Wireless power could revolutionize highway transportation, researchers say

Feb 01, 2012
Stanford University researchers are developing a technology that uses magnetic fields (shown in red) to wirelessly charge electric vehicles cruising at highway speeds. Credit: Sven Beiker, CARS/Stanford University

A Stanford University research team has designed a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.

The has the potential to dramatically increase the of electric vehicles and eventually transform highway travel, according to the researchers. Their results are published in the journal (APL).

"Our vision is that you'll be able to drive onto any highway and charge your car," said Shanhui Fan, an associate professor of . "Large-scale deployment would involve revamping the entire highway system and could even have applications beyond transportation."

Driving range

A wireless charging system would address a major drawback of plug-in – their limited driving range. The all-electric Nissan Leaf, for example, gets less than 100 miles on a single charge, and the battery takes several hours to fully recharge.

A charge-as-you-drive system would overcome these limitations. "What makes this concept exciting is that you could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge," said APL study co-author Richard Sassoon, the managing director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), which funded the research. "You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Stanford postdoctoral scholar Xiaofang Yu explains the idea behind the new technology. Credit: Mark Shwartz, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University.

The wireless power transfer is based on a technology called magnetic resonance coupling. Two copper coils are tuned to resonate at the same natural frequency – like two wine glasses that vibrate when a specific note is sung. The coils are placed a few feet apart. One coil is connected to an electric current, which generates a that causes the second coil to resonate. This magnetic resonance results in the invisible transfer of electric energy through the air from the first coil to the receiving coil.

"Wireless power transfer will only occur if the two resonators are in tune," Fan noted. "Objects tuned at different frequencies will not be affected."

In 2007, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used magnetic resonance to light a 60-watt bulb. The experiment demonstrated that power could be transferred between two stationary coils about six feet apart, even when humans and other obstacles are placed in between.

"In the MIT experiment, the magnetic field appeared to have no impact on people who stood between the coils," Fan said. "That's very important in terms of safety. "

Wireless charging

The MIT researchers have created a spinoff company that's developing a stationary capable of wirelessly transferring about 3 kilowatts of electric power to a vehicle parked in a garage or on the street.

Fan and his colleagues wondered if the MIT system could be modified to transfer 10 kilowatts of electric power over a distance of 6.5 feet – enough to charge a car moving at highway speeds. The car battery would provide an additional boost for acceleration or uphill driving.

Here's how the system would work: A series of coils connected to an electric current would be embedded in the highway. Receiving coils attached to the bottom of the car would resonate as the vehicle speeds along, creating magnetic fields that continuously transfer electricity to charge the battery.

To determine the most efficient way to transmit 10 kilowatts of power to a real car, the Stanford team created computer models of systems with metal plates added to the basic coil design.

"Asphalt in the road would probably have little effect, but metallic elements in the body of the car can drastically disturb electromagnetic fields," Fan explained. "That's why we did the APL study – to figure out the optimum transfer scheme if large metal objects are present."

Using mathematical simulations, postdoctoral scholars Xiaofang Yu and Sunil Sandhu found the answer: A coil bent at a 90-degree angle and attached to a metal plate can transfer 10 kilowatts of electrical energy to an identical coil 6.5 feet away.

"That's fast enough to maintain a constant speed," Fan said. "To actually charge the car battery would require arrays of coils embedded in the road. This wireless transfer scheme has an efficiency of 97 percent."

Wireless future

Fan and his colleagues recently filed a patent application for their wireless system. The next step is to test it in the laboratory and eventually try it out in real driving conditions. "You can very reliably use these computer simulations to predict how a real device would behave," Fan said.

The researchers also want to make sure that the system won't affect drivers, passengers or the dozens of microcomputers that control steering, navigation, air conditioning and other vehicle operations.

"We need to determine very early on that no harm is done to people, animals, the electronics of the car or to credit cards in your wallet," said Sven Beiker, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS). Although a power transfer efficiency of 97 percent is extremely high, Beiker and his colleagues want to be sure that the remaining 3 percent is lost as heat and not as potentially harmful radiation.

Some transportation experts envision an automated highway system where driverless are wirelessly charged by solar power or other renewable energy sources. The goal would be to reduce accidents and dramatically improve the flow of traffic while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Beiker, who co-authored the APL study, said that wireless technology might one day assist GPS navigation of driverless cars. "GPS has a basic accuracy of 30-40 feet," he said. "It tells you where you are on the planet, but for safety, you want to make sure that your car is in the center of the lane." In the proposed system, the magnetic fields could also be used to control steering, he explained. Since the coils would be in the center of the lane, they could provide very precise positioning at no extra cost.

The researchers also have begun discussions with Michael Lepech, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, to study the optimal layout of roadbed transmitters and determine if rebar and other metals in the pavement will reduce efficiency.

"We have the opportunity to rethink how electric power is delivered to our cars, homes and work," Fan said. "We're used to thinking about power delivery in terms of wires and plugging things into the wall. Imagine that instead of wires and plugs, you could transfer power through a vacuum. Our work is a step in that direction."

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User comments : 66

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kaasinees
3.7 / 5 (9) Feb 01, 2012
hmm we might as well build more electric trains.
tadchem
4.3 / 5 (15) Feb 01, 2012
New technology???
The Tesla coil wireless power transmitter:
U.S. Patent 1,119,732, December 1, 1914.
LariAnn
3.5 / 5 (11) Feb 01, 2012
Tesla worked on wireless transmission of electrical power many years ago (1899-1900). Had his work been funded to completion, all vehicles might have been electric today and the ubiquitous power poles would be nonexistent.
wealthychef
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2012
So we move from a power scarcity to a metal scarcity.
indio007
1 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2012
MIT is behind the times... Metamaterials rock!

http://scholar.go...wireless power metamaterial&as_sdt=0%2C22&as_ylo=2009&as_vis=0
Eikka
3.1 / 5 (7) Feb 01, 2012
That 10 kW per car is actually closer to 20 kW in real electric cars with lights, heaters, power steering, A/C, weather, wind... etc.

But, take 10 kW per car, have a car every 100 yards for 10 miles on both sides of a four-lane highway. How much power do you need? That's about 700 cars, which makes 7 megawatts.

Therefore the magnitude of the problem is roughly a megawatt a mile to power all the cars. You'd need one big 300 ft tall wind turbine per mile of road to power it (at least sometimes).

A single nuclear powerplant could operate 500-600 miles of highway. Still, there are many thousands of miles of road, and many many cars. There are more than 100 million cars in the whole country, and trying to run even 10% of that directly off of the grid would mean that you need 100,000,000,000 Watts of power, or roughly all the nuclear powerplants in operation in the US.

This is the reason why electric cars have to be charged slowly at night.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2012
LA freeways are just a parking lot for much of the day, so the autos could commute essentially free from a time standpoint. In fact, they could power their laptops and give up showing up when they're chronically late, and yet have a productive workday.
Eikka
4.3 / 5 (12) Feb 01, 2012
LA freeways are just a parking lot for much of the day, so the autos could commute essentially free from a time standpoint.


Too bad electric motors too have very poor efficiency at traffic jam speeds. If you average less than 10 miles per hour in a car like Tesla Roadster, it ends up eating as much energy per mile as if you drove it 65 mph.

It's because EV manufacturers insist on not having a gearbox, so the motor has to turn at close to zero RPM and it just heats up a lot. If they had a first gear for crawling speeds, you could drive along with less power than a hairdryer.
Bugbaum
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 01, 2012
How about providing an estimate of how much it will cost taxpayers to put these freaking things in the roadways and advising on how we're going to charge drivers for energy use. Hello! There's no more money!
Uzza
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2012
A single nuclear powerplant could operate 500-600 miles of highway. Still, there are many thousands of miles of road, and many many cars. There are more than 100 million cars in the whole country, and trying to run even 10% of that directly off of the grid would mean that you need 100,000,000,000 Watts of power, or roughly all the nuclear powerplants in operation in the US.

This is the reason why electric cars have to be charged slowly at night.

You don't really think that all 100 million cars will drive at the same time do you?

The US Interstate Highway System had, as of 2006, 75440 kilometers of road.
Spacing a car out every 20 meters, not including car length, means it can hold a total of 3.77 million cars.
At 10 kWh per car, it comes out at 37.7 GWh of electricity.
A modern GEN III reactor like the EPR being built at Olkiluoto is a ~1.6 GW design, meaning 24 such reactors could power the entire Interstate Highway System if it had been electrified like this.
indio007
1 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2012
sorry that link is borked just read his...
http://www2.nict....1-16.pdf

This easily feasible. You can make a single line of resonators that couple with each other embedded in the roadway.

I think people are forgetting the gain in efficnecy when you don't have to expend energy transporting your power source everywhere. How many gallons of gas are in motion right at this moment? or tons of batteries?
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (8) Feb 01, 2012

The US Interstate Highway System had, as of 2006, 75440 kilometers of road. (...) a total of 3.77 million cars.


Assuming you have two lanes, you get 75440 / 0.02 x 2 = 7.544 million cars, or 48 nuclear power stations as per your estimate.

And it's not only the interstates that would need to be powered, seeing how electric cars are useless beyond a trip of 50 miles one way, unless you reserve half a day for recharging.


At 10 kWh per car, it comes out at 37.7 GWh of electricity.

kW, not kWh. One is power, the other is energy.

A modern GEN III reactor like the EPR being built at Olkiluoto is a ~1.6 GW design, meaning 24 such reactors could power the entire Interstate Highway System if it had been electrified like this.


The Olkiluoto reactor is a monstrosity that shouldn't even be built. Huge reactors like that are inherently unsafe, but a permit for even one reactor is a 20 year undertaking these days, so they have to build it like that.
Eikka
2.4 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2012
I think people are forgetting the gain in efficnecy when you don't have to expend energy transporting your power source everywhere. How many gallons of gas are in motion right at this moment? or tons of batteries?


You can't get rid of the battery, because you have to be able to get on and off the powered road at both ends, and drive the last 10-20 miles to your actual destination.

A gallon of gasoline weighs roughly 3 kilograms. The equivalent energy in batteries weighs roughly 100 kilograms. Both get you about 40 miles down the road. The weight of gasoline in cars is neglible.
finitesolutions
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2012
I commented on a similar article some years ago right here on physorg. Having an open power line embedded into the pavement will allow electric vehicles to pick electricity from it via a pantograph. Not as elegant as wireless transmission but effective, cheap and easy to implement.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2012
Huge reactors like that are inherently unsafe


I'll comment on myself before anyone latches on to this.

The reason why huge reactors like the EPR are inherently unsafe is beacuse the strenght of materials don't scale up as you make things bigger and more powerful. It's the same reason why you can't take the Eiffel Tower and make it twice as large by simply making everything in it twice as large.

As the reactor gets bigger and more powerful, it loses passive safety and must rely on active safety features like constant coolant circulation and active monitoring to properly shut it down and manage all possible flaws (that the engineers could think of). If things go wrong, it won't simply break, it will break catastrophically because the structures can't contain the forces involved.

It's a timebomb waiting to happen. This one reactor might work all its life and be decommissioned without an incident, but if you build hundreds more, one of them will blow up.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2012
You don't really think that all 100 million cars will drive at the same time do you?


No. I said 10% of 100 million - that's 10 million cars.

There are actually 254.4 million registered passenger vehicles in the US, and of those it is estimated that 125 million are in active use. Having 10 million cars on the roads needing power at the same time is not only plausible, it's extremely probable, considering that any two locations that are further than 50 miles apart would need a stretch of powered road in between them to give electric cars proper access.

Besides, you can't take a 1.6 GW EPR reactor and throttle it up and down to meet the demand. It takes two weeks to get it up and running at full tilt.

The actual power to run the cars would have to come from natural gas generators that can adjust to the demand, which would defeat the point of the electric car entirely.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 01, 2012
This easily feasible. You can make a single line of resonators that couple with each other embedded in the roadway.


How many kg of copper do you need for each coil, though?

To deliver megawatts, you need some heavy cables under the road.

The irony of the wireless electricity gadget is, that it takes something like 10-100 times the amount of wire to make the coils, than what it takes to simply plug the device in.
mertzj
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2012
I have a feeling Eikka is completely against the idea. Not that I think it would ever take off. Too expensive to change over. Maybe a few short streets in San Fran.
tonche
not rated yet Feb 01, 2012
sounds like a large version of "Scaletrix"
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Feb 01, 2012
Cold fusion would revolutionize all ideas about wireless energy transfer revolutions: it will render them useless.
mrlewish
3 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2012
Yes that's all we need. A road that cost 2 billion dollars a mile.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2012
That 10 kW per car is actually closer to 20 kW in real electric cars with lights, heaters, power steering, A/C...

I don't really buy that. You can buy space heaters that use 1kW which would burn you up in no time in the small confines of a car. Headlights are LIMITED to 100 watts (brights to 120 watt). LED lights use much less than that.
Power steering is active only intermittently and therefore utterly negligible.
AC uses about 100watt
Source(scroll down for list of powerhungry systems in a medium size car): http://www.spiege...,00.html )

The thing that actually could (potentially) use most power continuously in a car - apart from the driving part - is your stereo.

You'd be hard pressed to even use 1kW over and above your driving needs. Maybe if you turn everything on and to maximum settings at the same time.
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2012
Why not scale up a slot car track, with spring-loaded copper contacts under the cars drawing electricity from inlaid metal strips on the road surface. Then you could have teenage kids on the side of the road with controllers racing the cars. It would keep them out of trouble.
jsn3604
1 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2012
I think the concept is great and hope that they continue researching this idea. Hopefully it will be beneficial sometime in the future. Combining this with automated cars and smarter traffic control systems will really be beneficial to the country's transportation network.
Tausch
1.4 / 5 (7) Feb 01, 2012
Not a single objection brought forth here has merit*

*In a world where room temperature superconductivity exists.

dnatwork
not rated yet Feb 01, 2012
Most of the energy in moving the car is due to the weight of the car itself. Replace 2000 pounds of steel with 500 pounds of carbon fiber. If the road is doing the steering for you, you could also take out a lot of the weight that is there to protect you in case of a head-on collision. Now you don't need 10 kwh anymore.
plasticpower
5 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2012
I'm pretty sure Tesla's way of wireless power transmission is different from magnetic resonance and the efficiency of a Tesla coil is nowhere near 97%. Magnetic resonance != Tesla coil.
Graeme
not rated yet Feb 01, 2012
And pack the cars close behind each other into a train to reduce air resistance. However if you hit a hill you may need far more power, so 50 kW. May as well use the elctric trolly bus approach with wires overhead and an electrical contact to the vehicle. This would cost a tiny fraction of the wireless approach.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 02, 2012
I'm pretty sure Tesla's way of wireless power transmission is different from magnetic resonance and the efficiency of a Tesla coil is nowhere near 97%. Magnetic resonance != Tesla coil.
Tesla's car was said to run off the aether and converted it to electricity. It was a free energy device he rode for 400 miles. His nephew, Peter Savo later confirmed this.
cdt
4 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2012
I don't suppose anyone has figured out how to charge people money for charging their batteries while driving? And doing it in such a way that would be difficult to hack?
rawa1
2.4 / 5 (9) Feb 02, 2012
The people are systematically tend into development of ineffective solutions, which will just maintain the employment rate. Whereas the implementation of effective solutions (like the cold fusion) is systematically delayed from the same reason. In this way, the human civilization is behaving like bunch of trolls, which do allow the development in slowest possible rate only. What some wireless transfer will be good for, if we could have the car equipped with power source sufficient for whole their lifetime without refuelling?
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (4) Feb 02, 2012
The people are systematically tend into development of ineffective solutions, which will just maintain the employment rate. Whereas the implementation of effective solutions (like the cold fusion) is systematically delayed from the same reason. In this way, the human civilization is behaving like bunch of trolls, which do allow the development in slowest possible rate only. What some wireless transfer will be good for, if we could have the car equipped with power source sufficient for whole their lifetime without refuelling?


If it doesn't make an all powerful consortium an obscene amount of money, the technology will be delayed or shelved altogether. In Tesla's day, it was Westinghouse. Today it's multinational oil cartels.
DGBEACH
1 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2012
The coils could also be on the sides or even above the highways. And they wouldn't necessarily have to be present EVERYWHERE, only where the vehicles slow down- where they spend the most time- like at stop-lights and stop-signs or where the bottlenecks usually occur.
Yeah I'm FOR an idea LIKE THIS one, although the power would have to come from a renewable source.
I have often thought that conveyor-belt-highways driven by the wind would go the furthest in energy savings, but I digress
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 02, 2012
only where the vehicles slow down

This is probably not enough because you can go hundreds of miles on highways without slowing down. Places where vehicles stop frequently are usually within cities - and for local traffic even a modest battery pack is enough. The scheme proposed in the article is supposed to be a solution for the (long) range poblem of electric vehicles (high battery weight and/or extremely long recharge times at 'filling stations').

or even above the highways

To get good coupling you want emitter and receiver to be fairly close. If you had it above highways you'd need to place it so high that the tallest truck (or special transport vehicle) could pass underneath (same problem for overhead lines). This would reduce efficiency drastically.

And doing it in such a way that would be difficult to hack?

Sending an encoded (rolling) ID keyed to your car when you pass a patch would be easily feasible. Billing could be according to power transmitted.
Xbw
1 / 5 (3) Feb 02, 2012
I see many comments on just adding more electric trains or trolleys but the sad reality is USA (and other nations such as India, Canada, Mexico etc..) rely on passenger vehicles as their primary transportation. Not saying it is efficient but it is what it is.

Making cars run off a universal electric system would let drivers keep their "independence" and reduce emissions and fuel use drastically. I realize that the power has to come from somewhere and the debate for nuclear/natural gas/coal power plants is another thing entirely, however, powering our vehicles externally rather than with internal combustion engines is still a win win. I'm not an environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination but I think less pollution on my morning commute in LA would be lovely.
moebiex
not rated yet Feb 02, 2012
I'm sure the system could also theoretically accomodate transfers from the vehicles back to the power grid thereby allowing efficiency gains as the kinetic E is recycled. Also- if numerous privately owned/operated small-ish power sources can be be incorporated there is perhaps another major jobs solution as small installations/modules (wind, photovoltaic, geothermal, microhydro, etc), including some lining the roads, could provide a means to "share the wealth" instead of further concentrating it in the mega-facility owners (eg. nuclear stations).
RichardP
1 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2012
The average car has from 110 to 150 HP, this converts into 82kW to 118kW of available power. The average car runs at about 20 to 30% of this at normal cruising speeds. You would need to supply from 16.4kW to 35.4kW per vehicle. So, yes you will need a lot of power per mile to make this system work, and the demand will be highly variable something power systems do not tolerate well.

In the 70's we had a demonstration of a tuned air coupled power transfer that illuminated a 100 watt bulb. It was based on Tesla's work, and was very cool to watch. While efficiency can be improved with better materials, there will be a significant loss of power, and thus a lower efficiency. There is no free lunch.

How do you keep a megawatt under pavement power system working when we can't keep stoplight sensor loops working? Does all transportation cease when the grid goes down? To replace something you must either show that the replacement is better, or it won't be adopted no matter how good it feels.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2012
The reason why huge reactors like the EPR are inherently unsafe is beacuse the strenght of materials don't scale up as you make things bigger and more powerful.
Sorry, nothing engineered is inherently unsafe. Engineers are familiar with materials and how to make things with them, no matter what the size.
It's the same reason why you can't take the Eiffel Tower and make it twice as large by simply making everything in it twice as large.
Which is not how you do engineering is it?
Tesla's car was said to run off the aether and converted it to electricity. It was a free energy device he rode for 400 miles. His nephew, Peter Savo later confirmed this.
Source?
indio007
1 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2012
We are talking about coupled magnetic resonance as the power source not current that has to flow down the length of the highway. I don't think the analogies about electrical power draw which is based on flow of current and voltage are equivalent to magnetic resonance.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 02, 2012
not current that has to flow down the length of the highway.

You have to transfer energy and that energy has to get to the magnetic coupling pads and into the vehicles. Magnetic coupling only works with AC, so yes: you have to have an electric current going.

That said, wasn't there an article a couple of days ago about the first superconducting powerline being installed in Essen, germany?
http://www.physor...ble.html

This looks like it would be up for the job (if developed a bit further for longer cable length and/or feed in from powerplants along the roads.)
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Feb 02, 2012
Tesla's system could transmit power regardless of distance. This system is stone-age crap by comparison. One admission he made is that due to engineering difficulties his system was better suited to air ships than land transport. Imagine aircraft that did not have the weight burden of fuel.
HealingMindN
not rated yet Feb 02, 2012
I don't suppose anyone has figured out how to charge people money for charging their batteries while driving? And doing it in such a way that would be difficult to hack?


Probably RFID implants next to those coils - already used at some toll booths - ingenious method of charging people for electricity and whatever other "improvement" fees. That's the only way I see this working which is why I say "no." If anything, Stanford researchers have re-engineered Wireless Energy, so there HAS to be a money trail.
indio007
1 / 5 (3) Feb 02, 2012
not current that has to flow down the length of the highway.

You have to transfer energy and that energy has to get to the magnetic coupling pads and into the vehicles. Magnetic coupling only works with AC, so yes: you have to have an electric current going.


I didn't mean to apply there would be zero current for the system. Just that there wouldn't need to be a continuous line. There could be substations to power N length of arrays.
There are 3 methods that yield over 80% each. Combined who knows the efficiency.
Google Scholar
"Wireless Power Transmission Efficiency Enhancement with Metamaterials
"Experiments on Wireless Power Transfer with Metamaterials",
"Wireless Power Transfer with Metamaterials"
"Wireless Power Transmission Efficiency Enhancement with Metamaterials
"Flexible and Mobile Near-Field Wireless Power Transfer using an Array of Resonators."
"Metamaterial-enhanced coupling between magnetic dipoles for efficient wireless power transfer
Argiod
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 03, 2012
We cannot afford to maintain the simple asphault roads we have now... how are we going to be able to retrofit all our highways and roads to accomplish this collosal feat of magic?
Argiod
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 03, 2012
It would be cheaper, easier, and more practical to introduce a maglev system that would follow the existing freeways, placing the stanchions down the middle of the center divider, with branches going into major cities along the way. But, as long as the 1%'ers keep tight hold on the country's purse strings, we'll never see this, or any other improvement, in our lifetimes.
350
1 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2012
I could see this being a problem with the FDA limits on electromagnetic radiation.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2012
I could see this being a problem with the FDA limits on electromagnetic radiation.
Tesla's scalar power system does not interact with your electron chemistry. But this will mess up your nads and probably make your family all molgoloids.
gwrede
2 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2012
While everybody is scared to death of cell phones causing cancer, how come nobody laments passengers sitting hours on end smack in the middle of what essentially is 20kW transformers?
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2012
Because the frequencies are different. You can sit quite safely in a slowly changing electrical field as the gradients (and hence zhe induced currents) in biological tissue is minimal.

Induction is dependent on the antenna being the same size as (half) the wavelength. Cells, proteins, DNA aren't on the order of the wavelength of the energy emitted by the system described in the article.

But cell phones are digital (which means extremely steep flanks, which in turn means high frequency components if you look at the fourier decomposition). So biological structures CAN be affected by cell phone radiation.

Summary: The energy coupled into your body is much higher from your phone cell than, say, from standing right next to a multi megawatt radio tower.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2012
Because the frequencies are different. You can sit quite safely in a slowly changing electrical field as the gradients (and hence zhe induced currents) in biological tissue is minimal.
Virtually nothing is known about how DNA conducts electricity, other than it appears superconductive. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that frequency LOCKING causes biological damage. Simply put, the mechanical harmonics damage biology because living systems are biotic. That is, they have a chaotic frequency spectrum that is adversely affected by overpowering dominant, mechanical frequencies typical in "modern" machines.

EMP is just one such counterexample to your claim. Causes leukemia 100% of the time at sufficient amplitude. The original US physicists researching it at the DOD in the 80s are all dead.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2012
It would be cheaper, easier, ...

Not with present govt regulations.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2012
Virtually nothing is known about how DNA conducts electricity, other than it appears superconductive.

It's not really about that (and I don't think DNA
is superconductive. That looks like a very bogus claim. Otherwise room temperature suüerconductors would be easy to make)

But you can show that the radiation induced via cell phones does tend to shift molecules in cells about. Now, whether that has any effect functional is hard to say. The energy gradients aren't strong enough to ionize molecules. But you are inducing motion (read: heat).

Point being: The frequency of an energy field plays as much (or even stronger) part in whether it has any biological effect.
Caliban
not rated yet Feb 04, 2012

If we put aside the as yet unproven safety of this technology, then the obvious application would be --especially if combined with superconduction-- to use it to replace the grid. No more power transmission lines to despoil the view or subject to damage from storm and traffic mishap. It would only be vulnerable to the very worst earthquakes and wash-out from flooding.

As for the availability of resources --quite simple-- cannibalize all of that copper strand from the existing transmission lines, transformers, etc. All imbedded, shielded, relatively impervious in the road bed, with cabling to homes, schools, factories...and a jobs bonanza for many years to come.

Only need to work on battery storage capacity for those times when you have to take your vehicle off the paved road.

kochevnik
1 / 5 (5) Feb 04, 2012
@antialias_physorg It's not really about that (and I don't think DNA is superconductive. That looks like a very bogus claim.
I'm worried all that radiation is making your brain soft: http://prola.aps....2/p710_1
Astricus
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2012
Not a well thought out idea. Something a 10 year old child would think up, good thoughts for a 10 year old but not for Stanford researcher. The infrastructure costs are huge. Also and more importantly battery energy densities will increase by at least 10 fold in 5 years that implies current electric cars will have ten times the range.....
Guy_Underbridge
1 / 5 (2) Feb 05, 2012
Not sure... something about sitting in a metal cavity with several KW of radiation (probably in the Khz range) in and about my person bothers me.

Also: http://www.physor...sue.html
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 05, 2012
I'm worried all that radiation is making your brain soft:

Umm..Did you read the article you linked to at all? Or did you just google "superconductive DNA" and posted the first thing you found?

Not sure... something about sitting in a metal cavity with several KW of radiation (probably in the Khz range) in and about my person bothers me.

ctually being enclosed in a metal cavity should make you feel exceptionally safe in these circumstances (the field inside a Fahraday cage is always zero).
BikeToAustralia
1 / 5 (1) Feb 05, 2012
power transfer at 97 percent efficiency speaks volumes. The creation of said power and the implementation of the infrastructure in useful amounts we will not choke on... At what cost, what consequences?

Posts mention only nuclear and wind power generators. There are others. What about changing our global habits on an individual basis and using less power?

OOPS, just noticed there are three pages, not just one.

Graphene superconductors created from carbon leeched from the air - our air pollution recycled into power conductors, is that too much of a pipe dream?

How much of everything do each of us need? Isn't using more than you need, going over budget, self-destructive and damaging to all? I am not more important than my environment. But, where do I draw the line and how?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 05, 2012
our air pollution recycled into power conductors, is that too much of a pipe dream?

Yes, because a(
Carbon isn't superconducting (at useful temperatures at least)
b) Why grab carbon out of the air at atrocious cost when we have it lying around all over the place?

How much of everything do each of us need?

That's a very good question and one too few people ask themselves. Until they do so their gut reaction is always "more" - as if "more" would somehow make them content. (Which it can't until you don't crave "more" anymore - so it's sort of self defeating)
georgejmyersjr
not rated yet Feb 06, 2012
Contemplating Tesla's Wardenclyffe: Perhaps it might also work well with the wheels flipped over, i.e. a monorail or similar mass-transport using the medians of highways. It might, using a "tether" generator in space, using the planet's electrical energy, provide a launch method for packages to greater distances to outside orbits, or destinations, there even less friction in space.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 06, 2012
Monorails (or any kind of rail) has one big drawback: You limit the size of the vehicle (by width and height and weight). This is not really acceptable for mass transport.
Calenur
5 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2012
It would be cheaper, easier, ...

Not with present govt regulations.


You're insufferable.
_nigmatic10
1 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2012
It would be easier to create trains to ferry electric cars long distances than to implement this technology. sadly, the way the trains in the usa are now, that infrastructure would need alot of help to implement such a change.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2012
Umm..Did you read the article you linked to at all? Or did you just google "superconductive DNA" and posted the first thing you found?
I googled that link because I've been seeing fifty similar articles out since 1960 and I lack a petabyte drive/eidetic memory at the moment. In comp-sci there's such a thing as "good enough."

DNA is superconductive because it must make a vortex integrating with the bioelectric body and environment. Part of it's function is electric. In part this bolsters the brain's storage of memory in DNA and gives a real-time mechanism for mental DNA expression, or instinct.
georgejmyersjr
not rated yet Feb 07, 2012
Monorails (or any kind of rail) has one big drawback: You limit the size of the vehicle (by width and height and weight). This is not really acceptable for mass transport.


Not too far from Wardenclyffe was the Long Island Monorail test-bed, to attract investors. Passengers sat side by side in small cars on a overhead monorail guide that had bicycle-like wheels on the ground, attached to the cabins, running on flat "road". Not sure if it was electric or funicular or both, it was to run alongside the Long Island Railroad right-of-way which doomed it. At $25 a share, last heard, it was a NY State Historic Site.
Billy_Madison
1 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2012
Has anyone brought up the fact that:

A.) There has to be a fixed point between the car's coil and the magnetic source's coil in the ground. There are different makes and models of cars, along with differentiating elevations of road.

B.) How big these coils have to be in order to transmit energy over said distance.

C.) Both A & B combined.

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