Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in the 1960's Peter Glaser of MIT proposed putting solar cells into a rather high orbit, and microwaving the power down to earth. (I didn't know Glaser, but he was a heat transfer expert and I talked to him a few times about heat transfer issues.) As I recall NASA did a lot of work on this in the 1970's and I did some work on it, again more on heat transfer matters. Now a small firm has apparently made a deal with PG&E to provide power from orbiting solar cells. The receiving microwave antenna would be in the Mojave Desert I assume. As I recall, one issue with this concept was that small creatures flying through the microwave beam would be fried. I wonder if environmentalists will have a problem with this approach?


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