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Best Solar System

Rosemary Said:

what the best solar system to sustain fridge,stove,all lights,computer and where to get it?

We Answered:

To see what is feasible, it helps to know where you live.

But I will assume you live in a relatively sunny place, and that you have grid power available, as suggested by your list of appliances.

I suggest staying tied to the grid, and supplementing your power by solar. The grid will also have the robustness to power your stove for the short times it is on, too. With 3 kW of solar panels, we were able to offset all but the mandatory minimum charge from the power company over the course of a year, and that included having an electric stove and oven.

If you must be disconnected from the grid, I'd suggest going with a solar oven for your cooking, or propane, or wood burning. Otherwise, your battery bank will be huge. You can find energy-efficient versions of the other appliances you list, and it would be better to invest in those than in a larger solar system.

Try looking in your phone book under "solar," for professional installers. They will come by and do a free analysis on your house, and give a no-obligation quote.

Alicia Said:

Best Solar System Movie/TV Special?

We Answered:

Well there are several PBS specials and Nova shows about solar system and space exploration.
http://www.shoppbs.org/family/index.jsp?…

If you need a good laugh about bad science however, catch nearly any episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Check Google Video and YouTube.

Chris Said:

What would be the best setting for a space film set in the Solar System?

We Answered:

Moons around Jupiter and Saturn are common plot elements and have all kinds of interesting things about them. However, asteroids tend to have very low gravities so taking off and landing on them should be very low cost when compared with larger bodies. And since it takes so much energy to lift off mass from larger bodies, it makes sense that there'd be a lot of mining of asteroids in our solar system.

Another one would be close to the sun, perhaps orbiting around mercury or venus, or just orbitting around the sun. The closer we get to the sun, the more solar energy there is and so the higher potential there is for energy 'harvest' per unit area. While someday, we may develop reliable, economical, and applicable fusion (H bombs aren't easily applied to electricity generation!), it still seems unlikely they'd be the right choice for space as they'd likely be very heavy. Thus it seems like we'll be stuck with solar sources of energy for the forseable future.

Another one that I find intersting and at least somewhat likely would be 'garbage collector' in earth orbit. There's lots of crap coming off satellites, space shuttles, and other things around the earth and those things tend to be moving very fast. Even a spec of paint, when going ridiculously fast, can cause a catastrophe. It's been said that eventually, we're gonna start having to clean that stuff up or face the consequences. Seems like an interesting job.

Pretty much any setting in space I can think of could work on film. The challenge, IMO, is to keep it hard SF. I can't think of a single SF film that fits my idea of hard SF.

EDIT: In regards to hanweipaulchen's comment, the big money going into space development happened a little after the middle of the 20th century. It's been almost what, 40 years since someone set foot on the moon? I remember when I was in elementary school, they said we'd be on Mars in like 5 years. That was about 15 years ago.

The primary thing holding back really expanding into space is a cheap way of getting into orbit. Energy is getting more expensive and I haven't heard of any recent developments in a space elevator so I'd say it will NOT be in the near future that all this Sci-Fi will become Sci-Nonfi.

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