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(Gizmodo)   China ready to test a space-based solar power generator, but don't forget how this played out in SimCity   (gizmodo.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Sun, Photovoltaics, solar power, successful test, China's Xidian University, eventual development of space, Solar energy, Energy  
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1965 clicks; posted to Main » and STEM » on 15 Jun 2022 at 10:05 AM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-06-15 9:09:57 AM  
The US has been testing that for several years now. It's one of the things they use that X-37b craft to test.

https://www.space.com/x-37b-space-plane-solar-power-beaming

Keep the beam away from your ex-presidents/party chairmen and you should be OK.
 
2022-06-15 9:24:32 AM  
They found it hard to read the numbers on that "SimCity All Time Scores" off-disk copy protection sheet because the shade of red was way too dark?
 
2022-06-15 10:06:22 AM  
That's just what a team building a world-threatening death ray would say.
HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE, SIR?
 
2022-06-15 10:14:04 AM  
What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.
 
2022-06-15 10:19:35 AM  

wax_on: What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.


Nearly 24 hours of sunlight?  No clouds?  But true, it depends on transmission losses to ground.
 
2022-06-15 10:19:39 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 10:20:18 AM  
An auto-aiming maser pointed at a ground-based rectenna farm is not anywhere near impossible, and counter intuitively it won't fry passing birds, either.

The problem is mainly the expense of placing and maintaining the space-based infrastructure required.

However, in terms of consistent zero-emissions renewable energy, it is indeed the bee's knees and also the cat's pajamas.
 
2022-06-15 10:21:49 AM  
I wonder if they named the satellite "Golden Eye"......
 
2022-06-15 10:24:35 AM  
"Generator".

external-preview.redd.itView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 10:27:59 AM  
China is going to build Looking Glass before the United States? Asimov, Heinlein, Blish, Niven, and many others, would be appalled.

Of course we shouldn't be surprised given that 26% of the country can dictate energy policy for everyone. The energy policy that minority chants? "Drill babby drill!"
 
2022-06-15 10:28:00 AM  
IOW, they wanted to put a happy spin on constructing space-based WMD's
 
2022-06-15 10:29:19 AM  
This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.
 
2022-06-15 10:31:32 AM  

Unsung_Hero: An auto-aiming maser pointed at a ground-based rectenna farm is not anywhere near impossible, and counter intuitively it won't fry passing birds, either.

The problem is mainly the expense of placing and maintaining the space-based infrastructure required.

However, in terms of consistent zero-emissions renewable energy, it is indeed the bee's knees and also the cat's pajamas.


Since it's a pretty technical discussion I'll include a helpful photo of what a rectenna looks like.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 10:34:20 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 10:38:53 AM  

anuran: This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.


No. Twenty years ago, opportunistic politicians thought it would be smart to court people who believed that.
Now, the new crop of leaders ARE the people who believe that.
/Very large and dangerous difference.
 
2022-06-15 11:01:12 AM  
YES! I can feel it's rays on my skin!
i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 11:02:12 AM  
Hmm... [click]

One of the most notable outcomes of OMEGA so far is that the researchers were successful in transmitting energy wirelessly as microwaves over a distance of approximately 180 feet (55 meters).

Oh.
 
2022-06-15 11:06:54 AM  
Well.. the current crop of leaders say a man can get pregnant and cant tell man from woman.  (as per Koran end of the world)

so, why shouldnt they also think that since we are all global warming and stuff... so the best idea is to take a bunch of mirrors, soak up some energy that would have bypassed earth, then then beam additional heat down to add to the collective on the ground.

what could go wrong?
 
2022-06-15 11:07:27 AM  
Stop hitting the earthquake button, chucklefark!
 
2022-06-15 11:08:08 AM  
ExxonMobil CEO: "Hold my beer while I drive a bulldozer into this facility and destroy it."
 
2022-06-15 11:08:57 AM  
Sim City 2k is one of the greatest games of all time
 
2022-06-15 11:15:32 AM  

Nutsac_Jim: Well.. the current crop of leaders say a man can get pregnant and cant tell man from woman.  (as per Koran end of the world)

so, why shouldnt they also think that since we are all global warming and stuff... so the best idea is to take a bunch of mirrors, soak up some energy that would have bypassed earth, then then beam additional heat down to add to the collective on the ground.

what could go wrong?


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 11:16:11 AM  

dspevack: I wonder if they named the satellite "Golden Eye"......


"Golden" should definitely be in there somewhere, we will settle for "Happy Golden Takeout Powerbox" as an option.
 
2022-06-15 11:27:33 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
TWX
2022-06-15 11:41:06 AM  

Nutsac_Jim: Well.. the current crop of leaders say a man can get pregnant and cant tell man from woman.  (as per Koran end of the world)

so, why shouldnt they also think that since we are all global warming and stuff... so the best idea is to take a bunch of mirrors, soak up some energy that would have bypassed earth, then then beam additional heat down to add to the collective on the ground.

what could go wrong?


Probably less bad for the atmosphere than the continued emissions of carbon-based gases.
 
2022-06-15 11:44:17 AM  
James Bond already did it and they had an ice hotel !

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
TWX
2022-06-15 11:47:24 AM  

brilett: [Fark user image 336x475]


If you want a funny one, watch the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (the late seventies version) episode, "Planet of the Slave Girls," which features Buster Crabbe as an aging fighter pilot named Brigadier Gordon.  There's dialogue, "I've been doing that sort of thing since before you were born", not realizing Buck was actually born over 500 years earlier. (Indeed, Crabbe first played Buck Rogers in 1939, six years before Gerard's birth.) Rogers responds "You think so?" to which Gordon replies "Young man, I know so!"

So it's a multi-layered joke.  The old actor playing the role before the young actor was born, the seeming-young character being older than the seeming-old character.
 
2022-06-15 11:48:33 AM  

anuran: This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.


If it's any consolation, China has transmitted power over 55 meters with this technology and the researchers running the program admit that the tech is generations away before becoming feasible. I'm not sure if I'd call that "leading." They are essentially at the "clean, unlimited fusion power is only 20 years away" stage.

/always take research coming out of China with a bucket of salt
 
TWX
2022-06-15 11:54:46 AM  

spacechecker: anuran: This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.

If it's any consolation, China has transmitted power over 55 meters with this technology and the researchers running the program admit that the tech is generations away before becoming feasible. I'm not sure if I'd call that "leading." They are essentially at the "clean, unlimited fusion power is only 20 years away" stage.

/always take research coming out of China with a bucket of salt


I get the gut-feeling that with atmospheric diffraction it's going to be a matter of how much power they can transmit, how tight the beam, how much diffraction will result in power being sent to undesirable places and the ramifications, and ultimately how much power is received at the receiving-station.

Small-scale tests unfortunately might not really give us the real-world answers.

I'm also wondering if it makes more sense to think of the receiving station not in terms of a satellite dish, but of a solar farm, either a microwave-sensitive field similar to photovoltaics, or a reflection system to heat a central boiler like those liquid salt systems.  Basically just shifting spectrum and/or concentrating light where it can be gathered in space even when it's dark on the surface, and used to keep the collector powered when the sun isn't visible.
 
2022-06-15 12:06:00 PM  

spacechecker: anuran: This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.

If it's any consolation, China has transmitted power over 55 meters with this technology and the researchers running the program admit that the tech is generations away before becoming feasible. I'm not sure if I'd call that "leading." They are essentially at the "clean, unlimited fusion power is only 20 years away" stage.

/always take research coming out of China with a bucket of salt


They're getting technical assistance via radio telescope from those alien civilizations they detected.
 
2022-06-15 12:07:55 PM  
It's okay. They remembered to check the "No Disasters" box.
 
2022-06-15 12:10:13 PM  

TWX: spacechecker: anuran: This is the kind of thing America used to lead in. Used to. Now our future permanent rulers actively court people who think the 6,000 year old Earth is flat.

If it's any consolation, China has transmitted power over 55 meters with this technology and the researchers running the program admit that the tech is generations away before becoming feasible. I'm not sure if I'd call that "leading." They are essentially at the "clean, unlimited fusion power is only 20 years away" stage.

/always take research coming out of China with a bucket of salt

I get the gut-feeling that with atmospheric diffraction it's going to be a matter of how much power they can transmit, how tight the beam, how much diffraction will result in power being sent to undesirable places and the ramifications, and ultimately how much power is received at the receiving-station.

Small-scale tests unfortunately might not really give us the real-world answers.

I'm also wondering if it makes more sense to think of the receiving station not in terms of a satellite dish, but of a solar farm, either a microwave-sensitive field similar to photovoltaics, or a reflection system to heat a central boiler like those liquid salt systems.  Basically just shifting spectrum and/or concentrating light where it can be gathered in space even when it's dark on the surface, and used to keep the collector powered when the sun isn't visible.


I suspect that a microwave downlink and a big rectenna farm would keep the power density low enough to be a lot safer for birds and wildlife than a beam intended to heat a boiler.  That one sounds like a good way to flash-fry passing birds.

However, everything depends on the engineering; I'd have to see the design and look at the numbers.
 
2022-06-15 12:11:28 PM  
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2022-06-15 12:12:12 PM  
Why do they call this a solar power generator?  Shouldn't it be called a solar power collector?  The only solar power generator is the sun.
 
2022-06-15 12:14:21 PM  
For energy, yeah just energy.
 
2022-06-15 12:24:11 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 12:47:49 PM  
Icarus worked out so well in "Die Another Day"

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2022-06-15 12:49:51 PM  

wax_on: What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.


But you also want the power generation next to where the demand is. China does have sparsely populated land, but the places that are demanding all that electricity are packed as all fark.
 
2022-06-15 2:12:50 PM  
What happens when birds fly over it?
 
2022-06-15 2:16:52 PM  
external-content.duckduckgo.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-15 2:39:15 PM  

fzumrk: Why do they call this a solar power generator?  Shouldn't it be called a solar power collector?  The only solar power generator is the sun.


cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.netView Full Size

And what's the deal with using microwaves?
 
2022-06-15 3:11:21 PM  

cowsaregoodeating: [Fark user image image 439x337]


Tragic documentary on the evils of child labor
 
2022-06-15 3:57:27 PM  

Unsung_Hero: An auto-aiming maser pointed at a ground-based rectenna farm is not anywhere near impossible, and counter intuitively it won't fry passing birds, either.

The problem is mainly the expense of placing and maintaining the space-based infrastructure required.

However, in terms of consistent zero-emissions renewable energy, it is indeed the bee's knees and also the cat's pajamas.


But is it the wasp's nipples?
 
2022-06-15 4:39:41 PM  

inglixthemad: China is going to build Looking Glass before the United States? Asimov, Heinlein, Blish, Niven, and many others, would be appalled.

Of course we shouldn't be surprised given that 26% of the country can dictate energy policy for everyone. The energy policy that minority chants? "Drill babby drill!"


It's okay, we'll just steal it from them.
 
2022-06-15 5:56:47 PM  
FUNDS
 
2022-06-15 8:35:11 PM  

wax_on: What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.


Literally dozens of books have been written that could explain this concept to you in depth.

But it's China, so of course it's actually a stupid time wasting idea that they stole from REAL inventors.
 
2022-06-15 9:37:55 PM  

akallen404: wax_on: What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.

Literally dozens of books have been written that could explain this concept to you in depth.

But it's China, so of course it's actually a stupid time wasting idea that they stole from REAL inventors.


Yes. On YouTube is a guy Isaac Arthur, who actually did a video called POWER SATELLITES on this topic. They are very fact filled videos with just about no BS, but they are fun and kind of nerdy.

This is totally doable. China is pushing an envelope, just as they are with Thorium and Moon bases, but somebody has to do it first, and there they are.

Here is the deal.

The sun shines in space 24 hours a day. Solar panels can be extremely thin and can cover very large areas. The power can be transmitted back to Earth, with some loss. I am a little foggy on the MULTIPLE for solar insolation per square meter, but it is either 7 times or 14 times what it is on Earth. Once you pencil it all out, you can basically make it work out as a feasible system.

The OP says that China could just as well put up an array in the desert or something. Well. Sure. Maybe. Does China want to sell the power to someone else though? Do they want to use this as a research setup or proof of concept? Do they just want to claim that they did it first? They could have all kinds of reasons to do this.

This was a Japanese thing about 5 years ago. It kind of came and went. The use case for Japan makes a lot more sense, but the idea got no traction as a practical matter.
 
TWX
2022-06-15 10:17:45 PM  

Vern: Unsung_Hero: An auto-aiming maser pointed at a ground-based rectenna farm is not anywhere near impossible, and counter intuitively it won't fry passing birds, either.

The problem is mainly the expense of placing and maintaining the space-based infrastructure required.

However, in terms of consistent zero-emissions renewable energy, it is indeed the bee's knees and also the cat's pajamas.

But is it the wasp's nipples?


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-16 2:35:43 AM  

2fardownthread: akallen404: wax_on: What, did China run out of space on the ground to put solar panels? I can't imagine that whatever marginal advantage you would gain through putting them in space would be worth the expense.

Literally dozens of books have been written that could explain this concept to you in depth.

But it's China, so of course it's actually a stupid time wasting idea that they stole from REAL inventors.

Yes. On YouTube is a guy Isaac Arthur, who actually did a video called POWER SATELLITES on this topic. They are very fact filled videos with just about no BS, but they are fun and kind of nerdy.

This is totally doable. China is pushing an envelope, just as they are with Thorium and Moon bases, but somebody has to do it first, and there they are.

Here is the deal.

The sun shines in space 24 hours a day. Solar panels can be extremely thin and can cover very large areas. The power can be transmitted back to Earth, with some loss. I am a little foggy on the MULTIPLE for solar insolation per square meter, but it is either 7 times or 14 times what it is on Earth. Once you pencil it all out, you can basically make it work out as a feasible system.

The OP says that China could just as well put up an array in the desert or something. Well. Sure. Maybe. Does China want to sell the power to someone else though? Do they want to use this as a research setup or proof of concept? Do they just want to claim that they did it first? They could have all kinds of reasons to do this.

This was a Japanese thing about 5 years ago. It kind of came and went. The use case for Japan makes a lot more sense, but the idea got no traction as a practical matter.


The idea was largely popularized by Gerard O'Neil in the 1970s and then amplified by Ben Bova and Arthur Clarke in the 80s and 90s. Of course, they were making a lot of (it turns out VERY BAD) assumptions about how well the Space Shuttle was going to work and envisioned building a giant space city with a population of thousands to support the project.

The Russians actually built it (small scale, proof of concept) in the 80s. China seems to be using their version instead of ours, which means they'll either develop (better) autonomous docking and self assembly technology, or they'll use Tiangong as a staging area for it.
 
2022-06-16 7:01:33 AM  

TWX: Vern: Unsung_Hero: An auto-aiming maser pointed at a ground-based rectenna farm is not anywhere near impossible, and counter intuitively it won't fry passing birds, either.

The problem is mainly the expense of placing and maintaining the space-based infrastructure required.

However, in terms of consistent zero-emissions renewable energy, it is indeed the bee's knees and also the cat's pajamas.

But is it the wasp's nipples?

[Fark user image 587x329]


Sorry lady, but we're going to need to ask if we can check.  For science.
 
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