[ExI] Power satellites

painlord2k at libero.it painlord2k at libero.it
Mon Apr 27 19:01:51 UTC 2009

Il 27/04/2009 3.34, hkhenson ha scritto:
> At 03:13 PM 4/26/2009, Mirco wrote:
> snip
>> The project start with a pilot plant (one small SPS, one rectenna
>> field) then you have experience of the problems, what work, what
>> don't, what is cheap, what is not. Then apply the know-how developed
>> and build another.
> Alas, if this were possible, SPS would have been done decades ago.

Well, decades ago we could not build cheap photovoltaic cells like now.
The same is true for other technologies.
SPS-enabling technologies are not really here now, but they are coming.
Investments in developing the technologies are useful and probably able 
to generate profits as they can be used in many different ways.
The same is true for many other related technologies like the Space 
Elevator, Laser Propulsion, etc.

But an important point is to build a safe legal environment for the 
industrial development of the space.

> The problem is partly transporting the parts to GEO or alternatively
> getting materials from the moon or asteroids.

I'm sure your is the cheapest way, but if the world economy continue to 
grow at a decent speed, we could have the resources to do it using the 
resources of Earth.

> Either way involves lifting a lot of material to GEO or beyond. Taking
> the parts up requires a shipment rate of around a million tons per year.
> Going after extra terrestrial resources might be done with only 100,000
> tons, but it would take decades to bootstrap up space industry.

This is possible or it could be possible to do it faster if key 
technologies are developed. Nanotech is obviously one of these.

> The other hard part is that for optical reasons power sats (at least the
> microwave kind) just don't come in small sizes.

I have read a few years ago a plan from the Japanese to put SPS on low 
orbit and use the energy to power small appliances in a distributed way.

>> If you want government help, the government could offer a reward for
>> the first power plant able to feed 1 MW to the grid, then to the first
>> able to feed 10 MW, 100 MW and so on. The reward could be a sum of
>> money, a tax break, no tax for a 10 years period, etc.

> http://htyp.org/Miller%27s_method

Yes, the idea is good.
You force the utilities to pay handsomely for the first 0,1% of the 
energy of the grid, then a bit less for the first 1% and so on.
This make sure investor's risks are lowered, then they are able to risk 
their capital and don't need the same high return.


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