Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Jan 07

Floating Geodesic Solar Molecules

Posted in Energy Inventions | Future Technology | Solar Power

Solar Molecules Researchers speak in unison that if we develop the capability to harvest 40 minutes of sunlight falling on the entire earth, we can provide energy to the whole population of this planet for about a year. But we are successful in trapping just 1% of that energy till now. Scientists and industrial designers are continuously engaged in research so that they can create mechanics and systems that can harvest solar energy in a better way. That will help in dispelling the doubts about alternative energy resources.

The Solar Molecules give some hope that this system can provide more power at a low-cost. We all know that processing solar energy for whole day with same intensity is not possible because intensity of the daylight varies with the passage of a day. But creator of Solar Molecules system have thought about this problem and come up with a spherical mega-body that moves across the sky each day, east to west, in a repetitive cycle.

The system holds several solar molecules. These molecules are geodesic structures and they carry hot air to remain aloft. How these molecules are supposed to trap solar energy? Actually these molecules are covered with PV cells. These photovoltaic cells are responsible for processing solar energy and store it in onboard system. How this energy reaches earth to be utilized by us? The produced energy is converted into microwaves and is beamed to the surface of the earth. On reaching the earth these microwaves are reconverted back into usable electricity by the base station.

The sun is in constant motion due to the earth’s movement around it. In order to draw maximum mileage out of sun rays the panels equipped with photovoltaic technology constantly need to remain perpendicular to the sun’s rays. This can be achieved with Solar Molecules.

Further, Solar Molecules move constantly, therefore they generate periodic shadows on the surface of the earth and do not hinder the city residents’ quota of sunlight.

If we try to study one solar molecule, we will find that it consists of three parts: the core, stabilizing/transfer rods, and solar panel cladding. Work of the core is to store the energy gathered where possible microwave generators can be located. Rods act as an intermediary between the core and the exterior that provide structural support. Energy captured on the surface is transmitted into each rod finally transferred to the core. A cavity also exists as a result between the exterior and the core. Energy is transferred though the rod, surplus heat is released to some extent increasing the temperature in the cavity. This heat is responsible for the flotation of the solar molecule. Finally the exterior is responsible for collection of solar energy. This approach can finally set us on the path of full depends on solar energy.

  • Bojan Radak

    It always sounds great to use solar energy, but when it comes to calculating the real net output, then the prospects fade. Obviously, no one yet took into account the amount of energy needed to produce the “solar molecules”, the PV shells, to make the mega structure, to put it up in space, to transfer the PV output into microwaves, to make the ground microwave receiver stations, to transfer the microwaves back into electricity, to transport the electricity around the world… All of this has to be covered by the energy produced. Otherwise it is useless.

    Theoretical prospects for solar on a big scale are very slim because of the inherent drawback – it is energy that has already been dispersed (originating from nuclear on the Sun), and we have to use extra energy to collect it. The net result can never be impressive, and will just require more “solar molecules” or more panels or something – which will cover the Earth’s surface with shadows ever more, which in turn will reduce the vegetation, change the climate, etc…

    Solar can, however, be very useful for individual usage in houses, farms, etc. Especially when the main grid is not accessible.

  • Bob Volk

    Very interesting research. Not ready for prime time, but seems promising. For solar to really take off, the prices have got to come down enough that it doesn’t take 20 years to break even.

  • manu ganji

    What if these molecules get into living systems and do some thing undesirable?

  • Tobias Schunck

    OK, keep dreaming.

    Put your time to better use by conserving energy and taxing hydrocarbon energy sources to include the price of pollution. We can barely make ground-based solar pay for itself WITH incentives here in the USA, forget about space-based systems. And, what happens when a person, plane or bird flies through the microwave transmission path? Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. What is the loss of energy being transmitted from space back to earth? Get real. (1) Energy Conservation (2) Large Scale Wind Trubines (3) Concentrated Solar are real, here, feasible and proven.

  • Shiju Paul

    40 minutes of solar energy enough for the population of entire earth? Is it correct? In that rate, if we could utilize it at an average of 9 hrs.(13.5x40m) for 365 days, it is obtainable from 1/5000th of earth’s surface. That is, from every 200 sq.m.(2 0r 3 roof-tops) of a sq. km.

  • Bhanu Prakash

    Dear Paul,

    The assumption behind 40minutes is that the demand is not distributed across geographies / time scales. If you take in to consideration generation, transmission and distribution as commented by Mr Bojan Radak, then whole thing becomes clear. Whether it is 40 minutes or 400 minutes doesn’t matter much as the other demands with population spread all over from America to Australia.

  • George

    Why not to lift the radiation concentrators in the space and receive the concentrated beam on smaller receivers on the ground level?

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