Space-Based Solar Power

a public discussion sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation

Wireless Power Broadcast for Computers and Phones Anticipated!

Posted by Coyote on August 23, 2008

Power beaming is a critical for space-based solar power. It also would be nice if our laptops and cell phones didn’t need to be plugged in, becoming truly wireless.

Intel recently brought the concept closer to reality with a live demo illuminating a 60 watt bulb on stage at an annual meeting in San Francisco of the company’s developers. Their goal is simple, free computers and other devices from power cords.

The event was reported by staff writers on in an article titled, “Intel Cuts Electric Cords With Wireless Power System.”

I think if people used wireless power broadcast systems in their own homes, the concept of power beaming from space wouldn’t seem so strange or even dangerous. Perhaps we need to give a push to this idea?




7 Responses to “Wireless Power Broadcast for Computers and Phones Anticipated!”

  1. Arthur Smith said

    Hi Coyote – I agree completely. I’ve been looking forward to this technology being commercialized for a while now, it makes so much sense. However it’s not a “beaming” technology, it’s more broadcast. The next step is to combine the resonance idea used here with directional beaming and we’ll have a real analog of the SSP approach where the experience with the technology will actually be applicable to the space case. So definitely worth following and encouraging and perhaps expanding upon.


  2. David Gerard said

    I’m sure it’s completely harmless! Nothing to worry about!

  3. Coyote said

    Arthur Smith: I’m excited by it, too! Right now I am sitting in the UK using my wireless broadband connection, which I like very much. However, my laptop is a bit old and the batteries can’t keep a charge for more than 30-45 minutes. I’d love to be free of the power cord leash. You are right, it is a broadcast, not a power beam. I’ll fix that.

    David Gerard: Dude, I’m very glad to see your somewhat satirical concern. I, too, am very concerned with the safety surrounding these technologies. It is absolutely critical for us to do thorough safety assessments of these technologies. If you can help point out where potential problems lie, please do so! A long term goal for space-based solar power (in a century or more) is to provide broad area broadcast of power directly to customers around the globe. In other words, no matter where you go, you will be within the energy broadcast of these satellites so all of your appliances, gadgets, and even automobiles will simply operate given a direct power feed. BUT long before that, we need to assess the environmental impact and safety factors. We do not want to trash any part of our ecosystem in the way our burning of carbon-based fuels is doing. Nor do we want to go around causing cancer! I think we can at least provide energy broadcasts with far less damage then, say, a coal-fired electrical plant causes. Let’s see. Let’s really test it out and provide the data over open sources, like this site and others, to help the world discuss these issues as we seek a consensus!



  4. Visionary said

    Hey Guys,

    Great post and discussion! Just to let you know, Power beaming in the consumer environment safely is being done us PowerBeam Inc.

    Start-up company in Silicon Valley that doesn’t have the PR team Intel does but will soon be coming to the market with some PowerBeam products.

    Coyote: They may be able to help answer some of your questions as they have been working on it for about 2 years now.

    Here is a video link:


  5. Neil Cox said

    If we feed 1000 watts into a one meter coil on the ceiling, we can pick up a few watts most anywhere in that room and the room above, keeping up to 100 cell phones and equivenent charged. A lap top or notebook computer needs more power, so it’s location in the room will be quite critical, but likely there will be enough power to recharge the battery of even a cordless electric drill in 10 or 12 hours. Most of the 1000 watts heats the room, but that is ok in winter months. The efficiency may be better, if we use a much higher frequency than 60 hertz. Perhaps a million humans have been exposed to this strong a magnetic field in the past 110 years, without generally identifing ill effects. More than 1000 watts per room likely is not prudent, so we can’t charge our electric car in less thsn a week. My son spent many 40 hour weeks with the powerful magnet of an MRI = magnetic resonent imaging during part of the 1990s, still with no apparent health effects. The magnet was strong enough to tangle the hair spring in an old stile watch most anywhere in the room.
    At micro wave frequencies, thousands of people have absorbed imprudent amounts of energy with rare fatalities or disabilities, that were likely the result of the exposure. The various activities, including very high power military radar have an excellent safety record, still it seems imprudent to put more than a kilowatt in a room with people or pets. Around 300 megahertz has been shown to be somewhat more hazardous to humans. I agree more studies are needed when we select the optimum frequency. People detectors are possible, so perhaps it ths practical to shut down the coil when someone enters the room. Neil

  6. Coyote said

    Visionary: (I like the handle) Excellent information. Thanks. I will look these guys up to see what they know. Wow, thanks again. There is no way we’d ever find these guys without this blog. The more open we make it, the more info we share, the more participants who join in makes me more and more confident that we will discover the path to closing the business case for SBSP sooner rather than later.

    Neil Cox: That’s quite interesting. It seems there are many analogous technologies that put power in the proximity of humans. We may be able to leverage off such experience, but certainly we will need specific tests on out systems to prove to the satisfaction of the masses. I look forward to hearing from you again. Always good stuff.



  7. A very Nice Website Ive seen Uptill. Excellent post. Keep it up! Good day!

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