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Japan Wants to Power 300,000 Homes With Wireless Energy From Space

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Japan Wants to Power 300,000 Homes With Wireless Energy From Space

By fredface

spacesolar1

By Adrian Covert

Japan has serious plans to send a solar-panel-equipped satellite into space that could wirelessly beam a gigawatt-strong stream of power down to earth and power nearly 300,000 homes.

The satellite will have a surface area of four square kilometers, and transmit power via microwave to a base station on Earth. Putting solar panels in space bypasses many of the difficulties of installing them on Earth: in orbit, there are no cloudy days, very few zoning laws, and the cold ambient temperature is ideal.

A small test model is scheduled for launch in 2015. To iron out all the kinks and get a fully functional system set up is estimated to take three decades. A major kink, presumably, is coping with the possible dangers when a 1-gigawatt microwave beam aimed at a small spot on Earth misses its target.

The $21 billion project just received major backing from Mitsubishi and designer IHI (in addition to research teams from 14 other countries).

[via Bloomberg via Inhabitat]

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-09/japan-wants-power-300000-homes-wireless-power-space

 

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About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

One response »

  1. For information on wireless-energy-transfer; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_energy_transfer

    Wireless energy transfer or Wireless power is the transmission of electrical energy from a power source to an electrical load without interconnecting wires. Wireless transmission is useful in cases where interconnecting wires are inconvenient, hazardous, or impossible.
    Wireless power differs from wireless telecommunications, where the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) or the percentage of energy received becomes critical only if it is too low for the signal to be adequately recovered. With wireless power transmission, efficiency is the more important parameter.
    The most common form of wireless power transmission is carried out using inductive coupling followed by resonant inductive coupling. Other methods include microwaves and lasers.

    Reply

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