Science & Technology
New tech turns radio waves in to electricity
By T.K. Randall
October 4, 2015 · 16 comments
Can you charge your phone from radio waves ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 VisualBeo
A new energy harvesting technology is capable of powering a device from ambient radio frequency waves.
Known as 'Freevolt', the system was revealed by former British science minister Lord Paul Drayson in the same theater in which Michael Faraday originally delivered his lectures in the 19th century.
By using a multi-band antenna and rectifier ( a battery capable of turning alternating current in to direct current ), the mechanism can absorb energy from several different radio frequency bands and then use it to charge up low-power electronic devices.
"Companies have been researching how to harvest energy from Wi-Fi, cellular and broadcast networks for many years," said Drayson. "But it is difficult because there is only a small amount of energy to harvest."
To demonstrate the technology Drayson set up a loudspeaker in the lecture hall and then used the radio wave energy harnessed from the mobile phones in the audience to power it up.
"The idea isn't too far-fetched - and I'm sure it'll be improved," said antenna technology expert Professor John Batchelor from the University of Kent.
Whether we will ever see a future in which our electronic devices can be charged up without having to be plugged in to an electrical outlet however remains to be seen.
Source: Discovery New
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