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Harvest the Sun From Space
NY Times.com via Instapundit ^ | 7/23/2008 | O. GLENN SMITH

Posted on 07/24/2008 4:27:55 AM PDT by shove_it

AS we face $4.50 a gallon gas, we also know that alternative energy sources — coal, oil shale, ethanol, wind and ground-based solar — are either of limited potential, very expensive, require huge energy storage systems or harm the environment. There is, however, one potential future energy source that is environmentally friendly, has essentially unlimited potential and can be cost competitive with any renewable source: space solar power.

Science fiction? Actually, no — the technology already exists. A space solar power system would involve building large solar energy collectors in orbit around the Earth. These panels would collect far more energy than land-based units, which are hampered by weather, low angles of the sun in northern climes and, of course, the darkness of night.

Once collected, the solar energy would be safely beamed to Earth via wireless radio transmission, where it would be received by antennas near cities and other places where large amounts of power are used. The received energy would then be converted to electric power for distribution over the existing grid. Government scientists have projected that the cost of electric power generation from such a system could be as low as 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is within the range of what consumers pay now...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Technical
KEYWORDS: energy
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1 posted on 07/24/2008 4:27:55 AM PDT by shove_it
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To: shove_it

Got a feeling that “environmentalist” will find any number of reasons to object.


2 posted on 07/24/2008 4:30:39 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (His Negritude has made his negritude the central theme of this campaign)
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To: shove_it; Uncledave

ping


3 posted on 07/24/2008 4:30:42 AM PDT by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

THIS + fusion = WIN


4 posted on 07/24/2008 4:39:49 AM PDT by EarthBound (Ex Deo,gratia. Ex astris,scientia (Who the hell do I vote for now?))
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
"Over the past 15 years, Americans have invested more than $100 billion, directly and indirectly, on the space station and supporting shuttle flights. With an energy crisis deepening, it’s time to begin to develop a huge return on that investment."

Good point!

5 posted on 07/24/2008 4:40:00 AM PDT by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
These would be vulnerable to satellite killers, space debris and could probably be turned into weapons.

I am not sure that I think it is a viable idea. Burning coal, oil and natural gas is just so much simpler than all these other ideas.

6 posted on 07/24/2008 4:40:09 AM PDT by reformedliberal (Capitalism is what happens when governments get out of the way.)
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To: shove_it
Senator Harrison Schmitt the Apollo 17 astronaut and a geologist has recommended returning to the moon and mining the Helium 3 that is found there. It would be the fuel for fusion reactors which could be based on the moon or in Earth geosynchronus orbit. The electricity genrated would be beamed to Earth just like the SPSs!

Ad Astra Y'all!

7 posted on 07/24/2008 4:43:24 AM PDT by Young Werther (Julius Caesar (Quae Cum Ita Sunt. Since these things are so.))
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To: shove_it
Once collected, the solar energy would be safely beamed to Earth via wireless radio transmission

Heh. To be worth building, such an expensive net of solar satellites would have to provide gigawatts of energy, which would require orbiting gigawatt radio transmitters, and they want to "safely" beam gigawatts of energy down to Earth and somehow collect all that and convert it to 60Hz. Nikola Tesla will be impressed if they can pull that off.

We already have people claiming they are being harmed by RFID and who shield themselves from power lines. Imagine living under one of these satellites. I smell enviro-lawsuit. Plus, hey, you're blocking my sun!

8 posted on 07/24/2008 4:45:42 AM PDT by Sender (Never lose your ignorance; you can never regain it!)
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To: shove_it

Google keyword “ helium-3 “ to see the worlds next power source.

He-3, abundant on the moon, an estimated one ton would power the entire U.S. for a year. The fusion technology only needs to be developed, and it is actively be studied. That is fusion, NOT fission.

Amazing that President Bush, AN OIL MAN, would authorize a permanent presence on the moon in the next few years (unless he knows something the rest of us do not ).

.....Bob


9 posted on 07/24/2008 4:47:49 AM PDT by Lokibob (Some people are like slinkys. Useless, but if you throw them down the stairs, you smile.)
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To: shove_it
safely beamed to Earth via wireless radio transmission,

What happens to the plane (and the people in it) that flies through that beam?

10 posted on 07/24/2008 4:50:04 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: shove_it

Buck Rogers thinks do not want.


11 posted on 07/24/2008 4:52:13 AM PDT by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: Lokibob
“Google keyword “ helium-3 “ to see the worlds next power source.”

I think helium-3 will be used as a power source at some time. The problem is that we have not yet developed the technology to use it to produce power.

There is no point in mining it when we do not know how to build power plants to use it yet.

12 posted on 07/24/2008 4:52:41 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Izzy Dunne
What happens to the plane (and the people in it) that flies through that beam?


13 posted on 07/24/2008 4:55:20 AM PDT by WVKayaker (NobamaNation, just RNC Abomination... Where's Fred when we need him?)
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To: shove_it
I propose a more efficient solution: EDBOEC, energy delivery via big, orange extension cords. If we spin them up just right, centrifugal force should keep them tight and we'll know the satellites are in proper orbit.

Please, PLEASE don't unplug the big orange cords, It's not funny anymore, really it's not.

14 posted on 07/24/2008 4:56:49 AM PDT by Sender (Never lose your ignorance; you can never regain it!)
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To: Izzy Dunne
"safely beamed"

I'm hoping they'd pick up a country music station or a conservative commentator ~ somethin' like that.

15 posted on 07/24/2008 5:04:03 AM PDT by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: shove_it

With this new found power maybe we could create a laser beam from space that incinerates the brand new New York Times building.


16 posted on 07/24/2008 5:04:13 AM PDT by RU88 (The false messiah can not change water into wine any more than he can get unity from diversity.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

This twit does not have a clue about the energy density necessary to “beam” the required energy back to earth. Belive me, it’s a whopping amount.

What happens if the transmitting satillite accidently drifts off course?

What happens if it’s not accidental??


17 posted on 07/24/2008 5:04:58 AM PDT by catman67
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To: Sender
Once collected, the solar energy would be safely beamed to Earth via wireless radio transmission, where it would be received by antennas near cities and other places where large amounts of power are used.

We have been hearing this proposal since the 1970's.

The only reason it still shows up is that pot is stronger now.

Peple are being killed by Power Line Waves and frying their brains with cellpones, supposedly, but we are going to beam Gigawatss to cities.

Pass the bong.

18 posted on 07/24/2008 5:06:37 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: marktwain

All of these pie in the sky in the sweet bye & bye are great excuses for not drilling for Pelosi etal but my SUV needs Gasoline this morning. I can only fantasize the antenna that can capture giga watts of power.
barbra ann


19 posted on 07/24/2008 5:08:25 AM PDT by barb-tex ( A prudent man (more so for a woman) foreseeth the evil and hideth him self)
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To: shove_it

....solar power has been around for a generation now...right here on earth....if it was so good and so cheap the free market would have cashed in by now....every new house in Phoenix would have a roof top unit built right in.


20 posted on 07/24/2008 5:13:11 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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