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Blake Ekelund

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Sahara desert as a solar farm.

Instead of looking at the Sahara desert as a vast unusable wasteland, look at it as good as gold!

Think... If 0.3% of this desert were covered in solar panels, we would have enough energy to power Europe!

Now take that scale to 1%. We could power the U.S and Europe without the use of Nuclear, Coal, and other non renewable "harmful" substances.

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    Oct 25 2012: Several of the problems have already been noted; a politically unstable region, sandblasting, transmissions difficulties.

    Solar panels are not cheap. My brother works for a company that produces melting furnaces that create pure silicon ingots used in solar panel manufacturing. He has noted several problems; it takes about a week to produce an ingot. It isn't the melting that is an issue, it is the cooling process. Ingots must cool slowly so that they don't create internal stress cracks that would render them useless. Second, there is the cutting. Pure silicon is about as hard as granite. Third, there is the brittleness. Pure silicon wafers are extremely brittle. Until these problems can be dealt with, the cost isn't going to change much.

    As far as a power generation plant goes, they all need a cooling source. That is why they are all built near water sources. A heat engine needs a heat sink for condensing in order to work.

    The work environment is also an issue; 130 degree heat in the daytime is a hard environment to work in. The labor contracts and the turnover in workforce are all going to have to be dealt with along with the engineering difficulties of working in a hostile environment. Eventually we may find the answers that make it possible.

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