Space-Based Solar Power

a public discussion sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation

Archive for the ‘Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power’ Category

Discovery Channel to Show Documentary on Space-Based Solar Power!

Posted by Coyote on September 3, 2008

I told Mike “Green Hornet” Hornitschek that we’d be famous!

The Discovery Channel (which my kids LOVE and we LOVE them watching it!) will show a documentary on Space-Based Solar Power at 10pm on 12 September, 2008. We filmed it in Washington DC at the Space Frontier Foundation’s New$pace 2008 conference (you are a member, aren’t you?). It was so totally cool working with the pros from the Futures Channel who did the filming (they must work closely with the Discovery Channel). It was amazing watching them do their thing.  They turned a small conference room at the hotel into a studio, wired us up, created mood lighting, and all that Hollywood stuff. These guys were entirely professional and WOW, it was entirely motivational being around professional media people who want to tell a story so kids get excited!

So, here is the preview from our most excellent friends at the Futures Channel:

Space-Based Solar Power on the Futures Channel

Make sure you tune-in to the Discovery Channel when it airs. Record it, and share it with all your friends, consistent with the laws in your viewing area*!

Cheers!

Coyote

* We’ve got to be careful with copyright laws…I once got into a kerfuffel because I described a baseball game to a friend of mine without the expressed written permission of the commissioner of major league baseball!

Posted in Commercial 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 | 3 Comments »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 Solar Power Demo: WWWWW & H?

Posted by Coyote on January 12, 2008

It’s time to get busy again!

Our very good friend, Hu Davis, recently circulated some good questions regarding the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of demonstrating space solar power. He poses the questions from the perspectives of two groups; space solar power enthusiasts, and some NASA people who work the International Space Station (ISS). (Please note that like the rest of us, our friends at NASA-ISS are just brainstorming with us to see what help the ISS might be able to lend to advance space solar power concepts–there is no official NASA position or policy on any of this yet.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical 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 | 96 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!”

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Technical Discussion On Power Beaming: Engineers Take Note!

Posted by Coyote on August 10, 2007

Regarding power beaming from satellites at GEO to the Earth’s surface:

“The atmosphere has two bandwidth width windows though which it is possible to beam power between space and the surface efficiently, and outside of which atmospheric absorption will kill you: (1) a microwave window, of which the 2.45 GHz frequency (~ 12 centimeter wavelength) employed in the 1970s DoD/NASA reference SPS design is typical, and (2) a visible window extending perhaps as far into the near infrared as a micron of so in wavelength. …

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 92 Comments »

The Goal for 2050 and the Build Forward

Posted by Coyote on August 7, 2007

Enthusiasts and Skeptics,

To give you a basis for analysis, by 2050 the goal is to have forty or so concentrator-photovoltaic space-based solar power (SBSP) satellites in geostationary orbit, each broadcasting via microwave between 2-5 gigawatts of power to terrestrial electrical power grids, with 1-to-5 broadcast antennas that can beam power to as many locations.

This must be done using a sound business case. John Mankins calculates that this can be achieved by keeping the costs of delivery and assembly on orbit below $3,500 per kilogram–keeping the cost to customers below $0.10 per kilowatt/hour. This will drive robotic assembly and tug systems to pull these enormous structures from low orbits to geostationary. On orbit fueling stations will be required. Paul Werbos believes the best way to do this is to get launch costs down below $200 per kilogram.  But several other factors help make the business case. For example, if the price of other energy sources goes up it helps to close the business case for SBSP. Other factors include the efficiencies associated with solar collectors, energy conversion, antennas/rectennas, signal path loss, etc. Dennis Wingo and others have suggested that the first customers for space-based solar power will be international–in areas such as India and Japan where the price per kilowatt/hour is astronomical compared to the Americas or Europe. All of this goes into making the business case.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 52 Comments »

A Skeptical Engineer Has His Say…

Posted by Coyote on June 24, 2007

Click here to view briefing:  A Skeptical Analysis

A very good friend of mine who is a respected engineer constantly reminds me of how formidable a task space-based solar power really is. He quite literally thinks it is a ludicrous idea. He provided me with his first order assessment of the proposition to provide 100% of current US base load energy from space given today’s industry and infrastructure. It is filled with statements like:

“At 100% efficiency and effective array thickness of 0.001 m (1 mm) mass on-orbit would be down by factor of ten – so it would only take ~ 1000 years to deploy at one EELV Heavy launch a day”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 65 Comments »

Scientific Challenges

Posted by Coyote on June 9, 2007

All,

Many credible scientists and engineers tell us that we have concluded all of the science we need to make space-based solar power work. It is now just a matter of advancing the technology and logistics to make it economically feasible. Is this right?

Coyote

Posted in Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 41 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.