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Cleaner Tech

China Tests Tech That Could Beam Solar Power From Space to Earth

Solar panels in orbit would have an advantage over earthbound systems that can’t operate during nighttime or cloud cover.

Hot Sunrise In Space

Source: Getty Images

Chinese researchers have successfully tested a full-system model of technology that could one day wirelessly transmit solar power from outer space to Earth.

A model power station at Xidian University in Shaanxi province captures sunlight high above the ground and converts it into microwave beams. It then transmits through the air to a receiver station on the ground, where it can be converted back to electricity. While the model only sends the energy 55 meters through the air, the researchers hope the technology could one day be expanded to send power from orbiting solar panels to Earth.