Mutual Power Optimization of Photovoltaics and Wireless Power Transfer for Space Based Solar Power

A. Ayling, A. Wu, A. Hajimiri

One of the key challenges with Space Solar Power (SSP) using low-aerial-mass-density sheet-like structures is the power matching of the photovoltaic (PV) power to the optimal power point for microwave signal synthesis and power generation for wireless transmission. This work demonstrates a power tracking technique that can be readily integrated within the Power Amplifier (PA) operation that concurrently maximizes the power extracted from the PV and the transmitted power. This is done by dynamically duty-cycling the PAs to operate them close to peak efficiency and modulating their supply-impedance presented to the PV. The system does not use inductors and adds no additional mass, which is critical to the practical and economic viability of SSP. It offers higher conversion efficiencies, reduced system complexity, and greater programmability over traditional DC-DC converter solutions.