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Srikrishna S Kashyap, B.E (EEE),
Vidya Vardhaka College of Engineering, Mysuru,
Karnataka, India

AbstractA wireless power transmission using microwave is a

system which contains satellite based solar power system (SPS),
microwave generator, microwave transmitter (magnetron) and
microwave receiver (rectenna). The DC power received on earth
is converted into AC for various useful purposes. In this paper, I
present the concept of Solar Power Satellites, the advantages,
disadvantages and biological impacts of WPT.
Index Terms-- Grid, Microwaves, Microwave generator, Nikola
Tesla, Rectenna, Solar Power Satellites (SPS), Transmitting
antenna, Wireless Power transmission (WPT).



A major problem facing Planet Earth is provision of an

adequate supply of clean energy. It has been that we face
...three simultaneous challenges -- population growth,
resource consumption, and environmental degradation -- all
converging particularly in the matter of sustainable energy
supply. It is widely agreed that our current energy practices
will not provide for all the world's peoples in an adequate way
and still leave our Earth with a livable environment. Hence, a
major task for the new century will be to develop sustainable
and environmentally friendly sources of energy.
In our present electricity generation system we waste more
than half of its resources. Especially the transmission and
distribution losses are the main concern of the present power
technology. Much of this power is wasted during transmission
from power plant generators to the consumer.
The resistance of the wire used in the electrical grid
distribution system causes a loss of 26-30% of the energy
generated. This loss implies that our present system of
electrical distribution is only 70-74% efficient. We have to
think of alternate state - of - art technology to transmit and
distribute the electricity [1].
The above discussed problem can be solved by choosing an
alternative option for power transmission which could provide
much higher Efficiency, low transmission cost and avoid power
theft. Microwave Power Transmission is one of the promising
Technologies and may be the righteous alternative for efficient
power transmission [2].
The Solar Power Satellite energy system is to place giant
satellites, covered with vast arrays of solar cells, in
geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth's equator.
Each satellite will be illuminated by sunlight 24 hours a day for

most of the year. Because of the 23" tilt of the axis, the
satellites pass either above or below the Earths shadow. It is
only during the equinox period in the spring and fall that they
will pass through the shadow. They will be shadowed for less
than 1% of the time during the year. The solar cells will convert
sunlight to electricity, which will then be changed to radiofrequency energy by a transmitting antenna on the satellite and
beamed to a receiver site on Earth. It will be reconverted to
electricity by the receiving antenna, and the power would then
be routed into our normal electric distribution network for use
here on the Earth [3].



Nicola Tesla he who invented radio and shown us he is

indeed the Father of Wireless. Nicola Tesla is the one who
first conceived the idea Wireless Power Transmission and
demonstrated the transmission of electrical energy without
wires" that depends upon Electrical conductivity as early as
The development of WPT was not effectively pursued until
the 1960s when the U.S. Air Force funded the development of
a microwave-powered helicopter platform. A successful
demonstration of a microwave beam-riding helicopter was
performed in 1965. This demonstration proved that a WPT
system could be constructed and that effective microwave
generators and receivers could be developed for efficient
conversion of microwaves into DC electricity.
The growing interest in solar energy conversion methods
and solar energy applications in the 1960s and the limitations
for producing cost-effective base load power caused by adverse
weather conditions and diurnal changes led to the solar power
satellite concept in 1968 as a means to convert solar energy
with solar cell arrays into electricity and feed it to a microwave
generator forming part of a planar, phased-array antenna. In
geosynchronous orbit, the antenna would direct a microwave
beam of very low power density precisely to one or more
receiving antennas at desired locations on Earth. At a receiving
antenna, the microwave energy would be safely and very
efficiently reconvened into electricity and then transmitted to
The first technical session on solar power satellites (SPS)
was held in 1970 at the International Microwave Power
Institute Symposium at which representatives of Japan,
European countries, and the former Soviet Union were present.
Wireless transmission of power is similar in concept to
information transmission by communications satellites, but at a

higher intensity. However, because the radio frequency power

beam is engineered for conversion back to electricity at very
high efficiency, useful amounts of power could be transmitted
at intensities less than that of sunlight. Experimental
transmissions of power in amounts up to 30 kW have been
accomplished over short distances (1.6 km) with conversion
efficiencies in excess of 85% from incoming radio frequency
power into electrical power.
Two types of WPT are,
A. Ground based power transmission
B. Space based power transmission
But Space-based power transmission is preferred over
Ground-based power transmission.
Ground is (obviously) cheaper per noontime watt, but:
A. Space gets full power 24 hours a day

3X or more Watt-hours per day per peak watt

No storage required for night time power

B. Space gets full power 7 days a week no cloudy

C. Space gets full power 52 weeks a year

No long winter nights, no storms, no cloudy


D. Space delivers power where its needed

Best ground solar sites (deserts) are rarely

near users

E. Space takes up less, well, space

Rectennas are 1/3 to 1/10 the area of ground


Rectennas can share land with farming or

other uses [2]


The SPS is a gigantic satellite designed as an electric power

plant orbiting in the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). It
consists of mainly three segments; solar energy collector to
convert the solar energy into DC (direct current) electricity,
DC-to-microwave converter, and large antenna array to beam
down the microwave power to the ground. The first solar
collector can be either photovoltaic cells or solar thermal
turbine. The second DC-to-microwave converter of the SPS
can be either microwave tube system and/or semiconductor
system. It may be their combination. The third segment is a
gigantic antenna array. Power will be transmitted over a 1-1/4
mile range to a receiving antenna (rectenna) and then fed into a
commercial utility power grid.


The Primary components of Wireless Power Transmission

are Microwave Generator, Transmitting antenna and Receiving
antenna (Rectenna). The components are described in this

A. Microwave Generator
The microwave transmitting devices are classified as
Microwave Vacuum Tubes (magnetron, klystron, Travelling
Wave Tube (WT), and Microwave Power Module (MPM)) and
Semiconductor Microwave transmitters (GaAs MESFET, GaN
Magnetron is widely used for experimentation of WPT. The
microwave transmission often uses 2.45GHz or 5.8GHz of
ISM band. The other choices of frequencies are 8.5 GHz 10
GHz and 35 GHz. The highest efficiency over 90% is achieved
at 2.45 GHz among all the frequencies.
B. Transmitting Antenna
The slotted wave guide antenna, microstrip patch antenna,
and parabolic dish antenna are the most popular type of
transmitting antenna. The slotted waveguide antenna is ideal
for power transmission because of its high aperture efficiency
(> 95%) and high power handling capability.
C. Rectenna
The rectenna is a passive element consists of antenna,
rectifying circuit with a low pass filter between the antenna and
rectifying diode. The antenna used in rectenna may be dipole,
Yagi Uda, microstrip or parabolic dish antenna. The patch
dipole antenna achieved the highest efficiency among the all.
Schottky barrier diodes (GaAs-W, Si, and GaAs) are usually
used in the rectifying circuit due to the f aster reverse recovery
time and much lower forward voltage drop and good RF
characteristics [2].


Wireless Power Transmission system would

completely eliminates the existing high-tension power
transmission line cables, towers and sub stations between
the generating station and consumers and facilitates the
interconnection of electrical generation plants on a global
scale. It has more freedom of choice of both receiver and
transmitters. Even mobile transmitters and receivers can be
chosen for the WPT system. The cost of transmission and
distribution become less and the cost of electrical energy
for the consumer also would be reduced. The power could
be transmitted to the places where the wired transmission is
not possible. Loss of transmission is negligible level in the
Wireless Power Transmission; therefore, the efficiency of
this method is very much higher than the wired
transmission. Power is available at the rectenna as long as
the WPT is operating. The power failure due to short circuit
and fault on cables would never exist in the transmission and
power theft would be not possible at all. The development of
Solar Power Satellites gain the benefits of abundant, lowcost, nonpolluting energy. The great advantage of placing
the solar cells in space instead of on the ground is that the
energy is available 24 hours a day, and the total solar energy
available to the satellite is between four and five times more
than is available anywhere on Earth and 15 times more than
the average location.



The Capital Cost for practical implementation of WPT

seems to be very high and the other disadvantage of the
concept is interference of microwave with present
communication systems. Heat reduction is most important
problem in space. All lost power converts to heat. We need
special heat reduction system in space. If we use high efficient
microwave transmitters, we can reduce weight of heat
reduction system. We should aim for over 80 %efficiency for
the microwave transmitter, which must include all loss in
phase shifters, isolators, antennas, power circuits.


Common beliefs fear the effect of microwave radiation. But

the studies in this domain repeatedly proves that the
microwave radiation level would be never higher than the dose
received while opening the microwave oven door, meaning it
is slightly higher than the emissions created by cellular
telephones Cellular telephones operate with power densities at
or below the ANSI/IEEE exposure standards . Thus public
exposure to WPT fields would also be below existing safety
guidelines. However Tests have also shown that the energy
density in the radio-frequency beam can be limited to safe
levels for all life forms [4].


The concept of Microwave Power transmission (MPT) and

Wireless Power Transmission system is presented. The
technological developments in Wireless Power Transmission
(WPT), the advantages, disadvantages and biological impacts
of WPT are also discussed. This concept offers greater
possibilities for transmitting power with negligible losses and
ease of transmission than any invention or discovery
heretofore made. Dr. Neville of NASA states You dont need
cables, pipes, or copper wires to receive power. We can send it
to you like a cell phone call where you want it, when you
want it, in real time. We can expect with certitude that in next
few years wonders will be wrought by its applications if all
the conditions are favorable.
[1] (2006). Surge current
protection using superconductor.
[2] Muthupriya, M. and Vinothini, S. (2013). Wireless
Power Transmission via Solar Power Satellite International
Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, Vol. 1(5),
ISSN 2229-5518.
[3] Ralph H. N (1996). Wireless Power Transmission. Solar
Space Industries The Key to Solar Power Satellites: IEEE
AES Systems Magazine, pp 33
Shanmuganantham T. (2010). Wireless Power Transmission
A Next Generation Power Transmission System: International
Journal of Computer Applications (0975 8887) Vol. (1)13.
[5] Nikola Tesla, The Transmission of Electrical Energy
Without Wires as a Means for Furthering Peace,Electrical
World and Engineer.Jan.7, p.21, 1905