[ExI] [Bulk] Re: Thoughts on Space based solar power (alternatives)
avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 23 08:15:23 UTC 2008
--- On Sat, 11/22/08, Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> That's about 10 watts per square foot, or about 100
> watts per square meter, so about 10% efficient. A little low
> perhaps. On the other hand, there is also energy efficiency
> -- it is cheaper to get a new efficient fridge or
> PlayStation than make panels to power the old one. Also, if
> we are generating electricity, and use it to power electric
> cars, we don't need as much energy for transportation
> because burning oil is only about 30% efficient or less in
> cars, whereas using electricity to move cars is near 90%
> efficient, so you only need 1/3 the panels that you might
> think you need for that segment.
Yes. Conspicuous consumption should be ugly. Effiency should be sexy.
> Anyway, these are all ballpark estimates, but clearly our
> society is capable of ground based industrial efforts on
> this scale. So, you can maybe see why I discount the ever
> repeated meme of "renewables do not scale". Again,
> who benefits from saying that?
They scale just fine in my opinion. They just don't bode well for certain hydraulic empires.
> Also, these are proof-of-concept calculations; real word
> renewable use would be a mix of a variety of types depending
> on local conditions, like wood (which some people like), PV,
> solar-thermal, solar power towers, microhydro, biomass
> conversion, OTEC, ground loop heat pumps, geothermal, algae
> ponds, wind power, wave power, and so on. And maybe even
> some Solar Space Satellite power. The biggest compelling
> situation I heard for SPS, by the way, at an SSI conference
> was powering aviation with it. I think there may be some
> merit to that, as aircraft could be lighter and the
> satellites track the aircraft and beam energy to it. Anyway,
> so there may be a role for SPS as one of a diversity of
> sources. :-) Or again, SPS might be useful for laser launch
> facilities or some other large industrial facilities which
> are off the grid. And that all also ignores this talk by
> Robert Bussard on alternative fusion energy:
Well I would throw *some* money at everything and see what takes root. It is the last hurrah after all. The future war economy, should we fail, can take care of itself.
> Anyway, again, it is one thing to suggest space based power
> collection might be cheaper, it is another to say renewable
> ground based power production is impossible on a large
It isn't. We just have to find it. There are alt.energy companies out there figuring out ways to make biodiesel from vertical stacks of algae. They project this will take 2% the real estate of soybeans and does not need to be on arable land. Some carbon emissions but a lot less than burning methane to extract oil from tar shale and sand, just to burn that. Plus growing the algae absorbs carbon too.
> Say, maybe we should let those Detroit car companies fail
> so we can convert the assembly lines to making solar panels
> and their mounting hardware? :-)
I wonder if they even know what they would do *if* we bailed them out? Come out with the 2010 collection of SUV's? Hell if they are smart, they would be voluntarily converting their entire inventories to hybrids or flex-fuels, even while they were asking for a handout. The unions should be helping to pay for this as a precondition of any bail out.
> Anyway, I'm going to this in some length to help resist
> some of the doom and gloom here. I actually agree there may
> well be doom and gloom, but that would only be from social
> issues and crazy wars, not from any technical limits of what
> we can do to create abundance for everyone even with just
> today's technology.
I agree. Heaven on earth is an engineering problem. It's only money and politics that make a monkey-hell of this place. But hey the sun is always shining *somewhere*, right? :-)
"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision." - Helen Keller
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