I loathe Google's sprunging of our lives and serving us up as data sushi for advertisers but if they can do for renewable energy what they did for driverless cars, that would be something they could be proud of.
Google will invest $80m in solar-powered plants as it keeps in mind exactly what may end up powering its data centers in future. The ad giant and investment firm KKR will work together to bankroll the construction of six new solar farms in the American Southwest. The facilities are slated to be built in the desert regions of …
Friday 15th November 2013 12:50 GMT The First Dave
Friday 15th November 2013 13:22 GMT Pascal Monett
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Friday 15th November 2013 20:13 GMT John Smith 19
Saturday 16th November 2013 20:26 GMT Trevor_Pott
Re: Still won't help at night of course.
...no it wouldn't. At 800KM it would spend a significant portion of it's time in Earth's shadow, and the rest of the time frying hapless people and animals as it whips across the Earth faster than it could possibly track any ground stations.
Perhaps you're thinking of geosynchronous orbit, which is 42,000 km (give or take), which would allow a satellite to park itself above the ground station and only microwave every satellite, station, ship, plane or bird that happened to cross it's beam. Even then, as any geosync orbit that isn't wildly elliptical (thus fluctuating in distance from the surface (and thus beam intensity) quite wildly) has to be at the equator, that satellite will certainly pass within Earth's shadow.
You can see this phenomenon every month. There is a rather large example in the form of a large chunk of rock approximately 384,400km out. As I recall, our ancestors even created the concept of a "month" based on the tendency of that particular rock to "go dark" as it passed through Earth's shadow.
The only way you're getting a satellite to experience 100% sunlight is a circumpolar orbit (which would fry a lovely ring around the terminator) or a geosynchronous polar orbit; from what I understand the vagaries of the magnetic fields and the Van Allen belts make that latter one a right bitch.