[ExI] Japan wants energy from space (or death ray if they can't aim...)
Henrique Moraes Machado
cetico.iconoclasta at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 15:05:45 UTC 2009
Japan Wants to Power 300,000 Homes With Wireless Energy From Space
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
The $21 billion project just received major backing from Mitsubishi and
designer IHI (in addition to research teams from 14 other countries).
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