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Clean safe unlimited energy for all
  (+1, -13)(+1, -13)(+1, -13)
(+1, -13)
  [vote for,

Using the space elevator idea referenced in the books red mars, green mars and blue mars. I would like to propose a three fold idea. The primary idea is that we move all nuclear reactors off earth. Either as remote stations in space or located on the moon. I don't like the moon idea in case of a cataclysmic expolsion which could potentially move it out of orbit.

The space power station idea has the benefit that it would be composed of modules... In the case of a meltdown a segment would be seperated from the main superstructure and through the use of rocket 'barges', pushed into the outer ring of the solar system where I imagine it would be detonated.

Now i get to the point about the space elevator and the delivery of clean safe energy for earth. As referenced in the book the cable would be controlled by a super computer (naturally) and with the use of boosters at regular intervals its vecotors would be consistantly maintained. The other idea I had would be to beam the energy but as I understand it from my physcist mate it would be incredibly dangerous to transmit energy in this fashion.

So there it is clean safe energy... (good point yamahito, not sure what I was thinking) still there's always mention politics of expenditure...

Thank you... Brett Perryman

So far you guys have been making negative comments without any quantative or constructive comment. If you've got a critic make it count and say why. I'll not pay any attention to someone who just says "NO". If there's no argument how can I respect your opinion.

Furthermore if they were automated would reduce risk to humans via radiation and gravity deprivation.

I understand the technology is available for this idea. Although its scale is what I imagine to be one of the primary inhibitors.

I've also heard that space is particularly cold, perhaps this will help to negate the need or the instability of coolant rods, which were as I understand it pivotal in the chernobyl disaster...

brett, Jun 16 2002

Google search for +space +based +power +system http://www.google.c...ceid=mozilla-search
About 1,880,000 hits. [phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Stairway to heaven http://www.halfbake...irway_20to_20heaven
MINT. [phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Radiators in space. http://www.faahomep...huttle/shuttle.html
"Heat from the cabin and flight-deck electronics is collected by a circulating coolant water system and transferred to radiator panels on the payload bay doors where it is dissipated." [StarChaser, Jun 21 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       //the only issue is getting enough payloads to outer space to build them... //   

       I thought you have a space elevator?
yamahito, Jun 17 2002

       If you want to take your ball and go home, you won't break any hearts here, but since you asked: I think your idea is simple, puerile and worthy only of an 18th century understanding of physics.   

       First you have to build a space elevator. Then you have to move sufficient materials into space. Then you have to master the construction techniques to put everything together. Then you have to man the damn thing. Then you have to the power back down (which your "physcist mate" says can't be done safely, which is false).   

       Now you've successfully built a space elevator, but you can't find anything more interesting to do with it than to build a power plant you can't use. Mind you, this is no ordinary power plant - no, no, no. This power plant is so big it could blow the moon out of orbit. So of course the best place for it is in Earth orbit, where it can't do any damage. Don't forget to publish the schedule for the radioactives shipments, so some fanatical organization can blow up your space elevator.   

       I've provided a link you you can read some more up-to-date thinking.   

       Thank you for getting the catagory right but please use more descriptive idea titles in the future. Welcome to the HalfBakery.
phoenix, Jun 17 2002

       Brett, please annotate seperately rather than edit your idea - It may be the halfbakery, but having half a conversation is rediculous.
yamahito, Jun 17 2002

       Half-Baked for at least 60 years, by Robert Heinlein. Half-baked by me around 20 years ago. One of the more common ideas in science fiction.
StarChaser, Jun 17 2002

       OK, leaving whether or not the idea is pre-halfbaked or not, I hardly think it's a puerile one, phoenix: unnecessary, perhaps. (Also, 18th century physics are fine for this limit; no small scales --> no QM, no high speeds --> no GR, so we're happy with good ol' Newtonian mechanics..)   

       I've personally beleived that the space elevator is a very good idea, and I have done for years. There are several possible ways of doing this which should be explored, although it's obvious that we're not yet technologically advanced to do so.   

       A space elevator would be the size of a decent hangar - not too much of a problem moving stuff into space with that, and it cuts down on the difficulty of having to assemble so many bits and pieces, too.   

       I think the simplest/safest way of transmitting energy along back to the earth would be using some form of hydrolics - hardly a dangerous method, i'd add, though the choice of fluid may be tough. There would already be plenty of hydrolic energy reclaiming systems built in as part of the space elevator - it's major advantage is that much of the expended energy used when sending it up would be recovered when bringing it down.   

       However, the whole thing is pretty pointless - why bother having the damn thing in space, when it may just as well be on the ground? How is it cleaner? Is it really any safer? It seems that accidents among space-walking mechanics is much more likely than a neuclear blow- out, these days. Also, who will man it?   

       On reflection, a fishbone for you, for the reasons given in the last paragraph.   

       Welcome, btw..
yamahito, Jun 17 2002

       And as I said in a pretty direct fashion.   

       Yamahito, putting it in space would stop the people who pee all over themselves when they hear the word 'atomic' from...well, peeing all over themselves. Moving heavy industry into space is another common science fiction thing, and another one I think is a good idea.   

       The problem is, this space elevator thing will have to be built out of Unobtanium. If it WAS built, there are any number of benefits. Easy access to orbit, you send a satellite up the elevator and kick it out the window. Gravity adjusted to whatever you need, for whatever you need it. Tons and tons of free power; even if you don't build the power plant, just cover the sucker with solar cells. Use regenerative braking to stop the cars going down to power the ones going up. Lots of benefits, and I'd love to have one...but it's not going to happen. There isn't anything that can support its own weight for the distance necessary, let alone carry other things. <I'm not 'StarChaser' for naught.>
StarChaser, Jun 17 2002

       this ones for you UnaBubba, don't even bother replying...   

       purile, I find it hard to see how but hey that's your call...   

       simple, that's fine simplicity is one of the most paradoxically beautiful things that I have ever encountered, why thank you...   

       infantile, not at all, in fact no matter how intelligent or sentient you may be, your behaviour and forms of expression define you as by what you accuse me of in this context... chew on that with honesty in your mind...   

       fair enough I'll annotate and ridiculous is spelt with and i   

       how do you expect people to enjoy your company when you treat them like this?!?   

       Unabum yes you are a troll... sorry dude but its the truth   

       and thank you yamahito for giving me a modicum of consideration... after all I'm a poet, artist and philosopher... not a scientist... If I come up with one unique idea then my contribution and dreams are met. Anyone is capable. Someone who can't write or read can still be a dreamer. Unabum take a look in the mirror pal and give yourself a break...
brett, Jun 17 2002

       Hey, easy on the bitterness, dude. It could be worse. My first 2 ideas were decidedly double-fishboned, whereas your first idea only has one fish affixed to it. Click on my name's link to see why... I deleted one of them because I could no longer take it... but "Rambo House" remains.   

       Keep trying, and welcome to the Halfbakery.
polartomato, Jun 17 2002

       <snort> Oo, UnaBubba, he got you good!   

       Trying to palm off an idea that's been around for the last sixty years as your 'one original idea' is pretty weak, kiddo.
StarChaser, Jun 17 2002

       I don't mind my idea being dumped on, hell it happens to me all the time. In fact I think a thorough critic is invaluable. What I cannot stand is irrational, irresponsible emotive behaviour. From one stranger to another Unabum has committed, what is in my mind one of the most detrimental character flaws. Judgement of character, which naturally leads to assumptions, so no matter how intelligent (and I'll respect him/her for this) the critic is I will not stand for blanket slander. A dreamers dreams are as valid as those of a lover of science. Mr BlackandWhite (neither of those colours actually exist) can take a quaff of self assertive, arrogant, blunt and demeaning medecine.
brett, Jun 17 2002

       Hey starchaser, i'm glad to get a laugh out of you.   

       Firstly I referenced that I'd flogged the space elevator aspect, but I was unaware of the fact it had been thought of before...   

       Last weekend I had an idea about a photographic camera with a remote control, only to find out that I was five years too late.   

       I also did have a patent on a 3D chessboard that didn't change the game. Lots of people have tried it and failed. I succeeded but the companies weren't interested.   

       I do not flog stuff. Its against my doctrine. If it had been done before, then you guys just helped me get out of that self delusion. Once again thank you.
brett, Jun 17 2002

       brett, I don't see where UB said any of the things which caused offence. He's been here a long time, and has the respect of many a half=baker. Fair enough, he's not exactly tolerant or fair, but he's equally unfair to everyone.   

       starchaser: there are currently two possible materials: diamond and some form of buckminsterfullerine - I'll admit that the engineering isn't quite there to implement that though..   

       UB: 250 miles? Did you pull that figure out of your arse? In any case, the hydraulic system would be done in stages, shirley?
yamahito, Jun 17 2002

       250 miles is a low earth orbit. Seems a sensible place to put it. You want it higher?
pottedstu, Jun 17 2002

       Well said UB
goff, Jun 17 2002

       "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong." --Henry Louis Mencken   

       I would like to add some constructive if mostly negative comments. First, I commend you on bending some brain power towards the Real Problem: safe clean unlimited energy.   

       Your idea has some editorial issues. I mention them first because well formed posts will predispose people to liking your ideas. When the problem you're solving isn't obvious, state it clearly up front. Organize the rest of your post so that it flows logically, remove extraneous information, and when you proof read, make sure you have solved the problem. If you are writing far outside your field of knowledge, find someone knowledgeable check your conceptual understanding and your logic. This place has some additional quirks, but I wont address them as I am pretty new here myself.   

       From the help file, "ideas are best when they are possible, or impossible in interesting ways." Since your idea relies on the yet-to-be-actualized space elevator, it is neither. High launch costs and power transportation are the prohibitive factors to most ideas for space-based power generation. Why are orbiting nuke plants better than orbiting solar farms? They aren't, which is why this earns my fishbone.   

       Does the idea solve the problem? No. It is unsafe. Another Chernobyl would be a lot tamer than the accidental re-entry of an orbiting reactor. If you put the reactors further out, you have trouble getting the energy back to earth. It is limited because we will still run out of uranium fuel.   

       Keep the ideas coming, but to quote the help file again, "Generally, the more you know (and can explain!) about the technology behind your idea, the more interesting the idea will be. As always, when in doubt, write about what you know."
Maurkov, Jun 17 2002

       If not, Maurkov, you are welcome to claim to be my older, more diplomatic, better informed sibling, on any occassion. I, too, liked the way you handled that response.
jurist, Jun 18 2002

       Yamahito, if you happen to know where you can get several hundred miles of diamond rope, I'm sure there are lots of people who would like to talk to you.   

       Right now, it's impossible to make anything out of diamond, or buckyballs. Maybe at some point in the distant future. I believe that the elevator in Clarke's book <whose name now escapes me> was made of something like that.   

       It's just as reasonable to want to build it out of Unobtanium, since it doesn't yet exist, either.
StarChaser, Jun 19 2002

       granted, sc - but I did say that these are possible candidates, not that it was currently possible to *use* them...
yamahito, Jun 19 2002

       Thank you [UnaBubba, jurist, blissmiss]. That was a warm welcome. No, Im not a reincarnation. I've been lurking since around the dawn of this year. Out of curiosity, why would someone assume an alias in order to post nice? In the next few days I'll try to whip an idea together instead of just sampling the wares.
Maurkov, Jun 19 2002

       [StarChaser] The Clarke book you're thinking of is probably 'The Fountains of Paradise'.
-alx, Jun 19 2002

       Yamahito, then it's at least as reasonable to say it can be made out of kite string, because it's a possible candidate too, even if it's not currently possible to use it. It has the overwhelming advantage that it can actually be used to tie things together, as well, unlike diamonds or buckyballs.   

       Alx: That's the one, thanks.
StarChaser, Jun 20 2002

       Maurkov - yes, ex-bakers with the initals PS spring to mind...
goff, Jun 20 2002

       // I don't mind my idea being dumped on, hell it happens to me all the time. //   

       Maybe there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere rather than refused out of spite...   

       Anyway, building anything that tall has a zillion problems associated with it. On the cover of the latest Popular Science is an idea for a space elevator that is kept in tension by an orbiting asteroid.   

       1st rule of the bakery: how you're treated here depends on how you'll respond to criticism. We don't care for flamewars or 'you're not fair!' nonsense.
RayfordSteele, Jun 20 2002

       But it's possible to radiate heat into a vacuum, as well. The Sun does it all the time.
StarChaser, Jun 21 2002

       Radiation would not be my first choice to try and cool a fusion reactor. Not quick enough.
RayfordSteele, Jun 21 2002

       Being in space, you could have really huge radiators, and it wouldn't be difficult to run some sort of liquid coolant through them. Pretty much as reactors are now, just venting heat to space rather than to the air.
StarChaser, Jun 21 2002

       Use Vernon's IKECE
neelandan, Jun 21 2002

       Build a copper foil radiator fin a mile square. Shade it from the sun, tinfoil will do. Create a maze of tubes in the fin, give them smaller fins along their length, and so on fractally, as small as you can manage, and pump the coolant, liquid sodium, mercury, whatever, through the tubes. Should work fine.   

       Radiators work in space. Look at the inside of the bay doors of the Space Shuttle.
StarChaser, Jun 21 2002

       The problem with nukes on earth is not that they will go off like H-bombs. Even if they did, it wouldnt be a problem on a scale comparable to the moon's orbit shifting (now _that_ would cause trouble). The problem is uncontrolled release of radioactive materials, along the lines of Chernobyl. The solution: put the nukes at the bottom of the sea. I envision use of technology similar to the Chunnel. Also handy - ample cold water to be used for routine cooling.   

       Even if you did have an uncontrolled release, it would be underwater and of much less consequence than plumes drifting along in the air. We do not drink seawater, or use it to water crops - seawater is not used for much except for fish to drink - and we should lay off eating the wild ocean fish anyway. Seawater that turns into rain is basically distilled, and would leave radionuclides in the sea.   

       The pro-fish lobby will come at this with both fists. I am not saying I want to irradiate the fish. I am saying that if you have an operation that is intrisically risky, perform it under conditions that minimize the risk.
bungston, Nov 18 2002

       Space.....the final veneer...
4whom, Oct 30 2007


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