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[Discuss] Eclipses Re: Great talks last night, however...

On 7/21/2017 4:57 PM, Robert Krawitz wrote:
> I question your claim that there isn't enough surface area with
> sufficient solar exposure to power the world.  Your calculations,
> please?

"Fact checking Elon Musk?s Blue Square: How much solar to power the US?"

Problem is -- and the article points this out -- Musk isn't selling
solar power. He's selling batteries. His numbers ignore the
inefficiencies of charging that storage. To actually supply the entire
US, solar power + battery would need to be at least 10 times the area
that Musk presents. In reality it would be much more than that because
solar efficiency drops off as you move north and northern states
generally have much less flat land for solar farms than Texas. As you
move north into Canada the efficiency of solar PV drops even further.

It might work if the world's nations could build enough equatorial solar
farms to supply the entire world. I don't foresee that happening any
time soon.

> So you still have the problem of getting it through the atmosphere,
> and you still have conversion loss.  How do you propose to get it
> through the atmosphere without the same kinds of losses (if not more)
> than ground-based solar power?  Since land area is a concern you

I don't care about that because space-based solar generation capacity is
at least an order of magnitude greater than equatorial ground-based
solar. Transmission and storage losses become acceptable when you have
that much of a potential surplus.

Yes, SBSP has problems. I wrote as much. And they've been well-documented.

Rich P.

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