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View Diary: Energy from the Moon (165 comments)

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  •  Also the environmental risks (none)
    at the receiving site are immense. Having a pillar of massive microwave radiation is hardly environmentally friendly. I know I wouldn't relish the idea of being anywhere near an open air column of microwaves that would be more massive than having thousands of microwave ovens on full power with no doors on them.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Nov 11, 2005 at 11:47:21 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Microwave power densities (none)
      Actually, the sort of power density typically talked about for such systems is pretty low, certainly much much lower than what an oven puts out.

      A microwave oven draws several hundred watts, maybe a kilowatt or so, on a footprint of about one square foot. At that power density, a 10 GW power beam would be 10 million square feet, or about 1/3 of a square mile. Actual designs envision tens or hundreds of square miles of reciever array. Also, because the recievers are essentially a metal mesh, and not something solid like a dish antenna, you could do things like put reciever arrays over farmland.

      I'd worry more about the environmental impact involved in manufacturing umpteen square miles worth of photovoltaic cells; some of the chemicals involved are very nasty.

      -dms

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