Space Power

formatting link

[
PG&E makes deal for space solar power
Utility to buy orbit-generated electricity from Solaren in 2016, at no risk
California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200
megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power
down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016.
....
Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert
it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving
station in Fresno, PG&E said.
....
PG&E is pledging to buy the power at an agreed-upon rate, comparable to the rate
specified in other agreements for renewable-energy purchases, company spokesman
Jonathan Marshall said.
....
... Spirnak said Solaren's system would be "competitive both in terms of
performance and cost with other sources of baseload power generation."
....
He said the agreement called for 800 gigawatt-hours of electricity to be
provided during the first year of operation, and 1,700 gigawatt-hours for
subsequent years. The larger figure is roughly equal to the annual consumption
of 250,000 average homes.
....
]
See
formatting link
Reply to
Cliff
Loading thread data ...
Apparently somebody on the Pacific coast has lost their mind, and the customers and stockholders will suffer, no power for customers, no dividends for stockholders.
NASA could not accomplish that if the entire NASA budget was dedicated to that one project, and a start-up company has big ideas, by apparently a good line of BS to get a power company to even listen.
How will they reduce power quick enough to avoid blowing up equipment with the communication delay?
What will the power company do with that much power at night, there is a surplus of power at night now.
Never mind, it will never get to orbit, NASA has trouble just ejecting the wind shroud.
Reply to
What A. Fool
You did't read the article, eh? PGE pays only for the power produced. No power, no payments.
Aparently you don't understand how it will work or its economics.
Reply to
EskWIRED
I read enough, if a company signs a contract, they need to have funding in place, and that can disrupt funding an optional source.
I understand it very well, you will probably see a follow up where I wrote that 200 megawatts is power equivalent to 4 large jet engines (240,000 HP x 746 watts), so that the company planning on building the power station could generate the same power at a cost of about 800 million dollars or less for the equipment.
And the gas turbines would only need to run during peak periods, and only part of the year.
The Air Force and others have tested jet engines on 50 percent biofuel, and will probably test with 100 percent biofuel in warm climates.
Biofuels are carbon neutral, so nothing is to be gained by space power, even at a cost of 40 or 50 times what the power can be generated for on Earth.
Also, space power would be at high risk in war time, always at risk of asteroid encounters, and is even a high risk venture, the largest experiment with transmitted power was recently at low megawatt power and only a few miles distance with a little more than half power received of that transmitted.
Transmitted power is in its infancy, large space structures have never been built, and there are many other problems that the dreamers do not think of.
I have been a science fiction fan since 1938, and the idea still does not make sense, economically or operationally.
Reply to
What A. Fool
It isn't going to happen, 200 megawatts is such a small amount of power, 100 years of full capacity would not pay for launch costs.
Many power companies sell to big commercial users at close to two cents a kilowatt hour, while California has had to pay over 30 cents during peak periods.
The average big bomber radial engine in WWII was more than 2,000 horsepower, that is about 1.5 megawatts.
Only insane people would consider space power when the relative power numbers are understood. I responded to an engineer working on airliner design for fuel cell propulsion technology, 2 megawatts sounded like a lot to him, but 2 megawatts is not enough to get a modern airliner off the ground.
Convert all power numbers to horsepower and reality sets in, be thankful there is the nuclear option, and that at least some hydro is available.
If the nuts close any coal plants, there will be a lot of people either freezing or sweating.
Maybe bed warmers will become popular again.
Reply to
What A. Fool
100 * 365 * 24 * 200 000 * .07 dollars per KWh = US$ 12,264,000,000 Over 12 billion dollars.
WHERE? AFAIK Only surplus nightime hydropower to Aluminum firms, if even that. Who has that surplus these days?
Praise Enron & bushco.
So what?
Fuel cost is a bitch.
I like (some of) the cute ones.
Reply to
Cliff
Try it for 10 years, then try to find a suitable launch vehicle.
formatting link

I hesitate to say, but scroll down to electric rates, would converting from megawatt hours to KWH mean moving the decimal point 3 places?
Most homes can get by with very little power, it is summer peak daytime and evening that seems to be the problem, so it is peak power that is needed, all power companies have base load capacity.
So is interest on investment.
Chances are the capacity will catch up to the slowing demand, it may depend a lot on how many go back to Mexico because of job shortages.
I wouldn't doubt but that the power company doesn't even think the power will ever be delivered they may be just doing public interest or looking good to the AGW nuts.
Reply to
What A. Fool
Maybe not, there is conflicting language.
"A cogeneration configuration can be over 90% efficient."
"A typical large simple cycle gas turbine may produce 100 to 300 megawatts of power and have 35?40% thermal efficiency. The most efficient turbines have reached 46% efficiency.[7]"
formatting link

Note the word "simple". These machines can be built in one year or less and can be started much faster than steam boilers of any kind. Good planning should include a mix of cogeneration machines.
Peak generation is needed, and this is the lowest cost way to buy it or use.
If space power is ever implemented, fine, but don't count on it, the capacity would take so long to manufacture and launch, any existing fossil plants will live out ther design life.
(except maybe for the old dogs in New York that are the least efficient).
Reply to
What A. Fool
Max efficiency = 1 - (temp output/temp input). Temp in absolute.
formatting link
formatting link
"Carnot's theorem only applies to heat engines"
Reply to
Cliff
That does not discuss "cogeneration" which makes the gas turbine power plant far more efficient.
Actually, with a cascade of boilers, turbines and condensor units, very high efficiency can be reached, they just don't do it on large plants.
A high school auto repair class connected a car engine to a generator and a heat pump and delivered _better_ than 100 percent energy to a house.
That would work good if the same amount of heat and electricity was needed year around.
Reply to
What A. Fool
Bullshit. You just lost all credibility.
What did they do, capture 110% of the waste heat from the engine?
Reply to
EskWIRED
No, I should find the article, they probably got about 20 percent from the driveshaft, and 85 percent from the waste heat, does it matter, the object until alternate energy is available is to get the most energy possible from fuel used.
I'm glad you objected, I found this very interesting page;
formatting link

I wonder what is going on, are high schools more advanced than colleges?
formatting link

formatting link

Reply to
What A. Fool
Yes, and the article said nothing about getting more energy out of the system than what went in.
He was talkig about an ICE which put out 110% of the power which was contained in the gasoline, due to fancy engineering.
ISTM that the engineering must be very fancy indeed.
Reply to
EskWIRED
Heat pumps can MOVE more energy than they use. The ratio is the coefficient of performance. As we know, nothing will get more than 100% power out of any fuel.
Reply to
ATP*
Last I checked, HP refers to the output of an engine, and the Carnot cycle has nothing to do with the efficiency of the electrical side of a generator. The loss is in the production of the 1 HP, or in the larger sense, in the transformation of BTU input to mechanical/electrical output.
Reply to
ATP*

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.