Plans for First Chinese Solar Power Station in Space Revealed

Megalith

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The Chinese are reportedly working on experimental solar power stations that would be launched into space to generate electricity. Planned for launch as early as 2021, they will provide "an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans,” reliably supplying energy “99 percent of the time, at six-times the intensity of solar farms on earth.” The final plan is a Megawatt-level space solar power station for 2030.

Pang said technical challenges to be overcome include the weight of a power station, expected to be 1000 tonnes, greater than 400 tonnes of the International Space Station. Researchers are examining whether a space factory using robots and 3D printing technology could construct the power station in space, avoiding the need to launch a heavy structure from earth. Solar energy would be converted to electricity and a microwave or laser beam would transmit the energy to earth.
 

Skillz

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If only this could strike a new "Space race" where we beat them to being the first Country to do such a thing.
 

Dead Parrot

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Wonder about the energy cost of transporting this station to the desired orbit? And the folks/gizmos/life support to assemble it? And the energy break even time?
 

Fresch

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1) It's Chicom so it will break.
2) You need sharks for those frickin layzor beams!
 

Nenu

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Makes you wonder if that "laser beam" could be used as a weapon ?
Came here to post similar.
Power beaming to earth must not be allowed.
A direct collision from anything in space could create a scar on the landscape, wiping out anything out in its path.
It could be hacked for financial gain or ruin.
Or used for warfare.
Big red X.
 

AtomClock

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The laser would have to be a megawatt class laser which is considered weapons class. Assuming it is not used as a weapon... the problem with using a laser is that it will almost certainly be a visible wavelength. (1 micon to 750 nm). Any wavelength shorter than about 1.5 micron is considered NON eye safe. Eye safe lasers do not pass the cornea. Non eye safe lasers pass through the cornea and are focused onto the retina where even a very low power laser can do serious damage. Now imagine having a megawatt laser beaming energy down to the heart of a city and having the atmosphere scattering the light all over the city.... EVERYONE WOULD BE BLIND!!!

Hey dude those are some nice laser goggles your wearing... They should be they are Prada!

By the way, there have only been two Megawatt class lasers. Miracle HFDF and COIL (Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser). Both were chemical lasers... Not very convenient for electrical conversion.
 

Nenu

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The receiver is about 10 km across and the beam is safe for birds to fly through.
I'm sure.
Even if that is true, what does safe mean?
And how will it affect much slower moving creatures caught in its beam?
 

Nobu

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Came here to post similar.
Power beaming to earth must not be allowed.
A direct collision from anything in space could create a scar on the landscape, wiping out anything out in its path.
It could be hacked for financial gain or ruin.
Or used for warfare.
Big red X.
Could use an array of lower power lasers that are focused to a point at the receiver, such that if you cross the path of an individual laser the damage wont be...as bad.
 

Nenu

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Could use an array of lower power lasers that are focused to a point at the receiver, such that if you cross the path of an individual laser the damage wont be...as bad.
It would need a lot of them and you can be sure they wont want to waste space estate on low power emitters.
 

Full Otto

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If it's parked to beam down power to China, it's not likely to be of much use against all but their nearest neighbors, if it can even be weaponized. Looking at the proposal, I'm not sure it can be.

I can't decide what my biggest worry is.

1.) Possible carnage on the ground when this HUGE thing eventually succumbs to impact/malfunction/solar flare.

2.) The fact that China is rapidly ascending the ranks of space faring nations. Look at the South China Sea... now look at the Moon.
 

seanreisk

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Meh, it's all a ruse. China draws up wonderful plans and makes big announcements because they know we'll freak out and dump a bunch of money into whatever they've said they're going to do. It's how they get back at us for trade tariffs. /s


P.S. "And CNN has just learned that China is detailing plans for a single, massive national toilet to be used by citizens simultaneously."
 

AtomClock

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Meh, it's all a ruse. China draws up wonderful plans and makes big announcements because they know we'll freak out and dump a bunch of money into whatever they've said they're going to do. It's how they get back at us for trade tariffs. /s


P.S. "And CNN has just learned that China is detailing plans for a single, massive national toilet to be used by citizens simultaneously."
I think San Francisco might be interested in purchasing one of those massive toilets.
 

Lakados

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I read most of these posts and when they say laser they do not mean a focused pinpoint one, it would beam down a wide area light over a wide area, same goes for the microwave option it would beam down a signal to a receiver that would be at least a square kilometre.
 

Qthulu

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The conversion cost is to high. Solar panels are 20ish percent efficient. Converting to electricity and then to laser to hit a earth panel back into electricity....common now. Your losing all your power in transmission and conversion.
 
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Geef

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SOL, we'll use SOL.

I actually hope they are successful with this mission so the United States will start to see how far we've fallen behind.
 

sirmonkey1985

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Should just stick with their original idea of using a satellite fitted with mirrors to project light onto a solar farm on Earth so it can produce energy 24h a day.
 

Elios

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The laser would have to be a megawatt class laser which is considered weapons class. Assuming it is not used as a weapon... the problem with using a laser is that it will almost certainly be a visible wavelength. (1 micon to 750 nm). Any wavelength shorter than about 1.5 micron is considered NON eye safe. Eye safe lasers do not pass the cornea. Non eye safe lasers pass through the cornea and are focused onto the retina where even a very low power laser can do serious damage. Now imagine having a megawatt laser beaming energy down to the heart of a city and having the atmosphere scattering the light all over the city.... EVERYONE WOULD BE BLIND!!!

Hey dude those are some nice laser goggles your wearing... They should be they are Prada!

By the way, there have only been two Megawatt class lasers. Miracle HFDF and COIL (Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser). Both were chemical lasers... Not very convenient for electrical conversion.

yeah was going to say this
so that leaves microwave which ehh that guess it would just be pointed a huge boiler to heat water to steam but any thing that enters the a beam with that much power is getting cooked rip the local bird population and i wouldnt want to be in an aircraft any where near that
 

Madoc

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So, China is going to make it impossible for anyone to get into Space by strewing their broken satellite parts all over LEO.

Thanks, China.
 

PaulP

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This is just an announcement. They don't even know how they will construct such a thing. I suspect this is more propaganda than anything else.
 

DigitalPanhandler

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for the record the science behind the concept is sound, possible, difficult, but possible, however there are other potential dangers involved, which have been noted in various forms here in this thread.....
 

Vaulter98c

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no one is commenting that the best they can hope for is one megawatt by 2030? That's 2.5 connex generators lol, and I'm assuming there are bigger ones than that out there.

Seems much safer and more practical to just make a nuke plant if they are shooting for a clean megawatt of energy 11 years from now, and you don't have any space death rays to worry about lol

Meanwhile the smallest nuke plant in the states makes almost 600 megawatts lol
 
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