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Space Radiometer Generator

Solar Sails and the magnetosphere
  (+6)
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Remember those glass globes with the spinning black and white vanes in them? Well, this is SORT of like that, but on a larger scale.

Connect a set of solar sails so that the solar radiation turns the assembly the way wind turns an anemometer. Build in a coil that generates electricity by using the earth's magnetosphere as a huge fixed magnet. Use the power generated for a satellite or space station, or microwave the power to earth.

cindik, Apr 21 2009

Crookes Radiometer http://en.wikipedia.../Crookes_radiometer
isn't actually powered by light pressure, though opinions differ on what exactly does provide the motive force ... [batou, Apr 21 2009]

[link]






       //using the earth's magnetosphere as a huge fixed magnet// I agree it is huge, but it is also WEAK and even weaker in space, so don't expect to get much power.
MisterQED, Apr 21 2009
  

       The structure would need to be so unbelievably Dyson-sphere-level big and would produce such miniscule amounts of energy that it might just be the least efficient generator of all time. [+]
loonquawl, Apr 21 2009
  

       Least efficient generator of all time +.
zeno, Apr 21 2009
  

       Wouldn't actually work in high vacuum, but a bun anyway for both a fun idea (who doesn't love radiometers) and the magnificent scope of it !
batou, Apr 21 2009
  

       It's actually a little-known fact that the Earth's rotation is driven by assymetric solar radiometerish forces.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 22 2009
  

       one of those little known controversies....
WcW, Apr 22 2009
  
      
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