No, this is not a new vacuum but it could power 31,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 vacuums per second at only 25% efficiency or what energy would be needed to become a Type II civilization on the kardashev scale or about one million years of electricity for our current usage and all that electricity would be green! A Dyson sphere is a solid spherical hypothetical megastructure that can harness almost all the power output from a star by encompassing a star with solar panels or mirrors and it is necessary if we ever want to become an interstellar species. It is so necessary that some astronomers think they might already be Dyson spheres out there already. But a solid Dyson sphere would be brittle and unstable and a Dyson swarm would be cheaper and more stable. So what is a Dyson swarm? A Dyson swarm is similar to a Dyson sphere but doesn’t encompass the star but instead surrounds it with a bunch of tightly packed individual solar panels or mirrors to harness the energy from a star. Which is better than having a solid sphere because if any part of a Dyson sphere got pushed out of orbit the whole thing would fall into the star’s gravity and burn up but with individual units, the loss is smaller because the units don’t pull each other into the star’s atmosphere and Dyson swarm can be construed incrementally unlike Dyson spheres.
So why even build a Dyson sphere?
Dyson spheres and swarms are hard to build, expensive and need world cooperation or an ambitious company! So why build them? Dyson sphere and swarms would give us an unimaginable amount of energy which is clean and could potentially make more habitable space and make space exploration, life on multiple planets and life in space a lot easier.
Just like vacuums, the Dyson sphere and Dyson swarms have many different models, here are a few of them.
The Dyson ring
Dyson ring is a ring of Dyson swarm units. The Dyson ring is the simplest type, cheapest and the smallest formation of the Dyson swarm units but comes at the cost of absorbing the least amount of power output. Also, the Dyson ring would block very little light and would most likely not be visible from the earth surface
Dyson rings are a relatively simple formation of Dyson swarm units and are composed of multiple Dyson rings. They block small amounts of sunlight (most likely not enough to be noticed from the earth), have a relatively simple formation, absorb a decent amount of light but they one of the larger models and are expensive.
The Dyson bubble
The Dyson bubble uses about 3000km long solar sail or satellites using radiation pressure to counteract the star’s gravity and stay stationary. The sails would be made of carbon nanotube material thinner than paper and would also have to be able to withstand space! So far the Dyson bubble is more fiction than fact but who knows but by the time the Dyson swarm is being constructed maybe we will have carbon nanotubes material that is strong and thin enough. The Dyson bubble would absorb lots of power output and with a solar sail or satellites that big, people would be able to live and the satellites if they could make the surface habitable. Of course, it comes at the cost of blocking a noticeable amount of sunlight, being expensive and having a more complex formation of Dyson swarm units.
The Dyson shell
The Dyson shell is the classic Dyson sphere model. It captures 100% of the power output from the star! But wait there’s more, people can live on it! Lots of people if they can make the surface habitable. But if they can that is more than 15,000 the surface area of the earth. But, of course, it comes at a cost. The Dyson shell blocks all sunlight unless it is big enough to encompass the earth’s orbit. it’s brittle and if anything hit it the whole thing would collapse. It’s extremely expensive. it’s the biggest of all of the models and is the hardest to build.
The Dyson net
Finally, the Dyson net. The Dyson net is a unique design. It’s a web of wires with heat or light power collectors attached between the wires. The Dyson net blocks minimum sunlight is small relative to the other models, is cheap relative to the other models but can’t be construed incrementally, captures a small amount of the overall power output and is one solid unit.
What’s the cost?
Well, money-wise the Dyson swarm or sphere, as of 2020 it would cost more money than in the whole world. For the time it could take less than 10 years with advancement in automated technologies to complete the Dyson swarm of the sphere. The thing that will need the most of is people’s time and effort to build and program the technologies that will do the work for us.
So you want to get started?
Well, you can’t take advanced math without taking an intro to math before. To be actually feasible they are some prerequisites. Before we get started we need a well-established base on another planet like the moon, mercury or venus with automated robotic workers because humans are weak, slow and easy to break and we also might need to be able to mine asteroids.