The most important criteria a power beamer is judged by is the overall efficiency. The overall efficiency is determined by the electro-optical efficiency of the source, the opto-electrical efficiency of the photo voltaic cells and the optical setup in between these two components.

Source: "Power Beaming with Diode Lasers"

What is a power beamer?

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Hot Licks, Hellion, Jim, Marv Mills Dec 21 '15 at 10:39

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  • 3
    A power beamer would be a device for power beaming. Note that entire reference is about power beaming. – GEdgar Dec 20 '15 at 17:37
  • In technical literature you're more likely to see it called "inductive charging". – FumbleFingers Dec 20 '15 at 18:10
  • Power beaming is a less formal phrase for "wireless power transmission": delivery of electrical power from a source to a destination location without stretching cables between the two points. – StoneyB Dec 20 '15 at 18:14
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    it seems to me that a brief scan of the article plus perhaps a few references to a dictionary would have answered your question. – Hot Licks Dec 20 '15 at 20:35
  • I would keep this question open—not because the OP couldn't have found the information in the cited article, but because future readers may encounter the term in a context where adequate explanation is lacking; as far as I know, most general-reference dictionaries do not have an entry for power beamer. – Sven Yargs Dec 20 '15 at 21:18

The mentionned source refers to an elevator using on-board solar cells to get the power required to ascend. The solar cells are either illuminated by solar light concentrated by a set of mirrors or by a "power beamer", i.e. a high-power laser located on the ground.

The efficiency of light to electricity conversion is a critical factor, because it directly impacts on the elevator temperature, and therefore on the weight of embedded heat dissipation system.

From Wikipedia Space Elevator:

Powering climbers Both power and energy are significant issues for climbers—the climbers need to gain a large amount of potential energy as quickly as possible to clear the cable for the next payload.

Various methods have been proposed to get that energy to the climber:

  • Transfer the energy to the climber through wireless energy transfer while it is climbing.
  • Transfer the energy to the climber through some material structure while it is climbing.
  • Store the energy in the climber before it starts – requires an extremely high specific energy such as nuclear energy.
  • Solar power – power compared to the weight of panels limits the speed of climb.[50]

Wireless energy transfer such as laser power beaming is currently considered the most likely method. Using megawatt powered free electron or solid state lasers in combination with adaptive mirrors approximately 10 m (33 ft) wide and a photovoltaic array on the climber tuned to the laser frequency for efficiency.[2] For climber designs powered by power beaming, this efficiency is an important design goal. Unused energy must be re-radiated away with heat-dissipation systems, which add to weight.

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