Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

High output of solar power enough to run an electric kettle


Japanese scientists have claimed a breakthrough in beaming energy wirelessly, after they used microwaves to deliver 1.8 kilowatts of power though the air to a receiver a short distance away.

That amount of power is enough to run an electric kettle, researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) enthused.

"This was the first time anyone has managed to send a high output of nearly two kilowatts of electric power via microwaves to a small target, using a delicate directivity control device," said a JAXA spokesman.

The microwaves reached a receiver 55 metres (or 170 feet) away – which is a little bigger than the typical length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

JAXA boffins have been beavering away at space solar power systems since 2009 when Japan's government began funding the initiative. The agency hopes one day that microwave-transmitting solar satellites, kitted out with sun-hungry panels and antennae, would be deployed roughly 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometres) from Earth.

However, such a desire to harness the technology for our Blue Planet's energy needs remains decades away, the JAXA spokesman admitted. "Maybe in the 2040s or later," he said, according to Phys.org.

"There are a number of challenges to overcome, such as how to send huge structures into space, how to construct them and how to maintain them."

For now, then, solar-powered wireless energy farmed from space seemingly remains fantasy fodder for sci-fi fun. ®

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