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Solar Energy

  1. Oct 24, 2011 #1
    Forgive my noobness and possibly the wrong forum selection.

    As we live within collecting distance of an energy abundant star, would it not be possible to harness that energy, through delicately polished mirrors mounted on satellites and then direct those satellites at a few key points around the globe, to turn seawater into drinkable water and provide power at the same time?

    I'm sure there are reasons why it hasnt been done as yet, but after much fictional reading of conversion into microwave energy (resulting in loss of energy)I just wondered why it hasn't been done/considered?

    If it has been considered i apologise for wasting the communities time. :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2011 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Gold Member

    Solar power is an extremely active industry.

    Your idea talks about satellites. How do you propose to get the power from the satellites to the ground? What often happens in theses designs is the energy is beamed to Earth. Unfortunately, that's extremely dangerous. Anything passes through that beam it's toast, or if the beam drifts off and you've essentially got a death ray pointed at the Earth, wandering randomly across the landscape. This is one of the reasons why the microwave beaming designs were abandoned.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2011 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Staff: Mentor

    What you describe sounds like a cross between http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power" [Broken]. I'm not convinced that space based will ever take off (pun intended) even with the advantages, I can't ever see it as being economical to ship that much hardware into space however perhaps if launch costs could be made cheaper it would be a viable option for countries which don't get as much sun.

    As Dave said solar power is a huge industry that is developing all the time. Part of the problem for solar deployment is that it hasn't been competitive with fossil fuels and this has slowed it's R&D as well as deployment. However that is changing in some parts of the world; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Spain" [Broken].

    Unfortunately http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SolarGIS-Solar-map-Europe-en.png" [Broken] has this option.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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