Science!: Solar Farms in Space!

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Science!: Solar Farms in Space!

Inside: How your friends are making you bad with your money.

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So the oasis is in space and they're farming for the sun there? What?

They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

that would be awesome and kick the ass of everything else in terms of tallest structure...

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

Heh yeah i think that would raise a HEAP more issues... For example planes, and satellites, and the geostationary orbit required to maintain tension in the wire.

In my opinion, eventually they will send the energy back in pods. The farm could save all the energy in a battery-like fashion and then send it down to earth once full. It would mean a pretty efficient way of storing energy would be needed (hey what about superconductors) and the pods would have to be sent back up to the station once the energy is removed from them but i think it would be better than losing 1/5th of the energy.

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

Heh yeah i think that would raise a HEAP more issues... For example planes, and satellites, and the geostationary orbit required to maintain tension in the wire.

In my opinion, eventually they will send the energy back in pods. The farm could save all the energy in a battery-like fashion and then send it down to earth once full. It would mean a pretty efficient way of storing energy would be needed (hey what about superconductors) and the pods would have to be sent back up to the station once the energy is removed from them but i think it would be better than losing 1/5th of the energy.

Oh, I never said it was a viable solution, just a cooler one. Of course, they wouldn't have to keep tension in the wire, and the area around the wire would be a no fly zone, so aircraft would be good (for the most part), plus we have hundreds of Geosynchronous Satellites in orbit, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

The more I consider it, the more they should do it!

From the description, it seems to me the bidding experiment would be more indicative that people tend to be more likely to sacrifice for the gain of another if they identify with the other. Unless I'm reading the it wrong.

And I think the wire thing is the best option also... those lasers/microwaves probably could fry birds and planes. And transporting it in batteries was my first thought, but then you have to consider how much energy the transportation requires (my guess is most of what it is bringing back, making that option a net loss).

Go Japan, I hope they actually do that. It would be a great leap forward in renewable energy sources.

Another great article - I'm totally loving these. Oh, and I hope the Japanese come up with a funny name and an awesome marketing campaign for their solar farm in space. Cause crazy adverts and product names is, after all, what they do best. I'm thinking along the lines of dancing hamsters on solar panels - being roasted by sunrays and laid on a Japanese family's dinner table. Next to a bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce of course. "The Sony Sunny Day Solar Farm is brought to you byyyyy Kikkoman!" Then the Fight! Kikkoman advert starts.

I could totally do Japanese marketing.

Anyone else afraid about giving Japan, a Sun powered Laser?

I sure as hell am, but couldn't be worse then America getting it...:P

TheOrangeSocks:
Another great article - I'm totally loving these. Oh, and I hope the Japanese come up with a funny name and an awesome marketing campaign for their solar farm in space. Cause crazy adverts and product names is, after all, what they do best. I'm thinking along the lines of dancing hamsters on solar panels - being roasted by sunrays and laid on a Japanese family's dinner table. Next to a bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce of course. "The Sony Sunny Day Solar Farm is brought to you byyyyy Kikkoman!" Then the Fight! Kikkoman advert starts.

I could totally do Japanese marketing.

They would probably make solar farm woman's underwear. I'm pretty sure Japanese marketing ideas are created in the same fashion as Family guy jokes.

Ah, Japan. Always being weird and fantastic at the same time, except not always fantastic.

This article was kind of slow. I guess it was a bad week... for SCIENCE.

I've noticed this money effect on myself with my friends. Except their all loaded and I'm the one broke because of their buying habits.

Lauren Admire:
Despite the massive costs of building and maintaining a solar power farm in space, JAXA apparently also has to contend with rumors that the apparatus would send down laser beams which could roast birds and aircraft out of the sky.

PEWPEWPEW!

Sorry, that's the first thing I thought of.

"A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which eventually covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear," wrote Herodotus, a historian of those times.

I prefer to refer to Herodotus as an "historian" rather than an historian. (Thucydides, now he was a real historian.) I have to admit, though, it's kind of neat that another of his fanciful tales might have some truth in it.

That first article would make a great start to a story. I'm thinking that the army became the first zombies due to a terrible curse, they were then sealed away only to be released by unwitting archaeologists, now the zombie plague spreads across the modern day world.

Solar farms sound pretty awesome as well, though now scenes from Sunshine keep popping in my head and all I can think of is some crispy guy spoiling the project.

I'm liking the transitional contact lenses, although it would be wierd to see people wearing them.
Also yes i've noticed the effect of if friends spend money then you feel the need to as well. Its probably about fitting in and group norms etc.

Solar farms... meh. Focus fusion is the way to go for energy problems.

The solar farm in space is one of the most elegant solutions to the global energy crisis; real estate on earth for energy production goes to practically nil, and since real estate in space is free, you have the potential for limitless growth.

This is hampered by only one real problem: it costs ~$50,000 per pound to send material into space.

We have two solutions:
1: Get enough material in space that we can begin fabricating the cells in at factories on the moon
2: Space elevator.

now my physics friends tell me that space elevators are really quite feasable, but the technology for a suitable tether doesn't exist. So until I work out my tether fabrication scheme, just say no to climate change research funding and devote every one of those dollars to moon rape.

So they're trying to make the Solar panel orbital rings from Gundam 00 basically? Awesome.

Another advantage to darkened contact is when it's sunny you look like you're posessed as you have black eyes.

As cool as I think a solar farm is and as much as I hear about the Japanese planning to build one, I think that we are not advanced enough for it to make sense just yet. The two biggest issues I forsee with this are:

1)getting the energy down here
Although the idea of using a space based laser to beam it down is good there is one small problem. What country wants another one to have what could be a spaced based weapon able to target any where on earth with extreme accuracy and precision and it in essence has unlimited ammo. The idea of using a battery based system doesn't make sense either because space elevators are impractical with our current materials. We would require materials that are extremely tough and very light weight. No metal or known metal alloy has the properties to do it. The best bet at the moment would be some sort of carbon nanotubes. The main issue is that if you combined all of the carbon nanotubes ever made, we could maybe make a meter or so of some material (around a yard for those not metrically inclined).

2)maintence
Space, although big and relativity empty, there is lots of small rocks and other materials flying around. The station will get damaged, and it will require maintenance. How the heck are we suppose (the Japanese) to do maintenance on it. As others have pointed out, it costs a lot to bring any amount of mass into orbit. Not to mention the time delay. Right now to go into orbit requires months of planning and training.

Sorry for the long rant, but as much as I love this idea and think it should be researched, I think that it has some major issues with it that make it impractical for the time being

'No, really, These orbital lasers are used only to supply energy to our country. You can trust us'

hehe, also sending down the energy in pods would be an even more dangerous weapon. There has to be enough energy contained in the pods to make the trip worth it, so more energy than the rocket to take the pods to the solar farm would use. If you've ever seen a rocket take off you'll have some idea of the humongous amount of energy involved. Congratulations, you have just built an orbital bombardment platform that can likely level a small city in one shot.

shark77:

"A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which eventually covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear," wrote Herodotus, a historian of those times.

I prefer to refer to Herodotus as an "historian" rather than an historian. (Thucydides, now he was a real historian.) I have to admit, though, it's kind of neat that another of his fanciful tales might have some truth in it.

Touche!

Solar farms in space beaming energy down to the surface......

Where have I heard this before.....?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/unskippable/567-The-Bouncer

Hmm

In America, kids want to live as their comic heroes do.
In Japan, the country lives as their comic heroes do.

If this new solar collecting method works as they hope it will, then the countries of the world will pay hand over fist for this new system. Then it will be Japan's turn to laugh.

Y

randommaster:

They would probably make solar farm woman's underwear. I'm pretty sure Japanese marketing ideas are created in the same fashion as Family guy jokes.

You mean created by the manatees that work in the FG writing department and write the episodes by picking random Idea Balls containing nouns, verbs or pop culture references from their tank and putting them into a machine that makes a cutaway gag out of them?

TheOrangeSocks:
Y

randommaster:

They would probably make solar farm woman's underwear. I'm pretty sure Japanese marketing ideas are created in the same fashion as Family guy jokes.

You mean created by the manatees that work in the FG writing department and write the episodes by picking random Idea Balls containing nouns, verbs or pop culture references from their tank and putting them into a machine that makes a cutaway gag out of them?

Why, that's ridiculous. Everyone knows that manatees don't like pop culture references. Also, there is no machine, some poor sap has to write all those jokes.

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

That's essentially the space elevator idea that's been kicking around for a few (or more) decades. Basically, you tether an oilrig-type structure near the equator to a counterweight in a geosync orbit, then send a crawler up. Greatly reduces the cost of moving material into orbit, which would allow the use of some sort of energy storage medium rather than a beam and make maintenance cheaper.

It's still questionable that carbon nanotubes have sufficient tensile strength, and we're nowhere near making them long enough. There's also some debate as to how the crawler would be powered in a weight-efficient way, though it's certainly easier than traditional rocketry. This has been one of my favorite ideas for a long time, but it's one of those things that's perpetually fifty years away.

randommaster:
Why, that's ridiculous. Everyone knows that manatees don't like pop culture references. Also, there is no machine, some poor sap has to write all those jokes.

Haha, it's a south park episode! Cartoon Wars II.. Cartman finds out the truth behind Family Guy - awesome episode. But the manatee part is a bit silly - because as you said, everyone knows that manatees don't like pop culture references. In fact, I've heard that the only thing on earth that manatees actually like is marmelade. That should be in the next Science! article.

TheOrangeSocks:

randommaster:
Why, that's ridiculous. Everyone knows that manatees don't like pop culture references. Also, there is no machine, some poor sap has to write all those jokes.

Haha, it's a south park episode! Cartoon Wars II.. Cartman finds out the truth behind Family Guy - awesome episode. But the manatee part is a bit silly - because as you said, everyone knows that manatees don't like pop culture references. In fact, I've heard that the only thing on earth that manatees actually like is marmelade. That should be in the next Science! article.

I actually spent a bit of time trying to make that reference as subtle as possible. I think too many people have seen that episode. Hopefully the DVD won't be cesored by Comedy Central.

Right. Off to ditch my friends who excel in their spending habits but are at -5 Savings. Maybe I'll leave them with those soldiers who went up and poofed.

PxDn Ninja:

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

Heh yeah i think that would raise a HEAP more issues... For example planes, and satellites, and the geostationary orbit required to maintain tension in the wire.

In my opinion, eventually they will send the energy back in pods. The farm could save all the energy in a battery-like fashion and then send it down to earth once full. It would mean a pretty efficient way of storing energy would be needed (hey what about superconductors) and the pods would have to be sent back up to the station once the energy is removed from them but i think it would be better than losing 1/5th of the energy.

Oh, I never said it was a viable solution, just a cooler one. Of course, they wouldn't have to keep tension in the wire, and the area around the wire would be a no fly zone, so aircraft would be good (for the most part), plus we have hundreds of Geosynchronous Satellites in orbit, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

The more I consider it, the more they should do it!

Heh it's not by far the worst idea I've heard but i still think there would be too many issues such as (now I've thought about some more :P) how do you construct the thing and get it into orbit connected to the satellite? How wouls they afford the wire in the first place? The number of engineers involved in making the wire stable at different altitudes as well as the sheer magnitude of materials would cost waaaaay too much unless the whole world was party to its construction. How would it work at all? I'm thinking that the wire would be plenty heavy enough to drag the satellite down AND end up falling anyway because of atmospheric drag.

So after considering all of that i don't think the cable running up to the satellite would be feasible...

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

Heh yeah i think that would raise a HEAP more issues... For example planes, and satellites, and the geostationary orbit required to maintain tension in the wire.

In my opinion, eventually they will send the energy back in pods. The farm could save all the energy in a battery-like fashion and then send it down to earth once full. It would mean a pretty efficient way of storing energy would be needed (hey what about superconductors) and the pods would have to be sent back up to the station once the energy is removed from them but i think it would be better than losing 1/5th of the energy.

Oh, I never said it was a viable solution, just a cooler one. Of course, they wouldn't have to keep tension in the wire, and the area around the wire would be a no fly zone, so aircraft would be good (for the most part), plus we have hundreds of Geosynchronous Satellites in orbit, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

The more I consider it, the more they should do it!

Heh it's not by far the worst idea I've heard but i still think there would be too many issues such as (now I've thought about some more :P) how do you construct the thing and get it into orbit connected to the satellite? How wouls they afford the wire in the first place? The number of engineers involved in making the wire stable at different altitudes as well as the sheer magnitude of materials would cost waaaaay too much unless the whole world was party to its construction. How would it work at all? I'm thinking that the wire would be plenty heavy enough to drag the satellite down AND end up falling anyway because of atmospheric drag.

So after considering all of that i don't think the cable running up to the satellite would be feasible...

Very true, but nonetheless it would still be awesome. :D

Just imagine, they can run Christmas lines up and down it for the holidays. :D

PxDn Ninja:

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:

Funkyfists:

PxDn Ninja:
They should just build a skyhook that connects to the solar farm in space and brings it down via hardline to earth. Much cooler than a laser beam.

Heh yeah i think that would raise a HEAP more issues... For example planes, and satellites, and the geostationary orbit required to maintain tension in the wire.

In my opinion, eventually they will send the energy back in pods. The farm could save all the energy in a battery-like fashion and then send it down to earth once full. It would mean a pretty efficient way of storing energy would be needed (hey what about superconductors) and the pods would have to be sent back up to the station once the energy is removed from them but i think it would be better than losing 1/5th of the energy.

Oh, I never said it was a viable solution, just a cooler one. Of course, they wouldn't have to keep tension in the wire, and the area around the wire would be a no fly zone, so aircraft would be good (for the most part), plus we have hundreds of Geosynchronous Satellites in orbit, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

The more I consider it, the more they should do it!

Heh it's not by far the worst idea I've heard but i still think there would be too many issues such as (now I've thought about some more :P) how do you construct the thing and get it into orbit connected to the satellite? How wouls they afford the wire in the first place? The number of engineers involved in making the wire stable at different altitudes as well as the sheer magnitude of materials would cost waaaaay too much unless the whole world was party to its construction. How would it work at all? I'm thinking that the wire would be plenty heavy enough to drag the satellite down AND end up falling anyway because of atmospheric drag.

So after considering all of that i don't think the cable running up to the satellite would be feasible...

Very true, but nonetheless it would still be awesome. :D

Just imagine, they can run Christmas lines up and down it for the holidays. :D

Oh yeah it would be so cool. It would be a major tourist attraction for many years... There would be amusement park rides devoted to its structure, jokes revolving around chuck norris and the skyhook, and perhaps even the generation of enough electricity to account for 1/6 of chinas energy consumption...

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