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Japan Plans $21B Space Power Plant

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Sam I Am, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    LINK

    by Ariel Schwartz

    The concept of space-based solar power was introduced way back in 1968, but it’s only recently that the world has latched on to the idea. Japan is definitely getting in on the action with its latest spacey plan - a $21 billion solar-powered generator in the heavens to produce one gigawatt of energy, or enough to power 294,000 homes. The Japanese government announced the plan back in June, but there has been an important new development - Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and industrial design company IHI Corp. are now teaming up in the race to develop new technology within four years that can beam electricity back to Earth without the use of cables.

    [IMG]

    Mitsubishi and IHI are joining a research group containing 14 other countries to tackle the daunting task of getting Japan’s four square kilometer solar space station up and running in the next three decades. By 2015, the Japanese government hopes to test a small satellite decked out with solar panels that beams power through space and back to Earth.

    [IMG]

    There are still a number of hurdles to work through before space-based solar power becomes a reality though. Transportation of the solar panels into space is too expensive at the moment to be commercially viable, so Japan has to figure out a way to lower costs. Even if costs are lowered, solar stations will have to worry about damage from micrometeoroids and other flying objects. Still, space-based solar operates perfectly under all weather conditions, unlike Earth-based panels that are at the mercy of the clouds.

    Japan isn’t the only country in the race for space power. Solaren and California’s Pacific Gas and Electric utility are working together on a project to deliver 200 megawatts of power from space over a 15-year period that begins in 2015.
  2. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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  3. tomson75

    tomson75 Brain Dead Shill

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    Interesting concept. I remember reading about this stuff when I was a kid. If it becomes economically viable, it could prove to be a monumental achievement.
  4. CowboyWay

    CowboyWay If Coach would have put me in, we'd a won State

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    Some serious sunlight out there, but man o man, the costs. I wonder if it will ever be viable. Sure will be cool to watch though if they can figure it out.
  5. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    Oh Noes! There Goes Tokyo! Go Go Spacepowerplantzilla!
  6. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    it's a front, Japan is trying to take over the Pacific rim again
  7. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Active Member

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    It's a Death Ray, man! (Scrambles for tinfoil helmet):eek:
  8. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Nah, they are just building the Death Star and they plan to attack San Francisco.

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