I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more energy?
I am curious because an article comments discussion got me thinking about setting up a low Earth orbit solar collection platform as a power plant for a city or nation. Then I got thinking about how to bring it down to the surface (the energy that is). Which had me thinking about using really long cables stretched from the satellite to a high-altitude dirigible platform that would then allow it to more easily bring the energy to our planets surface.
From there I started wondering if the high altitude dirigible platform would instead be up high enough to garner any added energy collection benefits. It would certainly help with space saving on the ground and could be rather quickly moved into a disaster area for emergency power purposes. Being a dirigible it would also be relatively easy to keep it aloft. With it far above the clouds it should be able to avoid many weather issues as well (as far as I am aware).
So does anyone know if there would be any added benefits from solar collection in a thinner atmosphere environment from a power generation perspective? What pitfalls can you think of? The biggest one I can think of is the efficient transport of the energy.