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TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE COULD TURN RADIO WAVES INTO ELECTRICITY


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Thedebrief

 

Creating energy from radio waves may sound like something out of a science fiction novel. Yet a team from the University of South Florida believes that they have developed a device that can do this.

The device, a special metasurface antenna that can absorb radio waves and turn them into electricity, could have enormous implications for the energy industry as a whole.

BACKGROUND: ENERGIZING RADIO WAVES

Researchers have been looking at ways to capture energy from radio waves for years. It is not an easy process and can cost more energy input than energy output. With the advancement of technology that uses ambient radio waves, like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, or cell phone networks, more radio waves are harvested. There have also been advancements in metamaterials, particular types of materials engineered to have a property not found in naturally occurring materials. Together, these two factors make it quite possible to transform radio waves into energy sustainably. 

 

In developing their antenna to harvest the radio waves, the team from the University of South Florida used a metamaterial with high absorption of radio waves that would allow a higher voltage to flow across the diode of the device. This made the antenna more energy-efficient, showing that low-intensity waves could transform into electric power. “The technology could also be adapted so that a radio wave source could be provided to power or charge devices around a room,” explained Clayton Fowler, a team member who worked on the antenna development. :snip:

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