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Creating a Dyson-Harrop satellite.

A Dyson-Harrop satellite is a satellite that would funnel power from the suns solar wind into a usable energy. Which could then be beamed by laser beams through lenses acting as substations. Back to earth where it can be transmitted to the surface then distributed across electrical grids.

This is a proposal asking why not actually build and deploy a Dyson-Harrop satellite. In all the information and proposals I have seen for a Dyson-Harrop satellite they all seem to offer the opportunity for humanity to be able to no longer worry about power generation for possibly thousands of years. They do this by allowing for power generation in the order of factors of 100x-1000x current human electrical usage. In order to build a Dyson-Harrop mega structure capable of producing power on the factors of 100x-1000x . The structure would have to be thousands of miles across. Also our infrastructure worldwide would not be able to handle a load of that magnitude.

Why not scale that down to a structure that could fit on a heavy lift rocket. While still producing 1x-2x the current power requirements of humanity today. If this could be done it could provide economical, and environmentally friendly power worldwide. The costs would be huge in the billions of dollars and the risk high as is any space flight. However power generation is already expensive and often risky.

Your thoughts please!

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  • Oct 14 2012: A proof-of-concept prototype should be launched right away, enough to provide some limited amount of power, and generate excitement that cannot be dismissed as almost literally pie-in-the-sky dreaming. I read on a rudimentary Wikipedia stub that a small "doable" version would provide enough power for 1000 homes with US-level consumption. This achievement would inspire a wave of investment.

    You mention that "...our infrastructure worldwide would not be able to handle a load of that magnitude," but really there is no physical - as opposed to financial - reason the satellite could not be designed large enough to produce truly vast amounts of power. There would be no need to actually beam all of the power to earth. It would just be out there, waiting for us.
  • Oct 4 2012: Agreed. The Dyson-Harrop can be sailed in a halo orbit around the first Lagrange point L1. Then direct the bulk energy to pump water masers aimed at lunar rectifying antennae for distribution to geosynchronous receiver-transmitters all in the microwave.

    Hire Planetary Resources to install carbonaceous asteroids into L1 for advanced constructions of conducting carbon and metal Dyson-Harrop components in situ.

    The effort can be managed by some International Space Power Network (ISPN) consortium. Considering that our sun spends untold quadrillions worth of energy to deep space every day in solar wind, the ISPN bond is already well funded until our sun burns out hundreds of millions of years from now. So, what's expensive?

    Dangerous? No. Thrilling! Plus, a large number of great jobs and careers for the foreseeable future is provided. It would seem that incentives for crime, war, ignorance and poverty would be less if the ISPN bond fund would get created and let into the world economies. On the cosmic time scale, the ISPN bond fund would be rapidly paid back and power is mostly free after that. The ISPN would change human economics for the better forever.

    A great energy lever would be re-balancing oceanic desal with agro water works for crops to re-sink atmospheric carbon from all the carbon energy burning. Another is an energy lever for thermal depolymerization processes for standard liquid fuels and re-balancing of earth carbon cycles. Space energy beams can be used to manage floods and droughts and mitigate natural disasters.

    10x-100x may be preferred.