Selling Sunlight

Sunlight may be easier to make and sell than power or shade.

The main thing we need to find is the killer app. That is the use of sunlight that is worth a lot of money to people on the ground.

I have thought of one killer app. that probable could pay to build and launch their own sunlight system... Disneyland. With their own sunlight they could easily go to 24 hour a day operation. That would allow them to handle twice as many people. That is worth a lot of money.

Here are a few others that I can think of:

1. Provide the state of Florida with enough sunlight on cold nights so that the orange crops do not freeze.

2. Provide the snow belt cities of the world with enough sunlight such that a winter blizzard is turned to rain.

3. Provide the states with sunlight delivery system which could keep the freeways clear of snow and dry.

Bread and butter apps. These apps. will buy excess capacity all the time at a reduced rate.

1. For example Anchorage Alaska may be willing to buy a lot of sunlight in the long winter.

2. Las Vegas may be willing to buy sunlight at night just for the show.

3. Los Angeles may be willing to buy sunlight on overcast mornings just for the PR value.

4. Cities all over the world may be willing to buy a small amount of sunlight at night to cut down on crime and decrease the need for street lights.

Future apps:

1. Cities may grow around Hudson bay when they have enough sunlight to make it nice to live there year around. Lots of cheep land and fresh water.


What is additional sunlight worth?

Lets guess at the a market value for 1,000,000 square feet of additional sunlight for 1 hours.


* $100... Winter, Chicago, downtown plaza, normal work day 20 degrees...
* $1000... Winter, New York, Times Square, 4:00 PM New Years eve.
* $2000... Winter, Chicago, downtown plaza, normal work day -40 degrees...
* $5,000... Middle of a blizzard in Chicago at rush hour 20 degrees...
* $15,000... Middle of a blizzard in Chicago at rush hour -30 degrees...
* $25,000... Middle of a blizzard in Chicago at rush hour -30 degrees 30 mile per hour wind...

Sunlight systems will be to this next century what hydroelectric dams were to the last century.

What we don't know yet is what additional sunlight will do. Will it clear roads and sidewalks of snow? If so, how much additional sunlight and for how long.

Making sunlight

One way to make sunlight in an area is by reflecting it from high in space.

There would be a trade off between the size of the mirror and the cost of the aiming control system.


* Lets guess at the total weight of one (1,000,000 square foot) sunlight delivery system at 1000 pounds.
* Lets guess at the price of one (1,000,000 square foot) sunlight delivery system at $3,000,000.
* Current cost to orbit is $10,000 per pound, so for a 1000 pound satellite it costs $10,000,000.00 to get it in orbit.
* Thus total cost in space is $13,000,000.00

If we figure we need to make 30% on $13,000,000 to break even each year, that means that the operating cost per year is $3,900,000.00

Thus to get the cost per hour we divide $3,900,000.00 by the number of hours in a year.

Hours in a year is 24 times 256 = 6144. So the cost per hour is $3,900,000.00 divided by 6144, which gives $534 per hour.

References

http://uplink.space.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=businesstech&Number=204067&page=14&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&fpart=

Re: Instead of a space elevator

Although I'm sure that advance materials such as CNT will enable more weight to be put on orbit, the cost of launching that weight will be the same... approximately 10,000 per pound. Using a space elevator, the cost to orbit would be about 2 orders of magnitude less according to most estimates. By comparison, developing an SSTO was to reduce the cost to orbit 1 pound by 1 order of magnitude to about $1000.

Both of these products may use the same space born tool.

Here is what the tool needs to be able to do:

1. Move about in orbit so that it can be anywhere over the earth in less that 24 hours.

2. Be able to keep up with the sun if necessary.

3. Have both a receiver and sender antenna.

4. The receiver needs to be able to make power from sunlight.

5. The sender needs to be able to transmit focused microwave energy.

6. The tool needs to be able to transmit to a moving object like a 747.

Making Shade

1. We need a craft that can move around in orbit using solar power.

2. The craft needs to be able to turn such that it does not make shade all the time... with global warming, I am not sure we need this feature.

Selling Shade

Space produced shade

With space based mirrors, we could sell shade at one place on the earth and sell sunshine at another place on earth.

For example:

To figure out how much Chicago would be willing to pay for summer shade, you need to add up all the money now spent by Chicago on air conditioning.

Los Angeles would have a standing order for all the shade it could buy on any days when the temperature got above 80.

To figure out how much Los Angeles would be willing to pay for summer shade, you need to add up all the money now spent by Los Angeles for air conditioning on those hot days.

Las Vegas would have a standing order for all the sunlight it could buy after dark, and all the shade it could buy during the day. Year around.

Florida would buy all the shade they could get out over the Atlantic so as to the lower the temperature of the ocean by a degree or two.

To figure out how much Florida would be willing to pay for Atlantic shade, you need to add up all the money now spent by Florida on bad storms.

We could do a good job with this shade using a very simple tool in space. This tool would be a balloon 2500 miles in diameter kept right between the sun and the earth.

Making Sat. Power

Planes, trains and ships will be the first major users of Sat. power.

1. We need a craft that can move around in orbit using solar power.

2. We need a craft that can accept commands telling to where to transmit it's power and how much for how long.

3. We need a craft that can accept real time feedback from the power receiver telling it how accurate it's aim is.

references

http://www.spie.org/web/oer/december/space_laser.html

The system discussed relies on four key technologies: high power laser, large aperture mirrors, adaptive optics, and photovoltaic receivers.

http://www.firstscience.com/site/articles/solar.asp

According to Marzwell, using today's technology a space solar power system could generate energy at a cost of 60 to 80 cents per kilowatt-hour. This estimate includes construction costs for the first system.

"We believe that in 15 to 25 years we can lower that cost to 7 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour," said Marzwell. The market price today is around 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Lasers are also under consideration for beaming the energy from space. Using lasers would eliminate most of the problems associated with microwave but under a current treaty with Russia, the US is prohibited from beaming high-power lasers from outer space.