Solar Electric Generating System Resource Requirements and the Feasibility of Orbiting Solar Reflectors
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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The potential consumption of natural resources by four solar electric generating systems was evaluated. They included a terrestrial solar thermal, a terrestrial photovoltaic, an orbiting solar reflector, and a satellite solar power system. Each was evaluated on its projected consumption of materials, land, water, manpower, energy, and money. The evaluation demonstrated that, per megawatt of electrical generating capacity, the terrestrial systems would consume less resources mainly because they would not require massive space transportation and construction systems and expensive developmental programs. It was also shown that construction of terrestrial systems would require fewer technological advancements and would pose less of a threat to the environment. A feasibility study of orbiting solar reflectors demonstrated that single-mirror systems may be useful for intra-space power generation. The report contains a 47-item bibliography.
- Non-electrical Energy Conversion
- Electric Power Production and Distribution