[ExI] glory failure

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Mar 7 10:32:48 UTC 2011

On Sun, Mar 06, 2011 at 11:44:47AM -0800, spike wrote:

> What I don't know is how they are radiating away the waste heat from the
> Carnot cycle.  Since this is out in the desert, they are not using

The desert manages to dump solar radiation into the cosmic 
microwave background (the ultimate heatsink) quite nicely.
I recall my water bottle froze partly once during one of
these Mojave events, while the daytime temperatures were
quite toasty.

Concentrated solar can theoretically approach 6 kK, so
any ~300 K reservoir would do. 

> evaporative cooling, or rather I sure don't recall seeing a cooling tower
> when I was there.  So they need to be radiating the heat by some other
> means, and from that I can calculate or estimate how much of that heat would
> be trapped by the atmosphere, and if so estimate from the Glory mission how

The installations does nothing else what a patch of desert would do,
other than changing the albedo slightly.

> much a particulate aerosol such as coal plant soot or volcanic ash would
> increase the amount of heat trapped by the atmosphere.  The answer to this
> would determine if it is feasible to scale up solar towers.

Solar towers are bunk. They only work where there's plenty of sunlight,
require active tracking, clean surfaces, large installations necessarily
remote from consumers, hence conversion and transport losses.

There's absolutely no reason for solar towers unless you want a lot
of process heat and want to use a thermal buffer (salt melt) to
cover diurnal insolation variations.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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