This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

08 September 2009

Notes from International Symposium on Solar Energy from Space (Day 1, 08 September 2009)

This does not have any specific correlation to planetary defense, but a place to have notes from a conference I am attending. These are notes from the International Symposium on Solar Energy from Space. These are quick notes on things of interest (not meant to be complete). All errors are my own.

After the morning session, there was wireless power transmission demonstration from Prof. Kaya at Kobe University (along with this students).

(Day 1, 08 September 2009)

- Dr. Bryan Erb, “World Energy Outlook and the Prospects for Sustainable Sources”
Multiple energy projections
Global Energy Institute – global power grids
Geothermal or ocean energy
Nuclear fusion
Power grids smarter
Unless a price of carbon of around $30/ton per CO2 tax then carbon sequestration approach will not take off.

- Wael Almazeedi, “Conquering Terrestrial Challenges to Realize Extraterrestrial Potential”
(E&Y Ent. Of the Year)
Free Access to Energy Consortium (FATE)
BTU Power (Manager): 11 GW of installed power worldwide (Kuwait)
Insufficient funding, new to adopt a new proactive approach
$33.5B for terrestrial in on eyear versus %50M in space solar power
SSP is still a concept
There have been positive developments recently but if we do not follow up with demonstration soon
Take the concept out of the lab into the business world
Electric Power Research Institute Journal, Summer 2007 (Development Phases)
Adapt to a terrestrial world even though unjust
1.Public perception
Not as space enthusiast, viable and attainable project
2.Clarity of purposes
Is our purpose to erect a white elephant
3.Competitive positioning
Need to reduce cost comparable to other forms without reliance on market distortion incentive (need to compete without subsidies)
Solar thermal and PV are competing, cannot compete without tariffs/credits
QGen – integrated solar thermal to conventional fuel plants
Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (hybrid plants)
Adopting a similar approach for SSP
(competition: Andasol Complex)
Main competition: Terrestrial solar thermal with storage
Look for government help
4. IP
5. Project Financing
Banks will be responsible to financing, risk averse, limited recourse basis – party given risk who can afford it, guartenned to hardware
70% debt, 30% equity, Work within project finance markets
Markets do not have capital for SSP project, capacity is not there,
Taiwan high speed rail at 18B, largest energy, $13B Qatar ebergy
TAPCP (in UAE for 3.1B) with 24 banks ($911 M – all banks, 1.2 B JBIC Japan bank equity)
Where is the money going to come from, not from government, other financing funding not available, capital intensity, cannot rely on electric utilizies (less than 2% on R&D)
Hybrid Power Demonstration Plan in Tunisia (near Tatoine), Zarzis Tunisia, concentrating solar cycle with combined cycle gas turbine plant) – far from it to get banks involved, extensive dialog with banks
6. Markets
Selling electricity to least developed, integrated technology with grids which as suffering from grids, cannot rely on electric utilities to fix the grid, worldwide government support for gird upgrades,
$13.6 Trillion power investment requirement, (
Space falls outside patent jurisdiction, pushing outer pace treaty and patent law, WIPO on compulsory licensing for green technologies, countries will have right to infringe for public good
Space-based value chain, need to articulate self-financing framework for demonstrator, dual purpose
Evolutionary approach, two paths (Concentrating solar power + steam engine path) (15/85 split for solar + fossil fuel, to 40/60 split steam cycle)

- John Mankins: “Vision and Challenge of Solar Power Satellites”Never an international assessment for SSP
Frame a reasonable technical roadmap
Technical challenges: end-to-end efficiency, total mass, cost to deploy operate (LCC)
Efficiency: 40 going to 50%,
Average cost (aerospace): 3.5E6 $/kg, 7.5xE5, 5E5 / 2) – three points
Integrated symmetrical/modular SPS
Retrodirective Phases Array (adaptive optics) – pilot signal to instruct phases
2008 WPT test in 2008, Managed Energy Technologies was prime (first test of solar power with phases array, validated send energy across 148 km, in less than 4months in less than $1M

- Dan Fortin
President of IBM Canada
Talking about the smarter planet (mentions Friedman’s book, flattening of the earth),
Traceability of food
Stockholm example, traffic cost based upon what/were use of car including traffic pattern (reduced traffic by 20%, greenhouse emissions down 14%)
Health care: Toronto to help doctors detect subtle changes in medical conditions for premature babies
Smart Power grid: some nations further ahead (Malta building the world’s smart utility grid), manage entire public infrastructure as one,
Using biological technology to develop semi-conductor chips.
Becoming smarter requires people including leadership
On talking about outsourcing, typically people think it is labor arbitrage, as a world there is tremendous development of talent, U.S. versus India/China engineering graduating rates,
Advice on how to do global scale projects: barriers to work through (political, technical), sooner to draw global centers of excellence to subjects – that would break barriers, work in 135 countries, had 135 fiefdoms, created strong global centers of excellence, largest software research lab is in Canada, 5000 researchers, 2500 working in pods of 40-50 researchers across the world, get on top of that

- Dr. Robert Zee, Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto

Link: International Symposium on Solar Energy from Space

1 comment:

  1. Space based solar power is an unrealistic solution. Not just because of the complexity and funding, but because so much energy and resources are required, compared to what you get back. We also need solutions today, not 20-50 years in the future. By then, there won't be much of a world left.


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