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Power from Solar Wind

  1. Jun 11, 2007 #1
    Is there enough power coming from solar wind to some how collect and store as energy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2007 #2

    russ_watters

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    The solar wind does not penetrate the atmosphere and to use it outside the atmosphere, you'd need to tether your power plant to the sun.
     
  4. Jun 11, 2007 #3
    It sounds to futuristic but would the solar wind supply enough energy if you had the power plant close enough to the sun. Maybe in orbit with it. How you would get the energy back is another question.
     
  5. Jun 11, 2007 #4

    D H

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    bassplayer, are you confusing solar radiation (i.e. light) with the solar wind? The two are quite distinct. If you truly mean the solar wind, then to harvest power you will have to be tethered to the sun as Russ stated. An object in orbit about the sun is not tethered to the sun.
     
  6. Jun 11, 2007 #5

    russ_watters

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    An object in orbit with solar sails would spiral out of orbit - that's the point of solar wind propulsion and can be likened to trying to generate electricity with a boat in a river. If the boat isn't anchored, the propellers won't spin because the boat just floats along with the river.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2007 #6
    I see what your saying. I'm just wondering if there is a way to harvest solar wind as energy.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2007 #7
    I would think you could gather energy from it.
    How about this method.. Im not saying it is a good one, just a thought experiment demonstrating the energy can easily be converted to electricity:
    • Place two plates a distance apart, angled so they are both edge on to the sun.
    • Particles flow past the two plates, consisting of both positve and negative ions.
    • Create a permenant magnetic field, angled so that positive ions are deflected to hit one plate, and negative ions are deflected to hit the second plate.
    • Draw off electrical current directly from the voltage difference of the two plates.
    Come to think of it.. I think this idea is simply the Faraday Generator as mentioned on this link, which also has lots of other goodies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MHD_generator
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
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