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Power-User

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Location: Illinois, USA
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Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/11/2011 4:13 PM

"Ambient electromagnetic energy harvested as power source" - EDN

Scavenging devices can capture energy transmitted by communications devices, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries. See article here:

http://www.edn.com/article/518760-Ambient_electromagnetic_energy_harvested_as_power_source.php

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Commentator

Join Date: Jun 2011
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#1

Re: Ambient Energy - a power source?

07/11/2011 4:27 PM

I've always wondered why this hadn't been done before. The idea seems relatively straightforward. Hopefully this will fix cell phone battery issues in the near future!

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Guru

Join Date: Jul 2007
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#2

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/11/2011 9:51 PM

"hundreds of microWatts"?? Be still my heart, we're rich!

Seriously, why bother for such small amounts of energy?

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#3

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/11/2011 10:39 PM

I just read an article about ferroelectricity. Someone has developed an alloy that , supposedly, can turn heat directly into electricity. Hope it works out, but wont hold my breath.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/11/2011 11:12 PM

How much heat, how little electricity--sort of like a thermocouple?

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Guru

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#5

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/12/2011 12:17 AM

Wow, maybe I'll be able to run my cat's whisker radio on that much power.

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#6

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/12/2011 12:43 AM

I've heard stories of putting up a honkin' big antenna next to a 50kw radio station, thereby scraping off a kw or two. I think this is illegal--the station, the listeners, and the FCC just might object.

In the "great sea" of radiation, I bet almost as much is subtractive as additive....

But then they might say, "I'm a ramblin' wreck from Georgia Tech, and a helluvan engineer!"

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Guru

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#7

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/12/2011 4:04 AM

Hallo. Anything impinging on your property is yours. A MW commercial station lighting and heating your home? No problem, or at least it should'nt. Particularly, if you do not ask for permission.

But, had the original questoneer ever learned about entropy? I wonder.

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#8

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/12/2011 1:44 PM

Doesn't the military already have drones that will seek out and skim high tension power lines to recharge the batteries? This gives them essentially unlimited flight times and range as long as there are power lines to tap.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/12/2011 6:31 PM

Do you really think this is feasible? It might work near our borders, but probably not enough wires in the Middle East war zones.

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Power-User

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#10

Re: Ambient Energy - A Power Source?

07/15/2011 12:32 PM

Apparently the tech world is pretty serious about this. Short story in Popular Science:

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-07/new-printable-devices-can-harvest-ambient-energy-power-small-electronics

Also covered by EE Times, newelectronics, etc. Not gonna power your refrigerator, but may enable networks of smart sensors. Coolio!

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