[ExI] Thoughts on Space based solar power

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 21 01:00:54 UTC 2008

--- On Thu, 11/20/08, ben <benboc at lineone.net> wrote:

> From: ben <benboc at lineone.net>
> Subject: [ExI]  Thoughts on Space based solar power
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 2:27 PM
> Despite the subject, this post is NOT about space-based
> solar power.
> However...
> It occurred to me while on a flight recently, that the main
> difference between the insolation above the atmosphere and
> at ground level is caused not by the clear air, but by the
> clouds (anybody care to comment on that? Am i wildly wrong,
> or is this close to the truth?).
> So, if you can get your PVs above most of the clouds, this
> will be a LOT cheaper than getting them into orbit, and you
> can catch a lot of sunlight, almost anywhere in the world.
> I'm thinking of rafts of helium/hydrogen/hot air
> balloons, with PVs on the top surface, or supporting a PV
> layer, tethered to the ground, floating just above the main
> cloud layer, with lightwight electrical cables (maybe with
> bouyancy balloons attached at intervals) conducting the
> power to the ground.
> No death-ray microwave beams needed, no ITAR problems
> involved.
> OK, i know that 'the main cloud layer' is a rather
> nebulous (pun intended) concept, but the raft's altitude
> could be changed to suit conditions.  Even it's attitude
> could be changed, to maximise the surface area presented to
> the prevailing light.
> Am i talking rubbish? Or is this worth thinking about?

It is certainly worth thinking about but tethered balloons have a large number of problems of their own. Everything that is at all useful to humanity can be used for death. You can kill somebody with a pencil. If you are afraid of MW death rays, you should be afraid of explosive oil refineries not to mention hurricanes, floods, and other symptoms of climatic instability. What country are you citizen of Ben?

Stuart LaForge

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." - Sun Tzu


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list