Recycling Satellites in Orbit

October 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech, Recycle

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has its eye on $300 billion worth of obsolete, failed, and non-functioning satellites in geosynchronous orbit, with an eye toward collecting working parts from them to be recycled and used on new satellites . Unlike an earlier satellite recycling proposal that was more about refueling and extending the life of old satellites, the DARPA Phoenix Program would harvest the useful components from satellites that are no longer functioning for use on new satellites. For satellites in high, geosynchronous orbits, a lot of energy has been used to put those pieces in that location. If antennas, solar panels, and other components can be collected and re-used there could be significant recycling. Theoretically, it would also be possible to launch satellites without these components, making for a lighter payload which could be easier and less expensive to launch, and then attach the salvaged parts to them to make the new satellites fully functional. It’s better than getting rid of them with giant lasers ! via: BoingBoing

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Recycling Satellites in Orbit

The World’s Best Solar Power Regions are the Coldest Locales

October 25, 2011 by  
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Large expanses of desert have received most of the attention when it comes to large solar power installations, but a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology says that the world’s coldest regions are actually some of the best places for solar power generation. The study found that the Himalaya Mountains, the Andes and Antarctica are some of the most ideal solar power locations, with the ability to produce more energy per hectare than the world’s deserts .  The Himalayas could provide power to China, while the polar regions see 24 hours of sunlight a day for half the year. The study used weather data to account for any decrease in solar cell output due to freezing temperatures, snow fall and transmission losses when calculated the areas’ power generation potential. Research bases on Antarctica already successfully make use of solar and wind power for electricity, but transmitting power generated at the poles or deep in the Himalayas to places towns and cities will likely prove to be the biggest hurdle to these solar power “hot spots.” via Fast Company

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The World’s Best Solar Power Regions are the Coldest Locales

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