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Luminescent Sky
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I dont know if anyone ever thought of this, but why dont we build a giant sphere around the earth, and cover its outside with solar panels? I have read that the earth recieves more energy as sunlight in a week, than we have used since the dawn of civilization. Which means if the entire sphere were covered in solar cells, then we would have an abundance of energy. The Inside of the Sphere would be striped with florescent bulbs, that when lit, would look like a general florescent sky. Of Course we would have to have the sphere made of some super light weight, abundant material, that could withstand the construction phase, after that, it would fall on itself, and be held in equilibrium. A hole would be required, as well as points where satelite transmitions could pass. Then we need a cluster of mainframes to control the lights, so that we could control the heating patterns of the earth. If England wants a sunny day, it simply brightens slightly over england. Or Dulls over SO.Cal to cool it down and make it rain. CAlculating every need and delivering the best weather conditions needed at that time. Not to mention the need for cables to hold the thing in place so it doesnt fall to one side and to bring the excess electricity to earth, so we can run our electric cars, and power our cities with it. Seems Like a Good Idea to me. Just need the govornments to front the bill. Salem Al Salem
SalemALS, Jan 08 2004

Dyson Sphere FAQ http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/dysonFAQ.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]

Eliminate Night on HalfBakery http://www.halfbake...a/Eliminate_20Night
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]


       heeeheeeheee.. I look forward to some of the annotations on this one.
v0rtexx, Jan 08 2004

       Yes, get ready...
Tiger Lily, Jan 08 2004

       //I have read that the earth recieves more energy as sunlight in a week, than we have used since the dawn of civilization//

       Don't forget that our use of energy is hugely exponential. In the long run, are solar panels more proficient than mother nature at soaking up energy from the sun? Also, it doesn't stike me as efficient to block off the sun, and then spend energy on artificial light. Maybe a better idea would be to create huge solar farms, across large parts of the ocean?   

       Mind you, if you used the right architect, the whole project could make a wonderful, erm, statement.
Fishrat, Jan 08 2004

       Salem Al Salem, you are so clever.   

       A giant bubble around the earth, eh? And covered entirely in solar cells? Heh.   

       No more asteroid sky watching? What about all the static electricity that would build up? BOOM... which way would the percussion travel? Would it squash us or suck our atmosphere into deep space. Won't the moon's gravitational pull eventually shred it to pieces? Wouldn't this generate a lot of noise from all those solar cells clanking around? Would the friction cause our atmoshere to catch fire? Won't moisture condensing on the inside of this redundant gas sack short out all those fluourescent lights?...   

       How many trolls does it take to change all of the light bulbs!? Hmm?   

       ...questions questions questions
Tiger Lily, Jan 08 2004

       Haven't heard this one before.
Detly, Jan 08 2004

       magic i think would be the correct repsonse...
Space-Pope, Jan 09 2004

       SalemALS -- there is a concept advanced by Freeman Dyson called a Dyson Sphere. This sphere would actually encompass an entire solar system and capture all the energy of the sun. A very advanced civilization would thus be enabled, but it would be cut off from the rest of the universe, in a sense, as a partial solution to the Fermi Paradox. Actually cutting off the Earth from the sun does not seem to be worth it in terms of retranslating the energy.   

       As a separate point, there have been discussions about having localized "sunspots" using reflectors, i.e. artificial moons. They've been controversial. Links should be up shortly
theircompetitor, Jan 09 2004

       Hot potato. Wrap in foil, bake, unwrap, eat.   

       Worldwide flourescents? Seems Like a Bad Idea to me.
k_sra, Jan 09 2004

       I don't know whether to fishbone this for its audacious impracticality ... or bun it for same.   

       Apart from the oh half a dozen problems to do with basic inefficiency, weather disruption, no more stars at night, no ground-based astronomy, the fact is you're spending money on solar cells which will spend half their life ... in the dark!   

       Better to build a flat disk of solar cells facing the sun, radius 2 x earth's, free-floating at a Lagrange point (far less money spent on structural support), and run the power back to Earth with, oh, a really long piece of flex.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 04 2005

       Conservation of energy anyone?
wagster, Sep 05 2005

       Fluorescent sky, surely?
Dub, Sep 06 2005

       No thanks [wagster] I just ate.
pooduck, Sep 06 2005

       Emissive sky, surely?
bristolz, Sep 06 2005

       Bad science. There are 3 major problems: a. Putting up the solar panels in space would cost over 3 million dollars per square km. Since the circumference of earth is over 24,000 km a simple calculation of the size of wrapping is pie are times square. Times square is at least 40.72 meters long, and no one knows why its called square when it's actually round. But that can be overcome, so it is not considered a separate problem.   

       Last but not least: The atmosphere is brittle at the heights you are talking about (it has to be at least high enough that trucks don't crash into it). The stratosphere can reach 900,000 degrees Kelvin which is millions more in Fahrenheit. So current technology of PV cells would simply break down and disintegrate into Barium and Carbon Monoxide.
pashute, May 16 2011


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