Tesla revolution: scientists manage to recharge batteries via Wi-Fi
Another dream of the great Nikola Tesla might become a reality: Experts from the University of Washington, USA, have managed to recharge batteries wirelessly thanks to implementation of a special "router." The system which researchers have called PoWiFi manages to recharge batteries at a distance of 8.5 meters gathering its energy from the WiFi and charging devices in a continuous manner.
The project was developed by a team that includes CSE professor Shyam Gollakota, CSE and EE professor Josh Smith, EE Ph.D. student Vamsi Talla, CSE alum (and current EE Ph.D. student) Bryce Kellogg, former CSE postdoc Ben Ransford, and EE Ph.D. student Saman Naderiparizi.
Experts state that even though the trials have been quite successful, it is still too early to see a widespread use of this technology anytime soon. The device manages to recharge small batteries, so it probably wouldn't do much for your iPhone. To recharge the battery of a portable device such as a phone or a tablet, the system should be capable of delivering a million times bigger power output.
In addition, the energy supply of a 'router' is carried out in all directions, weakening its strength.
Under current conditions, the system can recharge small devices such as temperature sensors or webcams which nevertheless, represent a real scientific milestone and we can expect this technology to become perfectioned in the near future.
According to MIT Technology Review;
“The idea is simple in concept. Wi-Fi radio broadcasts are a form of energy that a simple antenna can pick up. Until now, Wi-Fi receivers have all been designed to harvest the information that these broadcasts carry. But Talla and co point out that there is no reason why the energy should not be harvested as well. The question is how much can be gathered in this way. And therein lies the challenge …
“The problem is that Wi-Fi broadcasts are not continuous. Routers tend to broadcast on a single channel in bursts. This provides enough power for the sensor but as soon as the broadcast stops, the voltages drop … That gave Talla and pals an idea. Why not program the router to broadcast noise when it is not broadcasting information and employ adjacent Wi-Fi channels to carry it so that it doesn't interfere with data rates.”
The article from MIT concluded:
“The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant. But the real icing on the cake here is the ability to do this with ordinary technology that is commonly available all over the developed world and beyond. As such, PoWi-Fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the Internet of Things to life.”