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Author Topic: Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave  (Read 4122 times)

Offline Ryan Mercer

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So Shimizu Corporation proposes to make a ring of PV panels around the moon and beam the energy back to Earth via microwave... great plan, old idea, going to require every major government on the Earth to band together to construct it...

Just google news 'Shimizu Corporation' or 'lunar ring' or here is a daily mail article on it newbielink:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390682/Plans-gigantic-lunar-ring-solar-panels-beam-energy-Earth-unveiled.html [nonactive]

While I'd love to see this happen, unless there is a massive political shift on this planet it's just not going to happen anytime soon as no one nation could really afford the cost...


Now, my question on it... this isn't going to be terribly efficient... how many recievers do you think they'll need to construct around the planet? Dozens, hundreds, (a) thousand(s)?


 

Offline graham.d

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #1 on: 26/05/2011 14:36:16 »
This is what you call ambitious. You would not want to accidently fly through one of these beams sending down the power :-)

I thought this was a Daily Mail-ism until I checked with Shimizu's website. They do call it "their dream".
 

Offline Ryan Mercer

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #2 on: 26/05/2011 14:46:42 »
This is what you call ambitious. You would not want to accidently fly through one of these beams sending down the power :-)

I thought this was a Daily Mail-ism until I checked with Shimizu's website. They do call it "their dream".

Yeah sim city 2000 microwave disasters are the first think I think of when plans like these come around, the second being the Japanese research into microwave weapons during WWII.
 

Offline Geezer

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #3 on: 27/05/2011 04:35:26 »

They do call it "their dream".


Sounds more like a nightmare.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #4 on: 27/05/2011 06:58:46 »
Dreams seldom make a lot of sense.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #5 on: 27/05/2011 07:18:02 »
It sounds awfully ambitious.

I would think that such an endeavor would happen after permanent colonization of the moon, at which point 100% of the early effort of the colonists would be put into constructing their own industry and infrastructure. 

The robotic idea sounds like an interesting concept, building 100% robotic factories on the moon.

The obvious question will come up about what commerce will exist between Earth and the lunar colonies in the future.

Energy might be one commodity that could be sold to Earth, and traded for items that would be built on Earth.  There have been proposals of mining Tritium and Helium-3 from the Regolith, assuming that a market opens for it on Earth.  And, presumably such an operation could also produce very valuable 1H & 2H for use on the moon for fuel, water, and a propellant (oxygen should be able to be recovered from the silicates).

Another option is to build a space base and satellite facilities.  If satellites could be constructed on the moon, then it is likely that satellite launches for either Earth orbits, or into Deep Space would be far cheaper from the moon than from Earth.

Even if spaceships and satellites are built on Earth, perhaps fuel including nuclear fuels would be mined from the moon for longer space missions.

There are a few places that the moon might be colonized.  A lot of discussion has been about colonizing the poles which might be exposed to essentially 24 hr sunlight, but somewhat temperate temperatures (at least during the summer).  Building your solar ring around the pole might also limit distance.  If one chose to build such a ring around the equator (so that 50% would be exposed to sunlight at all times), then the distance around the moon  is about 6790 miles.  Even electrical transmission for half that distance would be almost prohibitive, and would have extreme transmission loss.

Another option would be to build a nomadic twilight colony, keeping the colony constantly moving, and always in either sunrise or sunset.  Such a method would also work for the power generation and would avoid the problem of half the panels being in the dark.  However, it would still suffer from energy transmission from the far side of the moon to the earth side of the moon, and a travel failure would mean loss of the energy which could be a hardship for those counting on it.

Can you use mirrors to focus the microwaves?  In which case one might be able to beam to a satellite mirror and avoid the need for transmission lines.

One might also, of course, choose to build underground colonies that would be light and hot during the lunar day and dark and cold during the lunar night.  Some advantages of doing a dark side of the moon colony might include night-time astronomy with no light pollution, and building high-speed satellite accelerators that were pointed away from the Earth.

The moon, of course orbits around the earth about once a day (due to the spinning earth), so there would have to be multiple beam-down locations.

If it becomes cheaper to launch satellites from the moon, then one could build a space-based solar collector and put it into a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.  There would be many advantages of this over the surface of the moon location including having a fixed beam-down location.  Closer to Earth.  It could generate power nearly continuously, except during eclipses which could likely be minimized.  And the size of the array could be scaled as needed.

The concerns of beaming down either concentrated light, or microwaves remains a valid concern.

At this point, I think that one may be able to dream about space-based solar energy, but it would be much more cost-effective to build the solar & wind arrays in your nearest desert, that is, unless we can effectively transform the desert land to arable land.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #6 on: 28/07/2011 02:36:23 »
Run a power cord from the moon to the Earth's south pole, where it would plug in to a spinnable connector sort of like on certain music players.
 

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Shimizu Corporation proposes the Luna Ring, solar + microwave
« Reply #6 on: 28/07/2011 02:36:23 »

 

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