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Thesis Title - Space Based Solar Power (recommendations)

  1. Sep 28, 2013 #1
    Hello.

    Here is my executive summary. Anyhave have recommendations for the titles. Originally it is "Space Based Solar Power: A System Review". It's short, snappy, but it doesn't quite portray my thesis and I am specifically looking at one type of SBSP system. But it is unconventional, so there it no name for it. In my thesis I call it "hybrid-relay laser-HVDC cable concept". But it sounds very unprofessional especially for a title.

    So yeah any short titles, which portray my thesis a little better, since I am looking at a specific concept more than general concepts.

    If no one can up with a reasonable title no worries, I will just keep the current one, as I have until Monday afternoon to submit, so over the weekend just cleaning up the English, and adding finishing touches etc.

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  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2013 #2

    jambaugh

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    How about "A Method of Orbital-to-Ground Power Transmission" ?
     
  4. Sep 28, 2013 #3

    mfb

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    If your focus lies on the transmission (I would expect that), the title can highlight that as well, "A Method of Orbital-to-Ground Power Transmission" sounds good.

    Out of curiosity: How does your system get a better overall efficiency than the best current solar cells on earth?
    "not a feasible concept" - even with the low launch costs estimated for some megastructures like space elevators or the StarTram concept?
     
  5. Sep 28, 2013 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Interesting ideas. How about: Beam it Down Scotty: Solving the Transmission Problem for Space Based Solar Power.

    You are going to have serious problems getting a cable from the upper atmosphere to the earth surface, not to mention problems with airplanes running into it. Why not have the orbiting solar panels placed in geostationary orbit over the Sahara desert which is almost always cloud free, I think. You could have multiple receiving sites on earth so you could switch to another when the Sahara was cloudy. Not all would be covered by cloud at the same time. These sites would be tied into a grid.

    What would happen if an airplane moved through the beam?

    AM
     
  6. Sep 28, 2013 #5

    mfb

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    The beam is a narrow line in the atmosphere, you can easily avoid it with airplanes. With the proposed cables, you have to avoid the cables - similar thing, just a bit easier as you can attach flashing lights to them.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2013 #6
    @Andrew Mason - Haha, the star trek reference, is great but I don't think my supervisor will like it.
    @jambaugh @mjg Your title "A Method of Orbital/al-to-Ground Power Transmission" does indeed sound very good. The word "orbital" is catchy.

    Though I'm aiming to keep the "Space Based Solar Power:" part, as it indicates what the entire thesis is about.

    Space Based Solar Power: A Method of Orbital-to-Ground Power Transmission

    That does sound splendid.

    @mfb Well some technologies have not matured yet, but they have still been utilized as SBSP can't be implemented this year, or the next, if planning were to start within the next year or two, it would still take a minimum of 5-10 years before things are up and running. Hence I consider solar pumped semiconductor efficiencies to reach 73% efficiency by then, along with quantum dot solar cells to also reach 73% (reference'd of course from other authors, and their practical possibilities).

    @Andrew If SBSP ever came about, a no-fly zone would be the least of the worries to prevent aeroplanes from passing through. The point of this concept is so it can be used near population, as the lower portion of atmospheric transmission is not done wirelesly, hence less "human fear" factor, and less policies and such to deal with. Again due to the aerostat collecting the beam, clouds no longer matter either, so the advantage of being close to population is greater than transmitting from the Sahara desert.

    But it is true, a limitation of the study is no experiments have been down with km length high voltage DC cables transmitting electricity through the atmosphere, most likely corona effects will be more severe ionizing the surrounding air. Again 10 years, may bring about carbon-nano tubes, which makes it possible.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2013 #7

    Andrew Mason

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    Even if it was possible to put a tower up above all the clouds, you would have to figure a way of getting extremely high voltage out of the laser energy. I can't imagine putting huge transformers at the top of that 5 mile high tower. You would need high voltage to reduce the cable mass. How are you getting high voltage up there?

    There would also be significant reliability issues relating to service/maintenance, huge downtime problem if the receiver, cable or tower fails. (It would also be vulnerable to attacks).

    The surface area of this solar cell array would have to be pretty large. The US needs about 500 GW of electrical power or 5 x 10^8 kW. The solar radiation in space will be about 1.350 kW/m^2. So you will need about 4 x 10^8 m^2 of solar panels operating at 100% efficiency. If you able to transfer as much as 20% of that to the earth as electrical power, you would need 2 x 10^9 m^2 of panels ie. about 45 km x 45 km. And that is just for the US. That is not that much for the surface of the earth (you would need about 10x more on earth due to clouds, night-time and latitude) but in space? I think this is more than 10 years away.

    AM
     
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