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Sucking energy from the electromagnetic spectrum

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by twilyth, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. twilyth Guest

    Imagine if you will, a world where small electronic devices can pull power out of thin air - using only the electromagnetic radiation that passes through us every day.

    One group of researchers seem to have developed something that does exactly that. And the antenna they use is printed on an inkjet printer using a special ink.

    [​IMG]

     
  2. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    "And by combining energy-scavenging technology with super-capacitors and cycled operation, the Georgia Tech team expects to power devices requiring above 50 milliwatts. In this approach, energy builds up in a battery-like supercapacitor and is utilized when the required power level is reached."

    so what they are saying is that if things go well they will be able to save up enough power to power a 50 mW device for a short time, power it off again, then wait again until enough power is available? anyone see a number for how much power they were generating over extended periods of time?
     
  3. twilyth Guest

    No, not in the article. I'm sure there's more info though - or will be soon.

    You don't need continuous power for a lot of devices - sensors, dataloggers. Something that only turns on for 20ms every second can still be very useful.
     
  4. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    found it

    Scavenging experiments utilizing TV bands have already yielded power amounting to hundreds of microwatts, and multi-band systems are expected to generate one milliwatt or more.

    100 uW = 0.0001 W
     
  5. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Finally, free electricity! Just like how Tesla envisioned a hundred years ago. /sarcasm

    It might be very useful for small stuff, dataloggers in the middle of nowhere etc, but I think other than these "novel" uses it will be nothing more than fun and games.
     
  6. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    I see this as useful for wrist watches. If this receiver part can be small enough to be fit in a wrist watch, you'd never ever have to worry about battery. I don't think quartz clock mechanism requires 50 miliwatts. I think it uses far less. This will be similar to mechanically powered quartz wrist watches that require movement to charge the battery/capacitor. Where with this one you'd not be bound to movement. Pretty cool. I'm sure Seiko or Citizen will pick this stuff quickly...
     
  7. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Citizen have their Ecodrives which are basically solar powered, everyone has kinetic systems etcetc, unless this thing matures fast and requires much less surface area I don't see them adopting it. More likely on wall clocks.
     
  8. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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  9. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Well you still need light and movement for these two. Which makes it problematic if you have more than 1 wrist watch and you change them now and then (depending on the dress you have, for example). I know automatic movement watches have problems because of this if they are not worn for 48 hours as their reserve spring charge runs out and that's not good.
    Where in this case, it will charge itself regardless of where it is. On your wrist, in a closet, on a desk, even for weeks in each location, it doesn't matter. For the solar powered you can't place it in the closet or drawer, for movement charged you can't let them sit still for long. Plus the quartz motor doesn't require much power to operate. That's why i think it's a good idea for such application.

    Other application would be TPMS (Tire Pressure Measurment System) systems in car tires where a sensor requires power but because of the spinning nature of the wheel you can't make a wired connection. Battery also doesn't last for long enough and there is not enough space to make a kinetic method of charging. Though it probably needs a bit more power than quartz clock motor...
     
  10. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Kinetic has about 48hr reserve, so that is pretty shite. But that said, very few people wear mechanical watches anymore, and most of them are expensive bling ones. However, solar powered watches have reserves up to probably a month or more, and living them outside your cupboard is enough to keep them running. Still not convinced about their widespread adoption.
     
  11. Steevo

    Steevo

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    So if they made one that was 10 layers thick instead and was more efficient, but they are already working on teslas idea. They had a TV powered from 6 feet or so wirelessly and it was safe for the speaker to stand between the emitter and TV and it didn't mess with his wireless headset either.
     
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  12. D4S4

    D4S4

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    so, they could incorporate these antennas into fabric and we'd get usb charging t-shirts eventually. :D
     
  13. mrw1986

    mrw1986

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    I have a Seiko SKA366 which has an at-rest period of 4 years - meaning it can store enough charge to run for 4 years without movement.

    I haven't worn that watch for over 6 months now and it's still going strong. Also, if you're wondering there is no auxiliary battery powering it.
     
  14. razaron

    razaron

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    If this possibly became (a lot) more efficient and widespread it would cause interference in EM waves that we're actually using (radio etc).
    However it would be comical for a super version of the EM absorber to be used for signal/sensor jamming.
     
  15. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Not true. Real gearheads use mechanical watches because fully mechanic timepiece has "soul" and craftmanship that cheap anyone can make it quartz watches just don't have (even though the cheaper Automatics are assembled entirely by machines). And you don't have to dig in deep into your wallet to own one. Just look at japanese models like Seiko 5. They are fully mechanical and suprisingly accurate while still stylish and far from cheap plastic ones. Crystal glass, all stainless steel with automatic movement (self winding mechanical) and it'll cost you around 100 EUR, depending on where you buy it. Considering such watches can last even 20 years quite easily it's a bargain. And they tick beautifully. But still, they only have 48 hours spring reserve and when it runs out it runs out. You have to either own just one and wear it all the time or you need to buy winding device which occasionally winds the clock for you even though you're not wearing it. It's a trade off.

    The reason i was pointing watches out is because they don't require much power to run and if they can get energy out of thin air, that sort of makes sense. It's just a question how long a quartz engine can run. Anyone has a very very really old quartz watch? And i don't consider 5 years to be much...
     
  16. theoneandonlymrk

    theoneandonlymrk

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    This isnt even new tech, wireless power transmission has been, being used for a while now, only the printed arial is actually new and im sure even that isnt that new:ohwell:
     
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  17. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I am using a Seiko 7S36 movement watch (powering Seiko 5 etc.), the only soul it has showed me is its inaccuracy and its temperament. I still wear it (even to sleep), because its a habit. I would be very happy if someone offer me a mechanical watch with tourbillion and a repeater for free though. :D

    Quartz watches run for practically forever.
     
  18. DigitalUK

    DigitalUK New Member

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    this sort of tech was shown possible afew years ago, you are never going to have free electric from big business. the only way you will see free electric is if we are lucky enough one day to have some guy tinkering in shed and accidently discovers a way to make electric and releases it on the web, after which every energy company will sue him for loss of profit, in the same way you will never see cures for cancer and aids (why sell 1 tablet when you could sell the same guy 25 tablets a day for life), rant over.
     
  19. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    just like my iphone clock, but i can't do lines off your watch
     
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  20. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    You can steal lots of power out of the air if you live near high tension power lines. :D :D
    I admire your lack of class. :D :roll:
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  21. D4S4

    D4S4

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    or, watch porn
     
  22. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    I think if we rub some pixie dust on this, then dip it in rocking-horse s#!t, and finally glaze it in powdered unicorn horn & snake oil, it MIGHT just become powerful enough to be useful.
     
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  23. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    Yep - Couldn't agree more...

    ... but that's the world we live in.
     
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  24. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    You know you could probably make your own silver nano particle ink and beat them to the punch. I mean really all you're doing to dicking around in photoshop with shapes that feel right given a rudimentary knowledge of antenna design. Then printing it, testing it, then on to the next one. You could go through 50+ shapes a day if you so desired. They even show you a few of their designs so you have a starting point.
     
  25. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    Sounds like the quasi-crystal all over again...
     

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