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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Jun '10 20:06 / 1 edit
    http://www.physorg.com/news194706618.html

    I actually came up with this one first, I envisioned a SF story called the Trans Lunar Railway, which would be about 2 Km long and 1/10 km wide, with tracks around the moon, and the train going 24/7 about 16 Km/hr to always have the PV's fully facing the sun. It would provide about 40 or 50 megawatts to distribute around the moon, strictly for local consumption and have the ability to send stuff around the moon in 28 days, it never stops more than the time it takes to embark and disembark cargo and passengers who would ride in nice air conditioned cabins like a luxury liner on Earth, complete with theaters, gambling halls, 24/7 buffet's, that sort of thing. The tracks would conduct power on and off the train, the wheels would be conductors, and since there is no atmosphere, there would be no corrosion to deal with. The only thing you would have to worry about would be lunar dust which apparently blows around on the surface so the wheels would have to have cleaning mechanisms dusting them off every now and then to maintain electrical contact.

    These dudes went a bit further than my imagination though, pave the whole friggin thing No train needed and you get a hell of a lot more power. Of course you still have to ship it off to Earth, lasers, microwaves, rockets filled with H2, whatever
    No bad weather, except on Earth! Lets see, what if you had a way above room temperature superconductor that happened to be about 100X stronger than steel, then you run a big tower on one of the poles and run the cable to Earth, then you don't need microwave dishes.....

    Assuming they won't do that, the first iteration I mentioned would ship about 0.5 terawatts to Earth 24/7 and the full station of 400 km wide they mentioned would up that to about 20 Tw delivered on Earth. Still not enough to qualify as supplying ALL the energy needs of the planet, the USA sucks up about half of that already.
  2. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    02 Jun '10 20:28
    I want to embed a 3-D printer in a cave at the heart of the moon.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Jun '10 21:04
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I want to embed a 3-D printer in a cave at the heart of the moon.
    To make your latest live dolly with accurate orifices?
  4. Standard member avalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
    02 Jun '10 21:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.physorg.com/news194706618.html

    I actually came up with this one first, I envisioned a SF story called the Trans Lunar Railway, which would be about 2 Km long and 1/10 km wide, with tracks around the moon, and the train going 24/7 about 16 Km/hr to always have the PV's fully facing the sun. It would provide about 40 or 50 megawatts to distribut ...[text shortened]... s supplying ALL the energy needs of the planet, the USA sucks up about half of that already.
    You could use this type of pv instead, that may help.

    http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/pv-cell-prototype-generates-electricity-from-ir-and-uv-light/
  5. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    02 Jun '10 21:45
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    To make your latest live dolly with accurate orifices?
    Not exactly.

    I was going with the idea of a printer that prints sandstone into shapes of your desiring. Effectively you can print buildings. So you feed sand from within the moon into the printer hollowing out the moon in caves of arabesque ... Eventually it turns into Gaudi cheese.
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Jun '10 01:32 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Not exactly.

    I was going with the idea of a printer that prints sandstone into shapes of your desiring. Effectively you can print buildings. So you feed sand from within the moon into the printer hollowing out the moon in caves of arabesque ... Eventually it turns into Gaudi cheese.
    Ok, I apogilize You actually had a thought! I've seen those 3d printers in action, there is a site called Circuit girl and fat boy, something like that where one of them has a 3d printer and are making some kind of star trek space ship about 4 cm long, they actually have been selling them at SF conventions. They talked about the 3d printer as an excellent tool to create the first models of whatever then fire up an agreement with Taiwan to make 10 million of them and everyone becomes gazillionaires.
    Ah, I found a link, Fat man and circuit girl, they are into hacking stuff, nice site. She was hacking commodore 64 boards (I used to work there and have a half dozen of them after they went belly up) and such.

    http://www.fatmanandcircuitgirl.com/
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Jun '10 02:55
    Another link to a similar machine:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627621.200-rise-of-the-replicators.html
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    03 Jun '10 05:11
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.physorg.com/news194706618.html

    I actually came up with this one first, I envisioned a SF story called the Trans Lunar Railway, which would be about 2 Km long and 1/10 km wide, with tracks around the moon, and the train going 24/7 about 16 Km/hr to always have the PV's fully facing the sun. It would provide about 40 or 50 megawatts to distribut ...[text shortened]... s supplying ALL the energy needs of the planet, the USA sucks up about half of that already.
    Very clever.

    We are at the dawn of a new age. The first Space Age was about getting to the moon and sending up satellites. Now it's the Moon Colonization and Visiting Mars Space Age. Or soon anyway...not our lifetimes probably, but 1-2 generations from now?

    Just in time for China's rise to the top.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    03 Jun '10 05:12
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I want to embed a 3-D printer in a cave at the heart of the moon.
    Wow...that is poking my neurons in a fascinating way...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8BWBn26bX0
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    03 Jun '10 05:32
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Not exactly.

    I was going with the idea of a printer that prints sandstone into shapes of your desiring. Effectively you can print buildings. So you feed sand from within the moon into the printer hollowing out the moon in caves of arabesque ... Eventually it turns into Gaudi cheese.
    Sounds like some kind of computer controlled shape adjustable kiln.
  11. 03 Jun '10 10:52
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I actually came up with this one first, I envisioned a SF story called the Trans Lunar Railway, which would be about 2 Km long and 1/10 km wide, with tracks around the moon, and the train going 24/7 about 16 Km/hr to always have the PV's fully facing the sun.
    Surely it would make far more sense just to put a few batteries in your train, then you can build your railway wherever you liked instead of having to go around the equator.
    Your idea would be identical to doing the same thing on earth - only here you might have trouble getting over the oceans, and the track would be longer, and you would have trouble with weather.

    As for the original article, I would be interested in knowing how much more light (power wise) the moon receives (per square meter).
    Of course it is obvious from the start that the cost of building pvs on the moon far outweighs the benefits.
    The benefits I can see are:
    Free land.
    No weather.
    More sunlight per area.
    Funding from advertisers who pay you to put them in patterns displaying their logo.

    The downsides would be:
    Cost.
    Disputes over land ownership.
    Extra transmission requirements (cables round the moon + beams to earth).
    Objections from environmentalists.
    Lack of market. -if we can't sell power from land based pvs, whose going to buy it from more costly moon based ones?
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Jun '10 13:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Surely it would make far more sense just to put a few batteries in your train, then you can build your railway wherever you liked instead of having to go around the equator.
    Your idea would be identical to doing the same thing on earth - only here you might have trouble getting over the oceans, and the track would be longer, and you would have trouble wi ...[text shortened]... e can't sell power from land based pvs, whose going to buy it from more costly moon based ones?
    Well the power received is the same on top of Earth's atmosphere as on the surface of the moon, about one kilowatt per square meter or 125 watts per square foot but of course on earth you would be lucky to get half of that on the surface because of atmospheric absorption. So after factoring in the efficiency of PV cells, say 25% which would probably be low by the time such a system would be built, you would get out of the PV cells on the moon about 250 watts per square meter but maybe 125 watts per square meter on Earth max and a lot less if there were clouds.
    I don't think they did a cost analysis of such a huge project though.
  13. 03 Jun '10 18:50
    the panels would be a lot easier to aim at the sun if they were floating at a Lagrangian point.
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    03 Jun '10 22:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Surely it would make far more sense just to put a few batteries in your train, then you can build your railway wherever you liked instead of having to go around the equator.
    Your idea would be identical to doing the same thing on earth - only here you might have trouble getting over the oceans, and the track would be longer, and you would have trouble wi ...[text shortened]... e can't sell power from land based pvs, whose going to buy it from more costly moon based ones?
    Lower gravity.
    Different mineral composition.
    One face always to the Sun (making this train entirely pointless on the Moon).
    Little danger to fragile instruments left unattended like solar panels
  15. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Jun '10 23:38
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Lower gravity.
    Different mineral composition.
    One face always to the Sun (making this train entirely pointless on the Moon).
    Little danger to fragile instruments left unattended like solar panels
    You got one thing totally wrong. One side of the moon always faces the Earth, it takes 28 days for one rotation about the sun. All sides of the moon get light and dark cycles.
    That's why I had my train going about 16 km/hr 24/7 so it would always have the best angle for collecting solar energy. There would also be room for several trains if they were needed.