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Selenian Boondocks

Simple SPS ??

14 Sep 2015, 23:49 UTC
Simple SPS ??
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Reading about the drawbacks of conventional Solar Power Satellites and the comments in response to Chris eventually triggered an idea, or perhaps a memory of something hinted at in something I read once. I’m somewhat less certain of complete originality of my ideas than I used to be.
The standard concept SPS has a few drawbacks that Chris brought out quite well. I hadn’t really given it that much thought and found the problems to be more interesting than the idea itself. There are several conversions in getting from sunlight to the terrestrial power grid. Each conversion has some efficiency loss which increases the required SPS size. The four or five conversions times efficiency of each jacks up the SPS size to several times the value that one would think of without doing the trades. The kilowatt per meter making a square kilometer a gigawatt facility becomes several square kilometers of SPS to net a gigawatt on the grid.
Another problem is the heat that must be disposed of to keep the solar cells and transmitters cool enough to work properly. The mass on orbit doubles again to net your gigawatt on the grid. A couple of unsettling problems if ...

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