Emrod, a long-range power beaming start up, has recently demonstrated its technology for space-based solar power (SBSP) applications in a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus and Technocarbon.
ESA and Airbus believe that commercial SBSP, using satellites to capture solar energy in space where it is plentiful 24/7 and beaming it wirelessly to the ground, could support the transition to sustainable energy and meet Europe’s goals for Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Held at Airbus’ Munich Area Site, Emrod’s indoor demonstration system wirelessly beamed power over 36 m at a frequency of 5.8 GHz, using a square phased-array transmitting antenna of 1.92 m dia. and a similarly sized receiving antenna.
While the concept of SBSP is based on existing technological principles, one of the challenges to date has been how to cost effectively deliver the energy generated in space to earth for use. Emrod’s solution could overcome this challenge, helping ESA to achieve a necessary level of wireless power transmission (WPT) conversion efficiency.
“Space-based solar power has the potential to be a significant contributor to the balanced portfolio of clean energy solutions that will be needed to meet the EU's and ESA Member State's Net Zero 2050 goals. ESA is delighted to work with Emrod to showcase wireless power transmission as an emerging technology with the potential to solve sustainability challenges in the energy and space sector,” said Torben Henriksen, ESA’s Acting Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality.
As the first European demonstration of long-range wireless energy transmission for SBSP applications, this event underpins ESA’s proposed SBSP preparatory programme, called SOLARIS. The results will be presented at the next ESA Council at Ministerial Level in November 2022.
“The world has set an ambition to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, a difficult target considering the performance of current and near-term energy technologies. We are excited to contribute to the commercialisation of power beaming technology for space-based energy infrastructure in collaboration with ESA and Airbus,” added Greg Kushnir, Founder and CEO of Emrod.
Emrod received funding from Airbus Defense and Space GMBH to provide the power beaming technology for the demonstration.
“Today’s demonstration takes us closer to our goal of commercialising long range power transmission. I expect to soon announce details of our next terrestrial use case demonstration and we continue to develop plans for in-orbit testing of space-based infrastructure,” added Kushnir.