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>Since I'm we're talking about system efficiencies.  I wonder if it would be 
>better to skip masers and use  visible light reflecting sails.   LISTEN UP. 
> THIS IS IMPORTANT.  We know that our masers waste 90% of their power just 
>to transmit (right?).  If we were using solar panels like on the Hubble, 
>then that is another 90% lost.  Already our 1E18 W needed to accelerate the 
>Asimov is up to 1E20.  This gets worse as we transmit across interstellar 
>distances through refocusing array's and retro-mirrors before ever getting 
>to the Asimov which will have a none too pretty reflective sail itself. 
> This could easily put our starting power bill at 1E21.
>IDEA!  Why not skip converting the sunlight and just gather it directly into 
>lasers using these huge mirror apparatuses that I'm proposing.  The arrays 
>aroundSol would need to be heavy to keep from getting blown away, but that's 

How would you transfer the solar energy to nice laser beams? I haven't the
faintest idea how that could be done directly.