Japan made a breakthrough in space solar energy back in 2015.
Using orbital solar panels and microwaves
Japan and JAXA, the country’s space administration, have spent decades trying to make solar energy transfer from space possible. Then, in 2015, Japan made a breakthrough when scientists JAXA-e successfully transmitted 1.8 kilowatts of power. That was enough to power an electric kettle, at a distance of more than 50 meters from the wireless receiver. Japan is now ready to bring this technology closer to reality.
According to reports, a Japanese public-private partnership will attempt to emit solar energy from space as early as 2025. The project is led by Naoki Shinohara, a Kyoto University professor who has been working on solar energy from space since 2009. He will try to put a series of small satellites into orbit. The satellites will then try to transmit the solar energy they collect to ground receiving stations hundreds of kilometers away.
Using orbital solar panels and microwaves to send energy to Earth it was first proposed in 1968. Since then, some countries, including China and the United States, have invested time and money into researching the idea. The technology is attractive because orbital solar systems represent a potentially limitless source of renewable energy.
In space, solar panels can harvest energy regardless of the time of day, and by using microwaves to send that energy, clouds are not a problem. However, even if Japan successfully deploys an array of orbiting solar panels, the technology would still be closer to science fiction than reality.
However, if Japan achieves what it envisions, it will still not be a readily available energy supply option, considering that the transmission of approximately one gigawatt of power costs about seven billion dollars with existing technology and equipment.
Source: PC Press by pcpress.rs.
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