Space-based solar power in the offing
Paving the way for generating space-based solar power, Japanese researchers have succeeded in transmitting electrical power wirelessly to a pinpoint target using microwaves.
Tokyo: Paving the way for generating space-based solar power, Japanese researchers have succeeded in transmitting electrical power wirelessly to a pinpoint target using microwaves.
The team at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) transformed 1.8 kilowatts of electric power into microwaves and transmitted it with accuracy to a receiver located 55 metres away, Wall Street Journal reported.
In the experiment conducted at Hyogo prefecture in western Japan, the microwave was successfully converted into direct electrical current at the receiving end.
For space-based solar power generation, sunlight is gathered in geostationary orbit and transmitted to a receiver on Earth.
"If implemented, microwave-transmitting solar satellites would be set up approximately 35,000 km from Earth by 2030," a spokesperson from Jaxa was quoted as saying.
A receiver set up on Earth with an approximately three-km radius can create up to one gigawatt of electricity -- about the same as one nuclear reactor.
Researchers "are aiming for practical use in the 2030s", posted Jaxa researcher Yasuyuki Fukumuro on its website.
Satellite-based solar panels can capture the energy around-the-clock and are not affected by weather conditions, the report added.