By Paul K. DiCostanzo Managing Editor
With classic Japanese ingenuity and futurism, a team of Japanese scientists successfully completed the first precision attempt at transmitting power using wireless microwave signals. The signal crossed a distance of nearly 170 feet directly to a receiver. All 1.8 kilowatts sent during the experiment could roughly power a small appliance.
The team tasked with this groundbreaking research worked in conjunction with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The project is one portion of a greater attempt by Japan to develop technology for space based solar energy generation. The need to transmit power wireless over vast distances is a fundamental requirement for such an undertaking. The Japanese Ministry of Industry began funding space based energy generation research in 2009. The wireless power transmission success is one of the first notable steps toward Japan’s vision.
Many scientists and energy experts have asserted that the future of renewable energy technology is heavily founded in solar energy. What the Japanese envision is a possible manifestation of a Dyson’s Sphere. A Dyson’s Sphere is a postulation made by famous theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson. Dyson theorized that a network of specialized probes could collect radiant solar energy from strategic positions around star; in Earth’s case, the Sun. Once collected, the solar generated energy could then be transmitted back to a planet and be used to sustain it. The successful implementation of such a system, in theory, could provide an otherwise inexhaustible source of energy for humankind without negative environmental ramifications. In a sense we could have our cake, and eat it too.
Despite what the success of this initial experiment entails, the final product is still decades away. The JAXA team believes that the infrastructure needed to realize their ultimate goal may not be seen until the 2040’s. That being said, the Japanese government is moving headstrong towards developing technology to revolutionize energy generation. Following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan has become highly dependent on the import of conventional fossil fuels. Japan is making major investments in harvesting solar power as a policy to move beyond established energy technologies. The success of the wireless power transmission experiment is a step that may lead to currently unrealized power generation and infrastructure technologies. No doubt, Japan hopes for a very sunny future indeed.
Read more at the link: Japan Space Scientists Make Wireless Energy Breakthrough