Wings in space to harness solar power 24x7

Yusuf

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SAN FRANCISCO: Californians could soon be powering their homes, and no doubt their hot tubs, from a space-based solar electricity programme.

The plan by the state’s massive energy company PG&E calls for the generation of 200 megawatts over 15 years to be collected by space-based solar arrays and beamed down to earth via radio frequency.

PG&E hopes to have the system running by 2016 and is seeking permission from regulators to contract with a company called Solaren to put the system in place.

Experts say that harnessing solar power in space has advantages over terrestrial systems since solar energy can be harvested around the clock and is never obscured by clouds or bad weather.

Solaren’s solar-power satellite would consist of mirror arrays up to several kilometres wide, which would focus sunlight onto photoelectric cells.

The electrical power would be converted into a microwave beam directed towards Earth, where it would be converted back into electricity.

According to the company, the system could generate roughly 1.2 to 4.8 gigawatts of power, at a price comparable to that of other renewable energy sources.

“While a system of this scale and exact configuration has not been built, the underlying technology is very mature and is based on communications satellite technology,” Solaren CEO Gary Spirnak said in announcing the move.

“For over 45 years, satellites have collected solar energy in earth orbit via solar cells, and converted it to radio frequency energy for transmissions to Earth receive stations,” he said.
 

Yusuf

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Why would you say so? If we can find a way to harness renewable source of energy at an affordable cost then whats the harm? Its talking about generating a lot of energy.
 

EnlightenedMonk

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Have you considered the cost of putting all of these Solar Panels in space ??? How many billions if not trillions of Pounds something like this will cost ???

I guess that when he concludes that he can get energy at the same cost as other forms, he might not be considering the Fixed Cost required to create such an infrastructure and is possibly only looking at Variable Costs involved...

I'm not convinced...
 

Yusuf

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If a big company tells something, then there has to be some logic in it. If someone tells you its viable to put a satellite in space to gather electricity, im sure he has worked out the costs of putting those birds up there.
 

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