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New invention ´harvests´ electricity from
background radiation and could be used
to beam power to remote locations
or recharge phones wirelessly

Daily Mail [UK], by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:Attercliffe, 11/9/2013 6:52:01 AM

Engineers at Duke University have designed a breakthrough gadget that ´harvests´ background microwave radiation and converts it into electricity, with the same efficiency as solar panels. The development, unveiled on Thursday, raises exciting possibilities such as recharging a phone wirelessly and providing power to remote locations that can´t access conventional electricity. And the researchers say that their inexpensive invention is remarkably versatile. It could be used to capture ´lost´ energy from a range of sources such as satellite transmissions, sound signals or Wi-Fi. The Duke engineers used metamaterials, which their press release describes as ´engineered structures that can capture various

Comments:
My first question: Are they as big, ugly and vulnerable to high winds as solar panels (or turbines)? The report didn´t give dimensions.

My second: How much will they cost? The report says "inexpensive."

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: dragonlearner, 11/9/2013 7:31:11 AM     (No. 9605491)

Quoting voltage output means nothing without quoting power output. The article leaves much unexplained.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: dirtyjersey, 11/9/2013 7:41:42 AM     (No. 9605515)

How long before the government outlaws it?

Leftists are only happy when we collectively suffer.

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R-G1
  
R-VAR_AD


 
Reply 3 - Posted by: dman, 11/9/2013 7:50:58 AM     (No. 9605535)

We used similar "technology" in the late fifties and early sixties: capture energy from a nearby AM transmitter to power a small transistor radio. It works, but is not very scalable.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: LoneVoice, 11/9/2013 7:52:35 AM     (No. 9605539)

7.3 volts sounds like a whole lot, but it is meaningless if there´s no mention of amperage. The energy that could be collected is minuscule unless the device were put directly in front of a microwave transmitter.

Secondly the article´s headline states that the "invention harvests electricity from background radiation."
The radiation being talked about inside the article was microwave radiation. Microwaves are not the same thing as background radiation. Not even close.

I think the rarest thing in the world is a reporter who understands even basic science.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Periwinkel, 11/9/2013 7:53:25 AM     (No. 9605541)

My mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, always said that electricity leaked out of the walls and we should find some way to capture and use it! She was on to something.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Aud, 11/9/2013 8:43:30 AM     (No. 9605612)

Time to start wallpapering with tinfoil.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: SkyTexas, 11/9/2013 8:48:28 AM     (No. 9605621)

This the same paper that touts a miracle cure for cancer every six months. Look for them to write an article soon on a new type of motor that runs on seawater

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Axeman, 11/9/2013 9:19:14 AM     (No. 9605665)

There is nothing new about this technology.
These devices are usually known by another name, antenna.
Making efficient broadband micro-antennas using semiconductor ans micro-machining technology has been in development for a long time. Infrared heat waves are electromagnetic and can be captured by antennas more efficiently than solar cells.
As #1 & 4 said, quoting the voltage alone means nothing and leads me to discount the rest of the article. The power density of background radiation, the electromagnetic kind, is very low, in the microwatts. You would need to collect it for a long time or have the collector close to the source.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Tatterdemalion, 11/9/2013 9:34:05 AM     (No. 9605680)

Cold Fusion.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: geoguy, 11/9/2013 9:37:41 AM     (No. 9605684)

This is a question for the fellow L´dotters, is this anything like some of the things that Tesla was doing before he died where it was claimed that he could extract electricity from the air?

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Cor-vet, 11/9/2013 9:50:50 AM     (No. 9605699)

The new green energy boondoggle, waiting for government investment!

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Avogadra, 11/9/2013 9:59:50 AM     (No. 9605713)

#10, I was wondering if it might be John Galt´s electrostatic motor.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: JHBoatwright, 11/9/2013 10:28:09 AM     (No. 9605769)

Didn´t Nikola Tesla come up with ideas similar to this in the 1890´s?

Better check his patents.....

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Reply 14 - Posted by: TulsaTowner, 11/9/2013 11:04:37 AM     (No. 9605823)

Just contact Tesla via Ouija Board. He said he would be on call.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: ROLFnader, 11/9/2013 11:36:02 AM     (No. 9605861)

In a related story- I´m designing an airplane that is powered by the electricity generated by its spinning propellers.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: MattMusson, 11/9/2013 11:47:17 AM     (No. 9605882)

I don´t think that Tesla believed in pattents. He thought great discoveries should be shared.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: toddh, 11/9/2013 11:54:36 AM     (No. 9605887)

The linked papers do talk about power, and the device ("SRR" split-ring resonator metamaterial) achieves the remarkable ~37% efficiency (power out/power in) into a load of ~75 ohms from a 900MHz signal when ensconced in its waveguide - ideal conditions. This is an Army project for powering remote sensors and so forth. Like these kids, I spent my youth in a microwave radlab workin´ for (not in) the Army. Literally lived across the hall. Fun times. When we harvested TV signals we called it "interference."

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R_DBL_B
  


 
Reply 18 - Posted by: Hermit_Crab, 11/9/2013 1:36:46 PM     (No. 9606002)

#12: You beat me to it.

Yeah, Quentin Daniels is finally making a little progress.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: harper, 11/9/2013 1:54:27 PM     (No. 9606015)

Cold Fusion is passe. The Democrat Media has perfected Con Fusion and is successfully and quietly broadcasting it to the masses. Once the process is complete, voters are known as LoFos.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: StuartL, 11/9/2013 3:06:39 PM     (No. 9606069)

#4 -- "I think the rarest thing in the world is a reporter who understands even basic science"

... and you´d be appalled to learn how many of them are members of the National Association of Science Writers. Take it from one who knows.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: StuartL, 11/9/2013 3:08:14 PM     (No. 9606071)

Oh, bother. Try again:

#4 -- "I think the rarest thing in the world is a reporter who understands even basic science"

... and you´d be appalled to learn how many of them are members of the National Association of Science Writers. Take it from one who knows.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: cheeflo, 11/9/2013 3:49:37 PM     (No. 9606099)

I had that thought, too, #12.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: KTWO, 11/9/2013 8:20:39 PM     (No. 9606296)

Headline is a bit puzzling. If your invention captures power from radiation why would your invention then beam it to somewhere else?

I suppose that is all explained in the next episode.

For a very remote sensor or small device it might be useful; right offhand nothing comes to mind.

As noted by others, it is power that counts, voltage is only interesting.

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