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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Japan is preparing the logistics to build a 1 giga watt space solar power station that is aimed to beam power back to Earth without cables and is theorized to power up to 294,000 homes thanks to a staggering 4 square kilometres of solar panels. A smaller test build is supposed to be up and running in the next decade and a half and the full thing within the next 30 years.

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp. will join a 2 trillion yen ($21 billion) Japanese project intending to build a giant solar-power generator in space within three decades and beam electricity to earth.

A research group representing 16 companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., will spend four years developing technology to send electricity without cables in the form of microwaves, according to a statement on the trade ministry’s Web site today.

“It sounds like a science-fiction cartoon, but solar power generation in space may be a significant alternative energy source in the century ahead as fossil fuel disappears,” said Kensuke Kanekiyo, managing director of the Institute of Energy Economics, a government research body.

Japan is developing the technology for the 1-gigawatt solar station, fitted with four square kilometers of solar panels, and hopes to have it running in three decades, according to a 15- page background document prepared by the trade ministry in August. Being in space it will generate power from the sun regardless of weather conditions, unlike earth-based solar generators, according to the document. One gigawatt is enough to supply about 294,000 average Tokyo homes.

Takashi Imai, a spokesman for the Institute of Unmanned Space Experiment Free Flyer, which represents the 16 companies, confirmed the selection when reached by phone in Tokyo.

Mitsubishi Electric gained 0.1 percent to 693 yen at the morning break in Tokyo trading, while IHI fell 0.5 percent to 189 yen and Mitsubishi Heavy slipped 0.3 percent to 384 yen. The benchmark Topix index rose 0.3 percent.

Far, Far Away

Transporting panels to the solar station 36,000 kilometers above the earth’s surface will be prohibitively costly, so Japan has to figure out a way to slash expenses to make the solar station commercially viable, said Hiroshi Yoshida, Chief Executive Officer of Excalibur KK, a Tokyo-based space and defense-policy consulting company.

“These expenses need to be lowered to a hundredth of current estimates,” Yoshida said by phone from Tokyo.

The project to generate electricity in space and transmit it to earth may cost at least 2 trillion yen, said Koji Umehara, deputy director of space development and utilization at the science ministry. Launching a single rocket costs about 10 billion yen, he said.

“Humankind will some day need this technology, but it will take a long time before we use it,” Yoshida said.

The trade ministry and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which are leading the project, plan to launch a small satellite fitted with solar panels in 2015, and test beaming the electricity from space through the ionosphere, the outermost layer of the earth’s atmosphere, according to the trade ministry document. The government hopes to have the solar station fully operational in the 2030s, it said.

In the U.S., the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the energy department have spent $80 million over three decades in sporadic efforts to study solar generation in space, according to a 2007 report by the U.S. National Security Space Office.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shigeru Sato in Tokyo at [email protected]; Yuji Okada in Tokyo at [email protected].
Last Updated: August 31, 2009 23:19 EDT
sauce: Mitsubishi, IHI to Join $21 Bln Space Solar Project (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

Fascinating and ambitious project to say the least especially considering this thing will be transporting energy constantly without worry about weather conditions.
 

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oh great... filling the air with more cancer causing frequencies.
 

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No sir, I don't like it.
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I might get a little chuckle when the microwave beam becomes unfocused and fries a large section of Japan.

Yeah, I'm a horrible person.:(
 

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No sir, I don't like it.
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It has to use a concentrated beam or else microwaves would be going everywhere, lowering the effective power output to be received at the receiving station. Though if the beam were aimed at a city... deathray anyone?
 

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I m meow desu! ^_^
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oh great... filling the air with more cancer causing frequencies.
I think this will act like a huge magnifying glass cooking Japan 24/7 looking forward for global warming soon.oO
 

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You're already dead...
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This sounds like something Nikola Tesla would want.

He planned to power an entire city from miles away by transferring energy through the air.
IIRC something happened and the project was cancelled, or did the power plant catch on fire?

Anyways, IMO these ideas are highly unsafe and shouldn't be attempted.
Something like this really doesn't sound like it has much benefits (except the owners of the project getting alot of $$$ if it somehow works well).
But the negatives are too great (potential harmful radiation, potential use as a weapon?, potential for the object to have pieces fall apart and land on earth, etc...)
 

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This sounds interesting as if it works it could be viable solution...

Ahielia, nuclear power is pretty safe but the problem is the waste disposal. Even burying them deep into the bedrock isn't sure way to make sure they won't surface again. At the moment no nuclear waste has been disposed, they're all waiting in temporary storage until they can be stored in bedrock or other final deployment storage.
 

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mmmm if the Japanese goverment doesn´t know what to do with that amount of money then my Bank account is open and ready to recieve the bill... i will appresiate that contribution more than any other people around the world and its for sure a good thing as i can sit home and concentrate all day in emulation...

last but not least people will be happy with my emus and won´t get cancer from it :evil::evil::evil::evil:
 

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Knowledge is the solution
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isnt easier to implant more solar cells on earth than building something that expensive?
The problem with traditional solar cells is that you depend on too many circumstancial factors: weather, position of the sun, etc. for it to be an all day solution, which is what they are trying to address with this approach.
 

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isnt easier to implant more solar cells on earth than building something that expensive?
The problem with traditional solar cells is that you depend on too many circumstancial factors: weather, position of the sun, etc. for it to be an all day solution, which is what they are trying to address with this approach.
Plus the atmosphere, even on a clear day, blocks a lot of the energy coming from sun and thus diminishes the energy falling to earth. But still, the modern solar collectors aren't very effective and there is a lot to improve in them so MT isn't completely wrong. But if the japanese manage to pull this off it could be viable solution until fusion energy is completed in commercial scale. And until we get Helium-3 from the moon...

What the hell is helium-3 you ask:

Helium-3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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