Space-Based Solar Power

a public discussion sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation

Archive for the ‘Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power’ Category

Wireless Power Broadcast for Computers and Phones Anticipated!

Posted by Coyote on August 23, 2008

Power beaming is a critical for space-based solar power. It also would be nice if our laptops and cell phones didn’t need to be plugged in, becoming truly wireless.

Intel recently brought the concept closer to reality with a live demo illuminating a 60 watt bulb on stage at an annual meeting in San Francisco of the company’s developers. Their goal is simple, free computers and other devices from power cords.

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Posted in Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 7 Comments »

Space-Based Solar Power Interim Assessment (Release 0.1) is Published!

Posted by Coyote on October 10, 2007

Hello Everyone!

Click here for the “Interim Assessment!”

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Posted in Business Case to Space-Based Solar Power, Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Legal Challenges for Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news, Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 74 Comments »

Space Solar Power: Much More Than Clean Energy

Posted by Coyote on July 16, 2007

In a recent posting to washingtonpost.com, author Steven Mufson pessimistically asserts in “Climate Change Debate Hinges on Economics:”

“Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage.”

I tend to agree with Mufson.

We must not kid ourselves; nothing is a more farther-reaching climate proposal than space-based solar power. If pursued for that reason alone–especially as a big government program–I believe nothing would come of it. Not to despair. There are many more reasons to develop space-based solar power, and another way of going about it.

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Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Study-Related | 17 Comments »

Environmental Safety is Paramount

Posted by Coyote on June 28, 2007

The goal of space-based solar power is to provide clean energy whose collection and use is safer than the current carbon-based alternatives.  An interesting concern was raised by a person who blogged in response to the posting by my friend, Noah Shactman, in the “Danger Room.”  The blogger writes:

“If the conversion efficiency [at the rectenna on the ground] were 100%, you’d lose nothing to heat during the conversion. If it’s less than 100%, there will be a net warming of the planet as a consequence to collecting this energy. It doesn’t matter if [the power beamed from space is] infrared or microwave.

But the real losses come from *using* that energy. Few tasks that we use electricity for do not produce waste heat somehow. This is heat energy that did not previously exist in our atmosphere. I’d be surprised if anything less than 99.9% of this energy did not ultimately get converted to heat on the ground.”

I think it is safe to assume that people will continue to *use* energy in the future, but we are trying to provide a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative energy source. What efficiencies do we need on the gound to prevent this from becoming a curse rather than a blessing?

Posted in Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power | 12 Comments »

 
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