harvest solar energy to get electricity and high power lasers to be used for welding in underground unmanned industrial complexes
Image credit: Photo by Anamul Rezwan: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cut-off-saw-cutting-metal-with-sparks-1145434/
Contrived _voiceMar 27, 2022
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By definition 1/3 of the world is a desert, Imagine if you could turn them all into self-sufficient industrial zones relying solely on the sun for all their energy needs. Since the work is monotonous and repetitive it can be automated fully, eliminating the need for essential life support systems. This would allow all the energy produced to be geared toward production. Picture smart industries making smart products.
Makes use of non-arable land
The deeper you go the cooler it becomes, machines work best under cool temperatures.
laser welding is actually more efficient than classical arc welding
Could serve as a template for factories for making equipment on other planets.
If you happened to have a company specialising in boring while also being in the process of mass producing smart vehicles to meet a growing global demand, while also trying to do it in the most renewable way possible, then this would be one way to do it.
Since land is expensive but wastelands are cheap
How it works
As described, these complexes shall be constructed underground at around 12 feet or deeper, this is because at this depth the temprature only varies slightly throughout the year regardless of external weather conditions. Since the solar harvesting farm is directly on top of the complex the shadow cast will also cause a cooling effect on the ground below making cooling of machinery even easier.
Taking the sahara desert as an example. It was temperate in the last ice age and some of its alluvial basins no longer have any natural drainage, which means that there is still some water trapped under there. This water could further be used for cooling by tapping into it, passing it across the cooling systems and then through thin tunnels constructed under the complex where it could loose heat before being passed into the cooling system again.
Once in a while , people could come in for scheduled mentainance of the machinery and software and then leave.
The Solar farm
Even it the tropics, the sin still changes it's position in the sky. The solar frm runs on programming that allows the panels to alwus face the sun while never overlapping. They provide the energy to run the entire facility by sheer scale alone. Forbes classifies a facility as an industrial operation if it consumes 55,000 kWh of electricity or 200,000 kWh of gas a year . This is great because an avarage large scale solar farm can produce more than 3.6 million kWh annually . And that is only on 12 acres ,imagine how far you could push the scale on this.
The high power laser system
So a factory requires alot of heat, either for melting, welding or any other spefic thing. Early industries used coal, then gas furnaces , then induction furnaces , the next logical leap is a solar furnace. The largest in the world reaches 3,500 °C at the focal point. Hot enough to melt steel. But what about welding?
I found this design for a luminescent solar collector. It takes in light and focuses it into a high power laser and it is amazing .It takes an idea and adds so much utility to it. By harnessing the input from such a device and connecting it to a welding robot that uses a thermal model of pulsed-laser welding via a fibre optic optic cable that can't be melted by the intensity of the beam , you could eliminate the need for using electricity for this allowing you to do more with it.
The martian appeal
Humanity is in agreement that mars is the next planet we are colonising. Due to it's thin atmosphere and lower gravity, It would make a perfect industrial planet , allowing earth to focus on food production. Unmmaned underground complexes that use the high atmospheric radiation and really high output photovoltaic cells to get electricity to manufacture necessary equipment and vehicles and takes advantage of the low gravity to launch them into orbit to be taken to wherever they are needed.