying the environment.

Hmm, not too sure about that. Are you aware that this thing is literally redirecting heat that should not be heating earth in the first place back to us? 

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16 minutes ago, Forbidden Wafer said:

Hmm, not too sure about that. Are you aware that this thing is literally redirecting heat that should not be heating earth in the first place back to us? 

It's directed and used for electricity which would imo be a lot less bad than the alternatives of spreading billions of tons of CO2 or destroying ecosystems building renewable power generators.

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Compared to a solar panel placed on Earth in the U.K., an identical solar panel in space would  harvest over 13 times more energy, Soltau said

Sounds like BS or way out of context. A triple junction solar cell can be up to 33% efficient, and 13 times that would mean that the output power is 4 times greater than the input. Even if you assume something more typical around 10-20%, there would still be more putput power than input. Even if it were true, I do not see how sending solar panels to space and transmitting it would be more cost efficient than just producing a solar power plant 13 times larger on Earth. Heck, even doing the silly plan of covering a patch in the Sahara desert with solar panels and running cables to more populated areas sounds like a more realistic idea. Long range tramsnission lines already exist, and there is no way we're anywhere close to matching their efficiency wirelessly, let alone from a 36000km orbit vs 2-3000km from the Sahara desert to the UK.

Quote

"Energy storage technology doesn't exist yet at the right price and scale," said Soltau. "We need other technologies, because we don't have a plan that adds up. "

Pumped storage hydroelectricity: Am I a joke to you? 

 

 

Just sounds like a typical concept made to fool gullible, clueless scientifically illiterate journalists and investors.

:)

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>UK

 

I wouldn't get your hopes up.

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34 minutes ago, seon123 said:

Sounds like BS or way out of context. A triple junction solar cell can be up to 33% efficient, and 13 times that would mean that the output power is 4 times greater than the input. Even if you assume something more typical around 10-20%, there would still be more putput power than input. Even if it were true, I do not see how sending solar panels to space and transmitting it would be more cost efficient than just producing a solar power plant 13 times larger on Earth. Heck, even doing the silly plan of covering a patch in the Sahara desert with solar panels and running cables to more populated areas sounds like a more realistic idea. Long range tramsnission lines already exist, and there is no way we're anywhere close to matching their efficiency wirelessly, let alone from a 36000km orbit vs 2-3000km from the Sahara desert to the UK.

Pumped storage hydroelectricity: Am I a joke to you? 

 

 

Just sounds like a typical concept made to fool gullible, clueless scientifically illiterate journalists and investors.

From what I understand the UK has horrible weather for solar panels as it is often cloudy so I would imagine if you take that into account then you can get something closer to that number. I mean the UK Is probably one of the worst places to use solar panels based on it typical weather patterns. 

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wtf did I just read in this thread

 

So like what if instead of putting an expensive satellite in geosynchronous orbit and have a collector dish to collect the microwave radiation being beamed to us from it why don't we just make the collector dish use the sun directly. Wow!

 

o right some fancy people need to look smart

 

46 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

From what I understand the UK has horrible weather for solar panels as it is often cloudy so I would imagine if you take that into account then you can get something closer to that number. I mean the UK Is probably one of the worst places to use solar panels based on it typical weather patterns. 

If solar panel radiation collectors don't work then why would nonsolar panel radiation collectors? You have the same problem with clouds. I guess all that microwave radiation you're pumping into the atmosphere will be absorbed by the clouds and help heat up the planet more.

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27 minutes ago, Sakuriru said:

wtf did I just read in this thread

 

So like what if instead of putting an expensive satellite in geosynchronous orbit and have a collector dish to collect the microwave radiation being beamed to us from it why don't we just make the collector dish use the sun directly. Wow!

 

o right some fancy people need to look smart

 

If solar panel radiation collectors don't work then why would nonsolar panel radiation collectors? You have the same problem with clouds. I guess all that microwave radiation you're pumping into the atmosphere will be absorbed by the clouds and help heat up the planet more.

The light spectrum can be easily blocked by even a thin layer of skin so idk how we can compare that at microwaves as I am pretty sure microwaves do go through more things. I mean they are all eltromagnetic waves and radio waves can go through a ton of stuff so depending on what wave type they use to transmit the energy. 

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2 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

From what I understand the UK has horrible weather for solar panels as it is often cloudy so I would imagine if you take that into account then you can get something closer to that number. I mean the UK Is probably one of the worst places to use solar panels based on it typical weather patterns. 

Even assuming ideal conditions, and that somehow transmitting power wirelessly to the ground is as efficient as a cable hundreds of times shorter, I cannot imagine sending solar power plants to space would be cheaper than building a power plant that's 13 times as large on the ground.

:)

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The question I've always had about space-based solar is the cost: how much Earth-based capacity could be added for the cost of a single space-based solar plant? Would it be worth it? Think about it like this, if you could install 100 ground based panels for the cost of a single space-based panel, would it make more sense to put that money into Earth-based renewables and related infrastructure?

 For example, assume a single panel weighing 18kg 300w panel costs $400. Now, let's assume that spaceX actually can get launch costs down to $20 per kg. That adds an extra $360 per panel. So far, $760 per panel. So far, not too bad. But then there's the cost of developing all the underlying tech.

 In order for space-based solar to make sense, it has to be price-competitive with other renewable/sustainable energy sources.

Not that space-based solar is entirely silly. You get much greater efficiencies due the lack of an atmosphere in the way and you also solve ground-based solar (and wind's) biggest problem: intermittency. The lower launch costs get, the more viable space-based solar becomes.

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On 5/14/2022 at 3:05 PM, LWM723 said:

You can't "beam electricity". Maybe a long extension cord.

 

On 5/14/2022 at 3:21 PM, Shimejii said:

You would be surprised on just what you can do with electricity. Its certainly possible to do many things with it, although i would not imagine this is gonna do it. More then likely its gonna be one of four sources, a Heat pump based system, a  Solarpanel type based system, Nuclear reactor to a massive scale, and a new energy solution to the different types of light, radiation etc thats in space that can be captured.

 

 

Of course this will all be done in probably 100 years or so, as we still have to be able to make elements from their basic components to make them to scale. Synthetic lithium and such for battery storage, and all the needed things to make each one. That is if someone manages to make it profitable to mine asteroid belt type rocks fast enough since that alone could take years per trip. 

 

Quote

"The study concluded that this is technically viable and doesn't require any breakthroughs in laws of physics, new materials, or component technology," Soltau said. 

 

Quote

"The principal functions of the satellite are collecting the solar energy via large, lightweight mirrors and concentrating optics onto photovoltaic cells, just like we do on Earth," said Soltau. "They produce direct current electricity, that's then converted into microwaves via solid state radio frequency power amplifiers and transmitted in a coherent microwave beam down to Earth."

 

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