Wireless electricity. Our Furture or not...?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by BumpMan, Aug 29, 2002.

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  1. BumpMan Registered Member

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    Ive been thinking._ Is it in our future anytime soon (10 years or earlier) that we sill start to see things wireless froin terms of power/electricity?_ The only wireless power so far is lightning._ When will we figure it out how to do this safely...?_ The only way I was feebly thinking about it is by thinking about solar panels._ Solar panels take something non lethal and convert it to useable electricity._ How about then transferring the electricity back into non lethal whatever it is which can then be picked up by say my laptop which then converts it back to electricity..._ Is there anyone out there thinking about this?_ Any big companies trying to do this._ Or is it completely impossible.

    Imagine this applying to something like laptops. Or do you think personal micro power generators will come first. Free infinate power from some small passibly atomic generator built right into a laptop, television etc.
     
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  3. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    I believe that the inverse square law makes this a bit difficult to do over distances.

    There are some small examples where this is feasable but not in meaningful ways. Ever have a geranium crystal radio?
     
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  5. BumpMan Registered Member

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    Im not too versed in the lingo that this conversation probably requires. A geranium radio...? Dont think Ive ever had one of those. Whats the inverse square law?
     
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  7. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    I forgot to welcome you to sciforums, BumpMan.

    Try this for an explaination

    A geranium crystal radio is from days gone by. Basically it is a geranium crystal, a homemade antenna, a safety pin with a piece of graphite on the end and a razor blade. Using a small set of headphones to hear, it is possible to tune the radio to station and use the broadcast power from the station to power the radio. They were popular during the depression era when not much money was around. They can still be found as kits and in science books to demonstrate the idea.

    Here is a version of a geranium crystal radio

    The one I made as a kid had no tuning capacitor, substuting the razor blade and safety pin/graphite combo in its place...
     
  8. BumpMan Registered Member

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    cool, thanks for the welcome.
     
  9. Joeman Eviiiiiiiil Clown Registered Senior Member

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    Noooo..... you won't see wireless power for a looooooong time.

    Wet1, if you look at radar wave equation (can't remember the name), the decay in air is not ( / distance^2), but ( / distance^3). The inverse is only in vacuum I believe. But that's not even the biggest problem.

    The biggest problem is you ionize the air itself and cause dielectric break down which cause catastrophic failure in your circuitry and kill living organisms close by.
     
  10. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks Joeman,

    I forgot. You see it has been years since I was in school and covered such in the electrical section. I think that was in '70 that I was going through electrical school.
     
  11. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    what about tesla ?
     
  12. Frencheneesz Amazing Member Registered Senior Member

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    i dont know about anyone else, but ive heard of wireless power for a long time. Ive heard about microwave powertransmittion, but of course this is meant to be for something like a space solar panel operation (which i think is ludecrous, given that there is so much unused space on peoples roofs).

    Heres a few links:

    http://www.kurasc.kyoto-u.ac.jp/plasma-group/sps/history2-e.html

    http://engineer.tamu.edu/tees/csp/wireless/70dec5.htm (this one looks like hell to read)

    http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/tadp/1996/general/wpt.html

    http://www.newworlds.com/trans.html

    I like a quote from the last one: "satellites potentially can beam large blocks of electrical power" blocks of electricity, very scientific. This was obviously written by a reporter.

    OK, so theres a bunch of sites out there, and im sure these arent the best. I think that a use of this technology is kinda wastful if i do say so myself.
     
  13. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    maybe not if we build orbital solar electricity stations
    really duno, but I like the idea of such
     
  14. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually your wrong, Wireless Electricity has been tested, it was done in the area I live I believe according to someone I spoke to some time back.

    The energy was being transmitted to off-shore rigs but alot of problems occured, for instance the static build up in antennas like televisions etc. This caused a number of sets to go wrong, also it "Ionized" antennas making them more prone to be hit by lightening.

    The information was never released to the public though, otherwise everyone having problems rising from there telly blowing up to their pace maker stopping would have come forwards.
     
  15. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    One of the nice things about microwave is that it can be tuned for greater efficiency. Standard electricity can not be done that way. A 90% efficiency is nothing to sneeze at. That's pretty good. I wish auto's could get it as good.

    In the articles it makes mention of using low voltage in the beaming, meaning that it will have to be collected and boosted to become compatable with earth based electrical grids. I kind of like that. Why? Because it means if you should walk or fly into the path of this beam, you would not get "nuked". There is always the possibility of the beam wandering off path. Even though it would be a collection system there will still be loss...
     
  16. Joeman Eviiiiiiiil Clown Registered Senior Member

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    This discussion is getting silly. Our electricity is 60 Hz. Europe is less. It is that frequency for a reason. Wireless electricity will never work.

    What you guys are talking is transmitting microwave energy with antenna or picking up photonic energy with solar panel. That is totally irrelavant.
     
  17. Technomage Registered Member

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    Until they can figure out an effective and accurate way to meter and bill the consumer for wireless power it will never happen!
     
  18. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Vive l'anarchy l'électricité

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    sorry for my bad french

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  19. Frencheneesz Amazing Member Registered Senior Member

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    "What you guys are talking is transmitting microwave energy with antenna or picking up photonic energy with solar panel. That is totally irrelavant."

    Well, wireless electricity would just be a beam of electrons.... the idea of that is a bit ludecrous, given that there are so many things that would be able to block capture and bouce such a comparatively massive object such as an electron.

    I think the relavence of what we are talking about is due to the fact that wireless electricity is the equivelant of shooting bullets in the sky and expecting a receiving end to get power out of it.

    I think what people mean by wireless electricty is more like wireless energy or power. The ability to do work without wires, if microwaves can safely be converted to electricity, who cares if it isn't electricity all the way through?

    By the way, Wet1, your quotes are funney "90% efficiency is nothing to sneeze at." "you would not get "nuked"."
     
  20. Nebula Occasionally Frequent Registered Senior Member

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    wet1

    In that Inverse Square Law explanation, is the digram supposed to be a sphere or just a circle? I don't undertand why there are 4 radii (sp?) drawn, unless it's 3D. Then it would make sense. Okay, after typing this all out, I just realized I'm an idiot. Thank you.
     
  21. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

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    A good example of wireless energy sources would be something like space based solar collector systems that could transfer microwave energy between recieving stations. It could happen... But what could all of this energy be used for? Alot of things I'm sure.

    Photovoltaics are getting better and better and collection methods. Some new ground breaking technologies are coming in to the power arena fairly soon and users of solar energy systems will become more common every day.

    Here is a really cool link on a new design in photovoltaics called Spheral Solar Power cells. here is a quick overview of the technology.

    "Spheral Solar™ technology is a revolutionary solar electricity technology breakthrough that provides an extremely versatile and cost-effective method of generating solar electricity.

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    The result of over 40 worldwide patents, this unique proprietary technology comprises thousands of tiny silicon spheres, bonded between thin flexible aluminum foil substrates to form solar cells, which are then assembled into durable, lightweight modules that can be applied to virtually any surface."

    Read on...
     
  22. kmguru Staff Member

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    I think Tesla tried to develop wireless electricity. These days the power is transmitted through large transmission towers at 76.6 or 132 KV to reduce loss. Since the earth is used as the return path for the electrons, Tesla reasoned that if the voltage is raised hi enough, it is possible to power a city in a line of sight through the air between two points. Besides voltage, he tinkered with phase differences to improve transmission efficiency.

    I suppose if one can generate a Giga Volt AC power system, then it may be able to break down the air resistance and provide power for a few miles from a central tower. Insulating the generation and stepping up the voltage could be a problem at high power levels but could work in theory.
     
  23. MRC_Hans Skeptic Registered Senior Member

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    If we talk about distances longer than a few inches, the only controlable thing would be to have the power turned to microwaves, beam it between two highly directional antennas and convert it back into normal, low frequency AC again. With directional antennas (parabolic), the inverse square law does not apply. In principle we can do this today, but there are problems:

    1) Efficiency; I think we should be very happy to get 25% efficiency.

    2) Aligning; The beam must be VERY precisely aligned.

    3) Safety; anything crossing the beam would be fried like in a microwave oven.

    4) Cost of equipment; the equipment to transfer any substantial level of power (more than a few hundred watts) would be very expensive.

    Wireless power transmission only seems interesting if NO other option exists, thus ground to ground transmission is out of the question.

    There was the idea to build big solar energy collectors in space and beam the energy down on Earth. If you made the beam sufficiently wide (requiring a rather large receiving antenna array), the power concentration could be kept at a reasonably harmless level. But as somebody mentioned, there are plenty of roofs to put solar cells on, so I doubt the idea will ever be economical.

    Hans
     
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