Physics Help Forum Solar Energy Conversion at Night

 Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Physics Help Forum

 Jan 14th 2017, 01:08 AM #1 Junior Member   Join Date: Nov 2016 Posts: 3 Solar Energy Conversion at Night This is a fun thought experiment; Why not have space based mirrors to reflect light down to earth at night to make solar do a little extra generating! The cost of solar is coming down and the cost of lifting things into orbit is coming down, so why not. Plus gold is very reflective, light weight and extremely malleable [$1 Million in gold, weighs 60 lbs and can make (up to) 27,500 sqr meter mirror]  Jan 14th 2017, 07:42 AM #2 Senior Member Join Date: Aug 2010 Posts: 336 What would that do to weather and the ecology? A large part of the earth's weather system depends on cooling at night and many plants and animals on the darkness. Jan 14th 2017, 09:13 AM #3 Junior Member Join Date: Dec 2013 Location: Encinitas, CA Posts: 18  Originally Posted by SophiaL This is a fun thought experiment; Why not have space based mirrors to reflect light down to earth at night to make solar do a little extra generating! The cost of solar is coming down and the cost of lifting things into orbit is coming down, so why not. Plus gold is very reflective, light weight and extremely malleable [$1 Million in gold, weighs 60 lbs and can make (up to) 27,500 sqr meter mirror]
I think a fair bit of analysis and design has been done on a system of orbiting solar collectors that send power to Earth using microwaves.

This has much less impact (though not zero) on the environment and is just more feasible to build in general.

 Feb 20th 2017, 12:54 PM #4 Junior Member   Join Date: Feb 2017 Posts: 2 It would be cheaper to locate giant mirrors on different parts of the planets so that at least one of them is receiving sunlight when its dark else where.

 Tags conversion, energy, night, solar