Researchers from China’s Xidian University reported on the successful testing of an orbital power plant called the Orb-Shape Membrane Energy Gathering Array (OMEGA). It will collect the energy of the Sun, convert it into electrical energy and transmit it to Earth to special stations in the form of microwaves.
The very concept of an orbital solar station was proposed by scientists about 60 years ago. The idea is to place satellites equipped with large-scale solar panels in Earth’s orbit. The collected energy is converted and transmitted to receiving stations using microwaves. The main advantage of this technology is that geostationary stations do not depend on the daily cycle and collect energy around the clock.
In early June, Chinese scientists conducted a series of tests using a receiving station, which is a steel structure 75 meters high. They managed to send energy using microwave emitters. True, while the transmission took place at a fairly short distance – only 55 meters.
And although the concept itself turned out to be working, and it is really possible to transfer energy in this way, so far scientists are not able to scale the technology in such a way as to receive microwave radiation from space, where solar power plants should be located. Despite this, research in this direction continues.