Space Solar has developed the world's first 360-degree wireless power transmission system

Sending unlimited clean energy to Earth from massive solar panels in space has moved one step closer after a company claimed it was the “world's first breakthrough” in developing a key technology.

In a world hungry for sustainable solutions, a UK-based startup is charting the path to an energy revolution: solar power generation in space. Space Solar, the company behind this ambitious idea, has made significant progress toward the goal of bringing gigawatts of clean energy to Earth through massive solar arrays in orbit.

Space solar energy potential

The possibility of harnessing solar energy in space, where sunlight is virtually uninterrupted, represents huge potential for meeting global energy needs. Unlike terrestrial solar energy, it is not limited by weather conditions, seasons, or times of day. Although the idea has been around for some time, the costs of launching into space have been a major constraint until recently. Fortunately, the arrival of reusable rockets and falling launch costs, led by companies like SpaceX, has revived interest in this potential revolution.

Key advance: wireless power transmission

Space Solar has achieved a “world first” with its 360-degree wireless power transmission system, RECHARGE reports. Its HARRIER demonstrator represents a technological breakthrough, addressing one of the biggest challenges in implementing space solar power. Traditional systems require large rotating joints to continuously align the solar panels with both the sun and the ground receiver. HARRIER enables power to be transmitted in all directions without the need for moving parts, resulting in improved performance and reliability.

How does space solar energy work?

Space Solar envisions a kilometer-wide satellite equipped with solar panels and a mirror system to focus sunlight. The generated electricity will be converted into high frequency radio waves and sent to a fixed ground receiver. This would provide gigawatt-sized uninterrupted clean energy.

Challenges and considerations

Although the potential is enormous, space solar energy presents unique challenges. The scale of the project, both in terms of construction and energy transmission, requires significant technological innovation. In addition, concerns about the safety of high-power radio transmissions and potential impacts on space debris must be carefully addressed.

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Future perspective

Space Solar's progress has been supported by the UK Government and the European Space Agency, driving momentum towards space solar. Paul Butt, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, underlines the achievement: “This 360-degree wireless and secure power transfer is a game-changer, demonstrating the UK’s leadership position in this new energy revolution, truly harnessing the power of space to benefit life on Earth.”


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