[extropy-chat] Nanoengineered terrestrial solar vs. nanoengineered space solar power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sat Apr 7 10:09:25 UTC 2007

On Fri, Apr 06, 2007 at 11:34:00PM -0400, Amara D. Angelica wrote:

> I'm looking for information and leads for a research project. In switching
> from oil to solar, what are the economical tradeoffs between terrestrial and
> space solar power, based on cost per megawatt?

Launch costs need to go down for at least an order of magnitude in
order for space solar to become cost competitive.
> What is the projected increase in cost-efficiency of batteries and other
> energy storage systems needed to provide power at night and deal with
> seasonal and weather variations?

There is no weather in space, and in a high enough orbit insolation
is quantitative. Peak demand is during day, however. Batteries are actually
already quite good on the efficiency part, but their longevity needs
to be improved.
> What is the cost-efficiency of geographically distributed vs. centralized
> power sources? 

Electricity doesn't travel well. As far as I can see, PV isn't suitable
as a centralized power source, with the possible exception of north-south
transport (which can be hydrogen).
> http://www.permanent.com/p-sps-ec.htm is one good source, but is limited in
> technology forecasts, such as nanoengineered batteries. 
> Looks like India is planning to invest heavily in space solar power. More on
> that later...

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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