There was once a time when the idea of solar energy belonged solely to the realm of science fiction. It wasn’t that long ago that the properties of light itself were the topic of debate. But as time goes on and the boundaries of science fact are pushed ever closer to those of science fiction, it becomes more and more clear that we as humans are capable of producing and designing incredible things. Solar panel technology has come farther in the last few years than many could have anticipated, and in the search for renewable, clean energy, the technology is improved upon every day. Who can say what our technology will look like in ten years? A hundred? One projection of our energy future is popular among fans of science fiction: The Dyson Sphere.
At Green Road Solar, we pride ourselves on being your Sun Valley solar power experts. Whether you need solar panel installation, maintenance, or repair, we’ve got you covered. We understand the value of solar energy, as well as the complexity of the science behind it. The science behind a Dyson Sphere is fantastic and still firmly rooted in science fiction for now. But the idea is still interesting and entertaining to explore. So what is a Dyson Sphere, and will it ever be possible to build one? Let’s take a look.
The Ultimate in Solar Energy
The Dyson Sphere is a theoretical construct based on the speculations of physicist Freeman Dyson. Dyson understood as most do that there may come a point when a technologically advanced civilization might need to seek alternative sources of energy due to a depletion of resources. He envisioned a solution—a megastructure designed to catch every last bit of energy outputted by the sun. This structure would be spherical and massive in design, completely surrounding the sun and lined with mirrors or solar panels that could capture the almost 400 septillion watts per second that the sun emits. That amount of energy is nearly a trillion times the amount of current energy usage worldwide.
Is it Possible?
Unfortunately for Dr. Dyson and the hundreds of other sphere hopefuls, the physics behind a Dyson Sphere aren’t practical. To keep the sphere from being torn apart by gravity would require a tensile strength that is beyond the capabilities of known materials. Another issue that makes a Dyson Sphere unfeasible is the fact that it would not be gravitationally bound to the star it surrounds, meaning that a bump or nudge from something like a meteor could destabilize it to disastrous effect. However, a related concept could be feasible in the future: The Dyson Swarm. Rather than surrounding a star with an encapsulating sphere, a swarm or cloud of solar panels or mirrors could have the same effect. The solar panels could orbit the sun like modern satellites do, collecting energy as they go.
Until new technology catches up with science fiction, we are still Earthbound in our energy pursuits to a certain extent. While we won’t be constructing a Dyson Swarm any time soon, we can still use the sun to help power our homes and keep our planet clean. That is our mission at Green Road Solar, to provide homes with affordable, renewable, and clean sources of energy. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.