While it may sound impossible, this new device could possibly do away with the days of searching for power cords to charge your favorite electronics. Instead, the device promises the ability to utilize the unused energy that is found in the air around us for “perpetual power.”
The Freevolt, which was created by Drayson Technologies, harvests energy from radio frequency (RF) signals that are found in the atmosphere. It then turns these signals into usable and unending energy. While Drayson Technologies is not a widely popular company, their innovation to make advances regarding energy may one day make them a household name.
RF signals are everywhere. They provide the coverage for our smartphones, send digital broadcasts to TVs, and are the reason laptops can pickup WiFi. Utilizing this energy is not technically a new concept, however, despite various attempts to market such devices has never actually left the research phase.
According to Drayson, the “average RF density measured in an office or external environment ranges from 20 to 35nW/cm2.” Of course, usable energy would equate to about half that figure. In order to obtain more power, the size of the antenna would need to be enlarged. In order to demonstrate the device, Drayson asked spectators at the unveiling to place their devices in airplane mode. When the device was harvesting RFs, the unit would light up a blue LED. When he told the spectators to turn their devices back on, the Freevolt’s LED began pulsating quickly.
The Freevolt consists of an antenna, an impedance-matching network to ensure maximum power transfer, a rectifier, a filter, and a power manageable module. Both the antenna and rectifier can be tuned for a variety of applications and RF conditions.
The Freevolt isn’t the magic cure that will allow smartphones to last forever, but a few hundred nanowatts are enough power for a variety of uses. As an example, the Fitbit has a battery life of 7 days currently, however, the Freevolt would increase that to 10 days. Because of that, such devices could now have the ability to expand their capabilities due to the increased battery life.