Beaming Solar Power to Earth from Space
A great deal of solar power falls on our planet, but a lot more misses us and goes off into space. Scientists at JAXA, Japan’s space administration, have made a major breakthrough in accurate wireless power transmission on Earth that bodes well for solar space technology. The team beamed 1.8 kilowatts of power, enough to power an electric tea kettle, more than 50 meters to a small receiver without any wires whatsoever.
The researchers were able to accomplish this task by first converting the electrical energy to microwaves, and then beaming them to a remote receiver before converting them back into electrons. The program’s goal is to harness a constant supply of solar energy directly from space using orbital solar farms, and then beam that energy for use on Earth. Solar power generation in space has many advantages over current technology, including the constant availability of energy regardless of the weather or time of day.