Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Former British science minister Lord Paul Drayson launched "Freevolt" in a theatre at the Royal Institution, where electromagnetism pioneer Michael Faraday delivered his lectures in the mid-19th century.

Drayson demonstrated the energy created by the signals from mobile phones being used by attendees at the presentation before utilising it to power a loudspeaker in the lecture hall.

The Freevolt technology has a multi-band antenna and rectifier—a type of battery that converts alternating current to direct current—and is "capable of absorbing energy from multiple radio frequency bands," its developers Drayson Technologies and Imperial College London said in a statement.

"Companies have been researching how to harvest energy from WiFi, cellular and broadcast networks for many years," Drayson said.

"But it is difficult because there is only a small amount of energy to harvest," he said.

John Batchelor, professor of antenna technology at the University of Kent, told AFP: "The idea isn't too far-fetched—and I'm sure it'll be improved."

"The problem with this technology is that available energy can go up or down, and this will happen with radio frequencies," he added.

Batchelor also questioned whether use of the might impact mobile phone signals, though he said that the low level of harvesting used by Freevolt made this unlikely.

"If you harvested too much from waves that would be theft, but what they are talking about is a bit like dropping a sponge in the sea—it will have little knock-on effect."

Explore further: Nikola Labs phone case harvests back wasted energy

More information: www.getfreevolt.com/

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35 comments

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ab3a
5 / 5 (14) Sep 30, 2015
When I was a kid we used to use neon light bulbs to figure out where the voltage nodes of our ham radio antennas were. Not particularly efficient...
axemaster
5 / 5 (3) Sep 30, 2015
Needless to say I'm extremely skeptical. There are a lot of physics reasons for why this hasn't been viable until now.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 01, 2015
There are a lot of physics reasons for why this hasn't been viable until now.

Even moreso: there are legal reasons. While one such unit may not be much of an issue there would be no reason why everyone can't use them at once (or one person can't set up an array of them) - and then you just kill reception/cause phones to up their output to keep reception (i.e. you're just draining all the phone batteries in the vicinity at an atrocious efficiency to power your own gadget)

People have tried this in the past and been tried and sentences for utilities theft.
Hueight
not rated yet Oct 01, 2015
People have tried this in the past and been tried and sentences for utilities theft.

What are the laws proscribing antennas? Do antennas 'soak up' the signals that should be going to my neighbours?
docile
Oct 01, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gkam
1.4 / 5 (19) Oct 01, 2015
"There are a lot of physics reasons for why this hasn't been viable until now."
-------------------------------------

Yeah, such as the absence of today's Electromagnetic Smog, which is now everywhere, . . and we are the Guinea Pigs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (17) Oct 01, 2015
"There are a lot of physics reasons for why this hasn't been viable until now."
-------------------------------------

Yeah, such as the absence of today's Electromagnetic Smog, which is now everywhere, . . and we are the Guinea Pigs.
And what would you know about the subject? You had no idea what terahertz radiation is. You lied about mosquitos being attracted to UV radiation. In the same thread you revealed that you thought that visible blue light was UV.

Why don't you stop pretending you know things you obviously dont?

Who do you think you're fooling? Nobody here.
gkam
1.4 / 5 (20) Oct 01, 2015
All the skeptics have to do is get an oscilloscope and some wire for an antenna, and see the frequencies bombarding us continuously. Humans were not made to be immersed in certain frequencies of EM, especially RF, and we do not understand all the effects yet.

Changing the length of the antenna tunes the center frequency. Do that, and see what you get.
nathj72
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 01, 2015
We have constantly been immersed in electromagnetic radiation over an enormous frequency range. Go look up cosmic microwave background radiation and look up black body radiation. Lightning also generates electromagnetic radiation at RF frequencies.

Yes these are lower levels than current exposure, but the affect of microwave radiation on living organisms has been well studied. The main harm mechanism that is known of is microwave heating. As long as the energy density is below a certain level the heating affects are not considered dangerous. We have regulations to ensure of this. There has been no evidence presented that radio frequency radiation at current levels cause harm to humans and no one can find a mechanism that would result in harm.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (17) Oct 01, 2015
George Kamburoff the clown says
Humans were not made to be immersed in certain frequencies of EM
while someone who actually knows what they are talking about says
We have constantly been immersed in electromagnetic radiation over an enormous frequency range
What a clown you are george.
ab3a
5 / 5 (13) Oct 01, 2015
Yeah, such as the absence of today's Electromagnetic Smog, which is now everywhere, . . and we are the Guinea Pigs.


What is this "smog" you rant of, gkam? What part of the Electromagnetic Radiation is unnecessary? Why should we be afraid of non-ionizing radiation?
gkam
1.3 / 5 (16) Oct 01, 2015
Not afraid, cautious.
ab3a
5 / 5 (12) Oct 01, 2015
Not afraid, cautious.

Cautious to what extent? I'm trying to understand what you think we should do differently. Should you not use electric blankets? Should you not have a microwave oven? Should you not have radio station broadcasts? Should you not have cell phones?

Where does this caution start? Are you even aware that the FCC recommedations in OET 65 have fudge factor of 10 inserted in to them? It used to be 10 mW/Cm^2 for microwave, and they reduced it to 1 mW/cm^2. Why? Nobody knows. It's a fudge factor for "safety." Is that enough for you or do you need more? What does it take for this "caution" to be satisfied?
gkam
1.3 / 5 (16) Oct 01, 2015
Okay, dose yourself with microwaves and show me how wrong I am.
ab3a
5 / 5 (14) Oct 02, 2015
Okay, dose yourself with microwaves and show me how wrong I am.

As I pointed out before, one can not prove something is safe. One can only reduce risk. The most sensitive tissues to RF are the eyes. With extended RF exposure levels in excess of 10 mW/cm^2, one can develop cataracts. So they established rules requiring all RF exposure to be below that. The FCC later added a fudge factor of 10 to the exposure rate --and that's all that it ever was: a fudge factor.

To date, after decades of study, nobody has ever been able to demonstrate a properly reviewed, and repeatable experiment demonstrating any non-thermal effects from RF. There have been false positives because researchers who understand RF fields properly are very few. Usually after review, radiation is in excess of thermal limits, or statistical problems have been discovered.

So again, what do you think we should do differently?
abecedarian
3 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2015
I've done EME studies and at one particular location, we found measurable EMF from a 1.9GHz cell site antenna radiating at 25W ERP at 50' distance from the antenna was substantially less than from overhead power lines. The site's antennae had some physical down tilt- 3 degrees below horizontal if I remember correctly. Still, proceeding from the base of the antenna structure out to well over 300 feet resulted in peak values far less than the transmission lines at similar distances.

From another perspective, directly underneath said power lines as well as offset a hundred feet to either side, exposure was 300% to 100% of the recommended safe exposure levels while the antennas were no more than 30% of the safe exposure levels. SDG&E didn't like it and promised they'd underground the systems... eventually.

George? Didn't you work for a utility company?
abecedarian
3 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2015
To add... the location I mention above was a church that also provided Head Start through 5th grade services, and the school section of the grounds was immediately adjacent and parallel to the overhead power lines.

Oh those poor kids being exposed to that much radiation for so many hours a day over the 50 years that school has been there.

No wonder kids aren't developing properly, right?
abecedarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2015
As I pointed out before, one can not prove something is safe.

On the flip side of that, one CAN prove something is not inherently and/or reasonably safe.
Your comparison to microwave exposure being proof of that.

Yet some refuse to believe that people suffered from skin cancer and such long before radio was discovered / invented. Something as innocuous as standing in the sunlight, or eating natural plants can kill you? Oh, the humanity! Make everything illegal!!!

And, to add, Tesla did all his experiments and lived to be how old? 86? This despite being exposed to UV radiation, X-rays and such from all those electrical arcs and other experiments.
gkam
1.3 / 5 (15) Oct 03, 2015
abece, you're just silly. Trying to find something to which you can disagree?

Yeah, I was a Senior Engineer for PG&E, working on the customer side of the meter, and do not like electric fields, either. Are you holding me responsible for them? Gripe to Maxwell.
Bongstar420
not rated yet Oct 03, 2015
These devices can be tuned to interfere with the detection of air craft?
gkam
1.5 / 5 (15) Oct 03, 2015
"These devices can be tuned to interfere with the detection of air craft?"
-----------------------------------------

No.
Uncle Ira
4.3 / 5 (17) Oct 03, 2015
When I was a kid we used to use neon light bulbs to figure out where the voltage nodes of our ham radio antennas were. Not particularly efficient...


@ab3a-Skippy. How you are Cher? I am good me. I did not know you were the ham like I am too. But I have not been in it as long as you have. I got my Amateur Extra ticket back in November last year. I took the Tech, General and the Extra all at one sitting and have been mad with myself for not doing it sooner. You got the 2x1 call but they were out of those so I got the 2x2 call me. I will listen out for you when I am on the air, okay? You will know it's me because everybody tells me I talk funny.

Right now I am trying to get the "Convoy" special event stations, are you working them? I got 11 out of 13 so far, K2Y won't be on until Oct 11 and K2E is going to be a real challenge because, well because he is just a strange couple of peoples.

Uncle Ira
4.3 / 5 (17) Oct 03, 2015
P.S. for you ab3a-Skippy.

Don't mind glam-Skippy. He went to the Air Force radio school in 1966 and forgot most of what they tried to teach him. He wasn't able to stay on top of it because after the Air Force he was the SENIOR engineer designing ic's. And after that he was busy being the SENIOR engineer at the metal foundry. And after that he was the SENIOR engineer at the nuclear testing company. And after that he was the SENIOR engineer at the California electric company.

And after that, oh yeah, there is more, a lot more, he was the SENIOR engineer at the industrial robot repairing company.And after that he taught over 33,000 electrical engineers the stuff they couldn't learn in school. And after that he got the masters degree (depends on the physorg article what it was) And after that he started a company call Protons just in case he thought of something to patent, but he never did so California defaulted him.

So he has not had time to keep up the RF stuffs.
abecedarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 03, 2015
abece, you're just silly. Trying to find something to which you can disagree?

Yeah, I was a Senior Engineer for PG&E, working on the customer side of the meter, and do not like electric fields, either. Are you holding me responsible for them? Gripe to Maxwell.
You're funny.

PG&E does nothing on the customer's side of the meter, and hasn't done such for decades. Matter of fact: I have had to provide the path from vaults or poles to meters for them so they could come in and pull their 4/0 or whichever sized cable to the meter panel. Sure, they'll come in and consult over things, but do not do any work on the customer's premises.

Still, you ignore the fact utility lines produce more EME at more dangerous levels than cell sites and broadcast radio.
gkam
1 / 5 (14) Oct 03, 2015
PG&E does not still have that level of expertise they had in the 1980's when I did my work there.

And, yes, I went into commercial and industrial facilities of all kinds to help them with power quality problems, usually from their own integration of newer technologies without regard to existing infrastructure.That led to me teaching the PQ Course for the several hundred members of EPRI, then becoming a consultant to power companies.

Uncle Ira
4.3 / 5 (18) Oct 03, 2015
PG&E does not still have that level of expertise they had in the 1980's when I did my work there.


Cher, are you saying they lost all their expertise when you left out of there to teach those 33,000 electrical engineers? Couldn't they send some to your classes so they would still know how to run things?

I went into commercial and industrial facilities of all kinds to help them with power quality problems,


So you were also the replacement fuse and light bulb regional drummer?

usually from their own integration of newer technologies without regard to existing infrastructure.


What does that have to do with RF harvesting of the wasted RF that nobody is using anyway?

me teaching the PQ Course for the several hundred members of EPRI


Pssst Cher. The lie is not "several hundred", it's "over 33,000". Your credibility depends on you remembering your tall tales, that's how you got caught. Yeah Cher, I got them marked up to fast find them.
gkam
1.3 / 5 (15) Oct 03, 2015
No, Toots, there were between 600 and 700 utility members of EPRI when I did my years of seminars. The 33,000 is the number of individual participants I was at when I stopped counting.

I understand your entire focus is on me, not RF scavenging, but you even fail at that.
indio007
5 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2015


People have tried this in the past and been tried and sentences for utilities theft.


citation please
gkam
1 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2015
"People have tried this in the past and been tried and sentences for utilities theft"
--------------------------------------

That is by power utilities, not with RF signals. And it will not suck power from phones.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2015
you're just silly. Trying to find something to which you can disagree?

Yeah, I was a Senior Engineer for PG&E, working on the customer side of the meter, and do not like electric fields, either. Are you holding me responsible for them? Gripe to Maxwell.
You're funny
George is pathological, psychopathic liar who continues to claim that he is an engineer despite admitting that he doesnt have the education, degree, EIT-level training, or PE needed to be one.

I showed him how PG&E does not hire non-pros for senior level engg positions, at which point he always asks 'well what did you do?'

So we must conclude that he lied to PG&E in order to get that position (which he apparently lost within a few years - wonder why?), or that he never had it.

What did I do george? I learned not to lie about my backround and credentials.

You apparently learned how to lie for fun and profit, a skill you honed for decades despite having lost 20+ jobs because of it.

IMO.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (14) Oct 05, 2015
No, Toots, there were between 600 and 700 utility members of EPRI when I did my years of seminars. The 33,000 is the number of individual participants I was at when I stopped counting.

I understand your entire focus is on me, not RF scavenging, but you even fail at that.
You only think this 1) because youre most likely a psychopath and 2) you always insert insane bullshit about yourself which has been thoroughly discredited, and which people here need to know.
gkam
1 / 5 (13) Oct 06, 2015
Bullies are really wimpering cowards, hiding behind phony names or whatever works. otto is one of the worst, cowering behind both a pseudonym and a coward's cutout.

Not having worked with RF, he thinks it has to do with rats.

TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (13) Oct 06, 2015
Bullies are really wimpering cowards, hiding behind phony names or whatever works. otto is one of the worst, cowering behind both a pseudonym and a coward's cutout.

Not having worked with RF, he thinks it has to do with rats.
I think I do have comparable experience. I use the microwave quite often.

And I know what terahertz radiation is. And I know that UV doesnt attract mosquitoes. And I know that Pu is not raining down on idaho, or that high energy alpha can certainly penetrate skin which is in part why reactors have shielding.

So I must have a better understanding of the subject than you.

George thinks that anyone who exposes his lies and fabrications is a bully. Boohoooo.

George thinks that posting his real name gives him the right to post whatever bullshit that pops into his mind, and no one has the right to question it.

Sorry baby, the world dont work that way.
gkam
1 / 5 (13) Oct 07, 2015
Not having worked with RF, he thinks it has to do with rats.

"I think I do have comparable experience. I use the microwave quite often."
-------------------------------------

On rats?

Your need to hurt others drives us to ask that question.

TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (13) Oct 07, 2015
Oh stop.

"... they can imitate feelings, but the only real feelings they seem to have - the thing that drives them and causes them to act out different dramas for effect - is a sort of "predatorial hunger" for what they want.

"the psychopath is unable to even be aware of his own emotional poverty. They assume that their own perceptions are the same as everyone else's. They assume that their own lack of feeling is the same for everyone else. And make no mistake about it: you can NOT hurt their feelings because they don't have any! They will pretend to have feelings if it suits their purposes or gets them what they want. They will verbalize remorse, but their actions will contradict their words."

-Psychopaths will continue to lie, and fabricate, and seek out unsuspecting allies.

"what does the psychopath REALLY get from their victims?

"[he] ENJOYS making others suffer."

-Youre just here to torment people, to get them to waste their time jumping through your hoops.

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