TED Talk on Space Based Solar Power

Electrical engineer Ali Hajimiri explains the principles behind wireless energy transfer and shares his far-out vision for launching flexible solar panels into space in order to collect sunlight, convert it to electrical power and then beam it down to Earth. Learn how this technology could power everything — and light up our world from space.

The transmissions of power from space has been demonstrated. Space has eight times more energy than Earth based solar. There is no night and day if you choose the right orbit.

Wireless power transmission can also power electronics in rooms without wires.

7 thoughts on “TED Talk on Space Based Solar Power”

  1. Yep. Professor G. K. O’Neil of Princeton U had that VERY idea way back in the late seventies. Look up the L-5 Society.

  2. You choose the microwave frequency that minimizes atmospheric absorption. In the long run we will have large solar arrays inside the orbit of mercury maintained by shielded robots. The will get supplies delivered by robot ships to nearby depots. The electricity will be stored locally and converted to microwave lasers and transmitted to relay stations throughout the solar system. Microwave laser relays in orbit will beam power to the surface where it will be converted to electricity.

    • Which is probably the real reason why it’s being developed. Just like Project “Aurora”… now you will see it, now you won’t.

  3. Wondering if you are familiar with the story from Asimov’s I-Robot: “Reason”?

    It involves just such a space station, mostly run by robots, and what happens when the new, upgraded models refuse to believe they were made by the obviously inferior humans!

    All the recent fuss about AI and it’s dangers makes me feel like us scifiers were WAY ahead on that curve!

  4. “light up the earth from space” – Don’t you mean heat up the earth from space? All that energy that would normally miss us corralled to the surface to emitted far and wide as heat?

    • Look up Kardashev scale. The total amout of solar energy hitting Earth naturally is roughly 10000 times more than all of the energy humans produce from all sources put together. Even if we switch all of our energy production to space based solar (highly unlikely), it would still be negligible compared to that. This is really not a concern for the foreseeable future.

      By the time we approach anywhere near Kardashev I, we should be moving most of our energy uses off Earth anyway.

Comments are closed.