If you think the idea of powering the whole world with solar power is still many years away, prepare to be amazed. The inspired minds at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has succeeded in transmitting solar energy right through the air. Using wireless power transmission may be the best way to gather solar energy from space in order to use it here on Earth.
Using microwave technology, Mitsubishi said it sent ten kilowatts of power wirelessly through the air to a receiver positioned 1,640 feet away. That is enough to power your kitchen stove for an hour or more.
On Friday, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said that it also moved power wirelessly, sending 1.8 kilowatts of power through the air. Japan is looking for ways to expand its ability to power themselves, especially since the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011. Japan does not have the vast resources and is not able to fill land with solar-collectors, the way larger nations like the United States or Saudi Arabia can, for example.
Related: Japan plans to harvest solar power from space by 2030
Instead, Japan has concentrated its efforts on space. “We believe we demonstrated the possibility of commercializing wireless power transmission through our experiment,” Mitsubishi said in a statement on Friday.
One of the great advantages of space-based solar power is the simple fact that solar energy is available all day and night no matter what the weather in space. Commercializing the new technology, though, could take many years—possibly even until the 2040s. Although as the technology becomes more promising, that could change.
Images via JAXA and NASA
What about transmission losses? With all the power needed to make an impact on the problem - and beamed from that far away - the losses have to be significant and will go directly to warming the atmosphere. We all know what that is called.
Nothing will progress regarding new energy unless the influence of corporations that control oil, gas, pharmaceuticals and chemicals are stripped of their ability to prevent progress that leaves them out. We should have been off fossil fuels in the early 1900's, however these industries squelched all new knowledge to continue their control of mankind. Geniuses like Tesla (wireless energy transmission) and Walter Russell (Hydrogen engine) tried to give mankind a clean energy future but were subdued and ignored due to greed. Now the world has its back to the wall and these technologies are urgently needed before it's too late.
Many of the challenges we face have been hampered by industries (oil, chemical, pharmaceutical etc.) that want to hold control over the world. The first step to solving these important issues is to stop the influence of these players and allow the research and development that many geniuses (Tesla, Walter Russell) have given us to elevate man from the cage of these entities over the last 100 years.
Japan has plenty wind, wave and geothermal energy in their country that they could tap into without have to invest in the R&D for this that in less time could give them plenty of energy independence. The ideas of this solar collection is amazing, but imagine what your bill will be to power your home? How is this affordable?
I have an Aerospace and a WPT research firm. If you have any great ideas, share them with me. I am way ahead of most other scientists in this field, but stay extremely low key and Top-Secret. The JAXA project may be impractible, BUT it shows how desperate the WORLD really is for new Ideas. And how much Investment Capital is really out there. That is the real story behind this story...THE WILLINGNESS TO TAKE CHANCES....
This is a great accomplishment, for sure, but solar energy currently falls on the ground for free all over the planet. It must have cost a pretty penny for Mitsubishi to launch all of this equipment into orbit. What if they had invested that money in grid-scale energy storage instead? I think our species would be further ahead with that research. With appropriately scaled energy storage we could have ground-based solar, wind, and wave power and get around the intermittency problem. Japan doesn't have land available for solar panels? How about floating the panels on barges in the ocean that surrounds Japan?
Clickbait alert ! They can't beam power from space - they can send it 500 meters, not the 42,000 km (26,000 miles) from space which 5 orders of magnitude further. And anyway beaming power is far from the only challenge, hitting the target when a slight movement off target will cook (literally) anything nearby is another big challenge - especially on a crowded island. *AND* doing it where the cost of putting the power station into space is less than the cost of doing it terrestrially is an even bigger challenge. Also ... another unit problem - 10killowatts is a measure of power. Its not "enough to power your kitchen stove for an hour or more." which is a measure of energy. (power x time) making the statement meaningless, i.e. if the stove is 10kW then it can be powered indefinitely (as long as they keep beaming power).
Hi: I applaud them for the solar initiative, however, we really don't need any more non-ionizing radiation on this planet. In the past 30 or 40 years the levels have risen 1,000,000 fold as it is. Enough already... .....Bill
Nice thoughts....but in reality people have been imagining the future for a long time. In the 30s they thought we would be inhabiting the moon or Mars by now. In the 60s the Jetsens crazy had us driving flying cars. In reality the world moves slower than we think (except for the internet)We still drive combustion engine cars and live in houses. There was a prediction that by 2010 we would just take a pill for our food. Nice theory, but the fact is people enjoy eating. By 2030 we could all be driving flying electric computer controlled cars....or do we enjoy driving?
No, Japan cannot beam solar energy from space. Sending 1.8 KW half a kilometer is so far from sending megawatts of power 40,000 kilometers from orbit that it is laughable. It's not just the technology at issue, it's the economics.
Better idea, use the tech to transmit Earth-produced energy from one part of the world to another. That way, we aren\\\'t increasing the planet\\\'s insolation while we fight greenhouse gases.