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Could we create an artificial sun?

  1. Oct 10, 2016 #1
    People pay thousands of dollars to fly to sun spots every winter.

    Could we not create an artificial "sun" and have it warm and illuminate a local beach or resort property?

    Of course it would require a tremendous amount of energy. But I think about a big bon-fire, or house or industrial fire, it often gives off much heat.

    So could we build a "sun", even if it took copious amounts of natural gas or electricity to run?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2016 #2

    Evo

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  4. Oct 10, 2016 #3
    Not quite. We'll use a real beach, we just need an artificial solar source to warm her up. It'll be a big flaming globe, supported by a pole (I do not expect my sun to work out gravity issues and just hover 300 feet over the earth). The pole can contain the massive electrical conduit, or the natural gas pipes to fuel the globe part.

    I'm hoping to not have to go the nuclear route, that'll be harder to get local council or building permit approval, than just some gas or electric lines. Our local nuclear installation inspector is off on stress leave, with no projected return date.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2016
  5. Oct 10, 2016 #4

    russ_watters

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    Well, solar insolation is 1,000 watts per square meter, so if you wanted to approximate the sun's brightness, you'd need a very powerful light. A quick gooogle tells me a football stadium uses almost a megawatt of lights, for less than 10% of daylight - and that's just the input power!
     
  6. Oct 10, 2016 #5
    OK. So now I've got something to go on. So we'd need roughly 10 megawatts to light up the place like a stadium, like the sun? See, my sun is only going to be 300 feet from the beach, so it does not really have to have the strength of a sun.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2016 #6
    So a megawatt is 1,000,000 watts. So we'd need more like 10 million watts. At 10 cents per kwH from my local utility, that does not seem too expensive.

    So that's just $1,000 per hour, no?
     
  8. Oct 11, 2016 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    It would be so much easier to do this indoors (like this place in Germany) because even if you did get a light source that could output the same energy per area as the Sun you've got the problem of the warm air blowing away. Try to heat a patch of beach and you'll just encourage convection currents, it would be like turning on your home's heating but leaving all the windows and doors wide open.

    Maybe you could get round the problem by having a large circular pool of heated water (and I mean really heated) with a tent cover to stop the warm air escaping upwards. Build a circular beach around the edge, string up some lights and themed bars and you may get a set up where warm air escapes outwards from the water over the tourists...but even then it's not going to be very beach like or efficient.

    There's also the added problem that hot towns and countries generally sink a lot of investment into their tourist industry, so it's not just the beach they have going for them.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2016 #8
    Right, location would have to be key. I live in Canada, and a very popular spot to go is Cuba, on a 7-day or 14-day trip. But I bet that at least one day of the trip, tourists just sit at the resort all day. So maybe my beach would be more a day-trip place, located in Chicago or New York or Toronto etc. So we would draw local traffic on their day off.
     
  10. Oct 11, 2016 #9
    People want to see blue skies as well. Don't know what's the weather like in the winter locations you are planning to install the artificial sun, but if it is cloudy and dreary, it's still depressing no matter how warm it is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2016
  11. Oct 11, 2016 #10

    russ_watters

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    I didn't include efficiency loss due to heat, so it is probably double that.

    Also, I'm not sure what you are getting at with the last bit; these are not spherical radiating lights, they are focused, so distance doesn't matter.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2016 #11
    Right, I think I wrote that bit when I did not know what solar insolation meant.
     
  13. Oct 11, 2016 #12

    russ_watters

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    Also, if you really intend to try to do something like this you will need to do your own market research, but I'm not sure I buy that people would consider this a close enough substitute experience to see the value. But I know there are indoor water parks, so maybe it could be combined with that experience.
     
  14. Oct 11, 2016 #13

    Evo

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    This is too much speculation, so thread closed.
     
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