Saturday, November 9, 2013

Breakthrough Converts Wi-Fi to Electric Power as Efficiently as Solar Panels

It's possible to use this design for a lot of different frequencies and types of energy, including vibration and sound energy harvesting. -- Duke University.

5-cell metamaterial array harvesting WiFi for energy
Image: Duke University
Activist Post

How do you define free energy? A cheap device that converts freely available background radiation into energy to run gadgets or charge batteries? No fossil fuel needed. No turbines need to be spun. A clean energy whether or not the sun shines or the wind blows. Sound about right?

Today, researchers from Duke University announced a breakthrough new device that harvests WiFi and converts it into direct current to charge batteries. The team achieved an astonishing energy conversion rate comparable to current solar panels.

Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

The device wirelessly converts the microwave signal to direct current voltage capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other small electronic device, according to a report appearing in the journal Applied Physics Letters in December 2013.