Comment of the Day: How To Light Up the Astrodome

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO LIGHT UP THE ASTRODOME “It just occurred to me that the best use would be to turn the Astrodome into a giant Concentrating Solar Power plant — you know, the kind with all the mirrors pointed at a tower. Simply chop off the top, install the tower, and replace the seats with mirrors, and you’re done. A rough, napkin calculation says we should get over 2M W, enough to power almost 1,000 homes. Wikipedia says CSP costs $4/W, so about $9.5 mil for the project. This would make the Astrodome a true symbol of the future while keeping the history mostly intact. Reliant Energy could then promote next door Reliant Stadium as being 100% renewable powered all year. There was talk of turning it into a conference center with photovoltaic solar panels on the top, but converting it to CSP means much more power per square foot generated, especially if you use the stadium’s natural bowl shape (25% efficiency for dish-shaped CSP vs. 15% for regular solar panels). [Derek, commenting on Anyone Got a Better Idea for the Astrodome?] Illustration: Lulu

12 Comment

  • Uh ok, yeah. This???? is the comment of the Day? 80 responses to Mel and this absurd idea is what you pick. Why would I comment on an idea that will never happen, this has zero chance of even being considered. Seriously, whoever picked this as the comment should be reassigned

  • “Wikipedia says CSP costs $4/W”

    So $240 to make enough power for a 60 watt light bulb?

  • What if, we, like, turn it into a casino?

  • This comment lost me at “chop off the top” and I’m left wondering if there really was any thought put into this at all. I suspect that instead of cogent thought,this phantasmagoria was the result of a drug-addled haze.

  • Delete post. Ban user.

  • I think it’s a fantastic idea. Benny: I’m pretty sure $4/w is the cost to construct, not the price to produce electricity.

  • I can’t wait for Houston to pick a plan for the Astrodome, mostly because I’m so sick and tired of all these half cooked ideas people keep launching into public. Really, are people this simple minded?

  • It would cost about 50 times more to have to modify this stadium to perform the described function than to just bulldoze an unused field and set angled mirrors. This post is stupid for just too many reasons to get into. It would have been good as a joke, but I don’t think it was intended to be.

  • Wow given such vitriole I am now afraid to post anything.

  • all of you naysayers are wrong. this would be the Eiffel Tower of Houston! They could even make a restaurant at the top with stunning views, if a bit bright during the lunch rush.
    I don’t think it would make reliant a green building though, if that thing only sucks down the power needed for 1000 homes, I’d be shocked.

  • I’m pretty sure the original poster was joking about this idea. But, as Spain found out this type of energy generations is not viable without heavy government subsidies, much like many other faux-green energies. On paper looks good, in reality lots of hidden costs and unsurmountable technical problems.

  • ” enough to power almost 1,000 home*”

    *When the sun is shining.