Subscribe to download Archive

AsiaElec: China looks to space solar by 2028

A team at China’s Xidian University has given the clearest indication yet that Beijing is competing to lead the development of space-based solar power generation by the end of the decade.

The team from Xidian, one of China's most prestigious public research universities, announced that it had tested a system aimed at allowing the transmission of solar power generated by a space-based power plant back to Earth.

According to the research team, “The world’s first full-link and full-system space solar power plant ground verification system successfully passed (the) expert Group acceptance. This verification system has broken through and verified a number of key technologies such as high-efficiency light concentrating and photoelectric conversion, microwave conversion, microwave emission and waveform optimisation, microwave beam pointing measurement and control, microwave reception and rectification and smart mechanical structure design.”

It is understood that a number of external bodies were also represented at the testing earlier in June.

Led by Xidian University’s President Duan Baoyan, the ‘Daily Project’ team has now pencilled in 2028 as the date the group want to see a solar power plant established in a geostationary orbit above China.

Research carried out by other groups in 2014 had previously announced 2030 as the target date for effective plant deployment.

Continued research of the viability and maintenance of space-based solar power generation is, according to Baoyan, “a hot spot in the world”, a reference to ongoing efforts to the same end primarily in the US.