Wireless Power Transmission

Nothing new, ofcourse, in principle. Tesla experimented with it many years ago ;)

It has worked somewhat efficiently on a small scale (see http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/wireless-power.htm)

The beginning of this article mentions how it is dangerous, but the end says we may need to someday beam lots of power from solar panel satellites and/or a moon base to get some more power to meet growing demands.

My thoughts are:
Using microwave frequency EM waves, at very high power levels (even if MIT research gets them to be very directive, instead of spreading out equally in all directions) seems kind of dangerous to me.

Any thoughts from fellow engineers, physics gurus or hobbyists? :)

Had to mention the Tesla Roadster:
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/tesla-roadster2.htm
 

anorlunda

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Using microwave frequency EM waves, at very high power levels (even if MIT research gets them to be very directive, instead of spreading out equally in all directions) seems kind of dangerous to me.
That greatly understates it. Yes, such schemes are too similar to hypothetical death rays. It sounds like the Diamonds are Forever James Bond film.

Besides danger, the economics of space-based PV panels are very unattractive.
 
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sophiecentaur

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All these space-based ideas for Power Generation ignore the fact that we are really not short of land area for solar projects. The day / night effect on surface arrays could be said to be relevant, compared with near 24 hour coverage for a satellite but that seems, to me, to be the only thing in favour of the space borne approach. Just how overall efficient would the energy conversion be for the Power Down-link? Massive areas would be needed for receiving arrays plus large exclusion zones would be needed around the sites.
True- the reliability of orbiting equipment is extremely good and there are always possible effects of weather and life forms on land based equipment. But it's much more convenient to maintain and it can be sited to suit the community. HV DC transmission wire links are very good value.
 

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