Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Democrats Against Obama | Main | Space Weather »

Space Power Beaming Concept Proof

On p.38 of this presentation, there's a breakdown of the contributions to the cost of Space Solar Power (SSP). Not surprisingly, the installation is more than half of the cost and another 20% is manufacturing cost of the solar array.

If we extract out the solar generation from SSP and instead of an antenna, have a passive microwave reflector, we can potentially get the cost of the reflector down to less than $1 billion. Let's say it's a flat spinning <8 gram per square meter perforated mylar single-mission heavy payload to GEO straw man.

If we spend $1 billion on a ground-based microwave antenna and another $1 billion on a rectenna, we have a 1 GW system that can function as transmission for a 40-year straight-line cost of 1.5 cents/kwh which is about 30% of the cost of SSP per watt with the viable scale of capital needed much smaller. (If you need a VC return, the price must be closer to ten cents per kwh.) The reflector would not be at capacity so additional transmission can be achieved for 2/3 of that. 1 GW beaming for $3 billion would be a pretty satisfying proof of concept.

There's plenty of power on the ground to beam to space that's cheap so the proof of concept can be economically viable at this scale. At Hawaii's buy price of more than $0.30/kwh and New Mexico's sell price of less than $0.10/kwh it would pay for itself pretty fast.

Space power beaming would therefore be shown to be economically viable without the space generation and thus be valuable as a proof of concept for transmission alone.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Space Power Beaming Concept Proof.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Adam Greenwood wrote:

Too logical.

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sam Dinkin published on October 6, 2008 11:53 AM.

Democrats Against Obama was the previous entry in this blog.

Space Weather is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1