New technology can turn radio waves into electricity

(ORDO NEWS) — Creating energy from radio waves may seem like something out of a science fiction novel. However, a team at the University of South Florida believes they have developed a device that can do just that.

A device that is a special metasurface antenna that can absorb radio waves and turn them into electricity could have huge implications for the entire energy industry.

Researchers have been looking for ways to generate energy from radio waves for years. This is not an easy process and may require more energy input than output. With the development of technologies that use environmental radio waves, such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth or cell phone networks, there are more and more radio waves.

Advances have also been made in the field of metamaterials, special types of materials designed to have properties not found in naturally occurring materials. Together, these two factors make stable conversion of radio waves into energy quite possible.

When developing the antenna for collecting radio waves, the team at the University of South Florida used a metamaterial with a high level of absorption of radio waves, which allowed for a higher voltage across the diode of the device.

This made the antenna more energy efficient, showing that low intensity waves could be converted into electricity. “The technology can also be adapted in such a way that a source of radio waves can be provided to power or charge devices throughout the room,” explained Clayton Fowler, a member of the team behind the antenna.

To test the antenna, the researchers measured the amount of energy collected by operating a radio wave source in the range of 0.7 to 2.0 GHz. The team then changed the frequency of the radio waves to see if this affected the amount of energy they collected.

Their tests showed that the antenna could collect 100 microwatts of energy from radio waves with an intensity of about 100 meters from a cell phone tower.

“We also placed the cell phone very close to the antenna during the call,” explained Jiangfeng Zhou of the University of South Florida.

“While it would have been more practical to harvest power from cell towers, this demonstrated the antenna’s ability to pick up power.”

The researchers believe that this device, which demonstrates extraordinary potential in capturing energy, could cause major changes in the energy industry.

“By eliminating wire connections and batteries, these antennas can help reduce costs, increase reliability and make some electrical systems more efficient,” Zhou said.

“This would be useful for powering smart home sensors such as temperature, light and motion sensors, or sensors used to monitor the structure of buildings or bridges where battery replacement may be difficult or impossible.”

This antenna could also be built to be more transportable, allowing for better power collection on the road or in the background with smart devices. This will improve the sustainability and overall efficiency of the energy sector. With the development of these new antennas, our future may look more powerful and energy efficient than ever before.”


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