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Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Will radio replace the energy grid?
« on: 21/11/2014 14:27:39 »
Will Radio Replace The Energy Grid?

                                     

It is a well known fact that radio and tv towers broadcast information through "waves of energy" called  radio waves and sometimes called microwaves. But most people don't realize that these waves are made of useable electro-magnetic energy that can be taken right out of the air and used to power things.

But radio towers are not designed to power things, they are designed to transmit just enough power for a signal to be received. Only fractions of a watt are meant to be received a few miles away from the transmitting tower. But could it be possible to transmit huge amplitudes of radio waves into the air to actually power things? I mean to say can a radio tower broadcast enough watts into the air to be picked up by an antenna and used to power a machine from radio waves alone?   

Imagine a radio tower not designed to transmit information, instead it would be designed to transmit power to a whole city. the only difference between a regular radio tower and a "power tower" would be the amplitude of the waves transmitted.  in fact the tower's antenna would be the same size as it would still transmit the same frequencies as regular radio towers. But the antenna transmitting the power would have to carry unimaginably powerful currents at high frequencies causing all the current to concentrate near the surface making a thicker antenna useless, it would melt any normal antenna.

But I wonder if it would  be possible to transmit super strong radio waves with a superconductive antenna perhaps made of niobium tin or YBCO wires/tape or pipes.

Imagine a superconductive antenna broadcasting ridiculously powerful radio waves at around 45Mhz so that the ionosphere can reflect the waves far and wide.  With the power of the waves I speak of, the entire world would be able to pick up the signal and all someone would  have to do is use the proper  antenna to pick up electrical power just like any other radio signal.  Imagine how the world  would  change because of such an invention, power lines might become obsolete and cellphones may never die, cars might never have to refuel and blackouts would  be  a thing of the past.    The trillion dollar failing and fragile power grid would simply be  taken down and used for scrap. No more ugly power lines anywhere. Oil and gasoline would  die out too, because it would be cheaper to use an electric car that powers up on  super strong radio waves.  Heck maybe this idea  can salve "the energy crisis"

A question which many have posed is how would you meter power consumption?  The answer to that is  you can't, instead you would have to pay taxes on the towers  construction and the power they transmit as well as the construction of the power plants which produce the power the towers transmit instead of paying an electric bill.  But because it's power transmission is wireless it would require much less maintenance the and money to distribute the energy.  so your "electric tax" would be far less then your electric bill now, because it cost far less to get that power to you.  Now it cost trillions for power lines to distribute energy to the people of the world (and power lines constantly break) costing even more money to maintain and set up.  Radio power is Many times cheaper to distribute energy then today's energy grid.

         

Plus radio towers of all shapes and sizes already exist, it wouldn't take much to modify just one of them  with a super conductive quantum antenna and toss in a high power supply. It could start with just one tower and it wouldn't even have to be all that powerful, if it could supply around just 2 or so watts to people in a big city then just that would power things like cellphones forever in that area and start a  revolution that will take the world by storm.  But this Idea is not without danger, as it gives enormous power to the central government, monetary and electrical power. It may also have strange effects on the ionosphere which might cause changes in weather patterns world wide.

The "FCC" would have a problem with this idea for some reason, according to them no radio station can be over 10,000 watts, a weak power tower would require at least a mega watt to supply useable radio power for miles. (under direct violation of law) but you have to question why that is a law in the first place.

What do you think of this Idea?

(credit to Nikola Tesla for coming up with the idea first)
« Last Edit: 21/11/2014 16:07:31 by ScientificSorcerer »


 

Offline RD

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #1 on: 21/11/2014 16:02:41 »
Transfer of electrical power by induction is very inefficient : 50-70% power transfer efficiency when the wireless device is inches away charger coil. Efficiency will fall off according to the inverse square law. So power transfer over a few feet most of the power would be wasted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transmission

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging#Disadvantages
 
(credit to Nikola Tesla for coming up with the idea first)

 Tesla died broke , if this wireless power transfer method was feasible he would have been as rich as Bill Gates.
« Last Edit: 21/11/2014 16:11:53 by RD »
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #2 on: 21/11/2014 16:20:52 »
RD

Induction is not what I'm talking about, I am not talking about making an over sized Tesla coil, and neither was Tesla, I am not talking about induction NEAR FIELD I am talking about radio FAR FIELD. radio waves! not induction pulses.

Tesla basically invented radio. Radio what he was talking about. Wardenclyff was a over powered radio tower.

made to send out big BIG high amplitude radio waves with lots of power.   A radio station operating on 10,000 watts can supply a signal for miles around signals which ARE electrical power which only require an antenna to convert it into electrical current. A radio tower with 100 times more power could supply wireless energy to small devices with just an antenna. If a power plant was to put all of it's  energy into a radio signal then it would supply power to everyone for miles.
« Last Edit: 21/11/2014 16:23:26 by ScientificSorcerer »
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #3 on: 21/11/2014 19:33:10 »
I think radio antennae do work purely by induction. If a radio station operating at 10 kW creates a signal that needs to be amplified with battery power from the receiving device to be audible, how powerful must the radio station be to power the listing devices?

Also, about superconducting "power towers": even though superconductors have zero resistance for DC current, the impedance of alternating currents is non-zero and frequency dependent. I can't find any numbers at the moment, but I imagine that at 45 MHz, the impedance would be significant.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #4 on: 21/11/2014 19:43:14 »
We get vast amounts electromagnetic radiation from a nearby nuclear fusion device about 150 million Km away, the frequency is much higher than 45MHz but it is easy to capture when the Earths rotation does not get in the way.
The amount that your "radio towers " could pump out would be utterly trivial in comparison.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #5 on: 21/11/2014 22:27:44 »
We get vast amounts electromagnetic radiation from a nearby nuclear fusion device about 150 million Km away, the frequency is much higher than 45MHz but it is easy to capture when the Earths rotation does not get in the way.
The amount that your "radio towers " could pump out would be utterly trivial in comparison.

And ultimately the energy is coming from that fusion device anyway (or a fission device closer to home...)
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #6 on: 21/11/2014 23:33:15 »
You first have to get the electrical energy to the radio tower.The most reliable way to do this is through a distributed grid.

Next problem is to prevent your radio transmissions from lighting up every conductor in the vicinity, from tooth fillings to telephone cables, and interfereing with every electronic device on the planet. Tesla's experiments predated the electronic age.

Then we have the inverse square problem. Power density falls off rapidly as you move away from the source, so if you want a kilowatt of power a hundred miles from a megawatt source, you will need an aerial that covers a thousandth of a sphere of a hundred miles radius: about 30 square miles of aerial just to boil your kettle.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #7 on: 22/11/2014 05:22:10 »
You can, of course, build a "crystal radio" that does not require a battery to amplify the circuit.  However, don't expect it to be waking the neighbors....  without a mighty large antenna. 

I suppose a microwave is a box designed to wirelessly reflect EM waves into food.  I'm just not convinced that I want to live in a microwave.  Now, radio waves are supposed to be "safe"...  in MW, GW, or TW power ranges?

It is still hard to beat the efficiency of a simple point to point wire.  Or, perhaps a solar collector.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #8 on: 22/11/2014 23:41:03 »
I used to run a crystal radio during the war when I lived about 25 miles from a massive 600 KW propaganda radio station that would run a small speaker.
The problem with such a radio is that it causes a lot of interference to nearby regular receivers by cross modulation.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #9 on: 23/11/2014 05:52:47 »
Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
Imagine a superconductive antenna broadcasting ridiculously powerful radio waves
I can imagine a superconductor that is cooled by liquid nitrogen. However, these superconductors have a fairly low current density. They are not really suitable for mega-power transmitters.

I can also imagine a hypothetical room-temperature superconductor (even though no-one has demonstrated one yet). It is also likely to turn into a non-superconductor when subjected to very high power levels.


Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
I am not talking about induction NEAR FIELD I am talking about radio FAR FIELD radio waves!
That is unfortunate, because Near-Field energy can be stored in the magnetic field of a resonant circuit, and reused if it is not immediately absorbed by a receiver.

The far-field radiation will propagate away "to infinity", and so is lost to the system, which leads to very low efficiency.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #10 on: 23/11/2014 09:49:55 »
"Will Radio Replace The Energy Grid?"
No.
 

Offline McKay

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #11 on: 24/11/2014 11:49:05 »
The whole surface of the planet would be like inside of a microwave ove or similar.  That kind of antenna would work more like a weapon. A weird and ineficient weapon.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #12 on: 28/11/2014 23:09:30 »
The length of time that energy can be stored in a resonant circuit or for that matter light in a mirrored box can be milliseconds at the most as anyone who builds analogue circuits soon finds out
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #13 on: 29/11/2014 01:26:18 »
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jja1m4tkDuU

This video is literally a proof of concept "Boom"  [8D]

As of right now you an power things as powerful as calculators from miles away.  Tweak the power to over 100 times and walah you can power cellphones and perhaps slowly charge computers.  Tweak the power an incredible level and you can power car!

I don't see how you think this sort of thing would interfere with radio broadcasts, it's not like your using frequency modulation or amplitude modulation.  The tower would just have to send out constant energy via a single frequency.  As long as you don't tune into that frequency then you won't pick it up. Also, it was theorized that if you use the resonant frequency of the earths ionosphere you can reflect most of your broadcasted energy around the world instead of most of that energy escaping int space increasing the efficiency of the device to optimum levels.

It's strange how some of you doubted this Idea when it has been proven to be true, numerous times it's all over the internet, YouTube has many videos like the one I just posted.

It's like some of you spoke about this concept like you knew about how it worked yet surly spoke lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about this subject.
« Last Edit: 29/11/2014 01:49:07 by ScientificSorcerer »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #14 on: 30/11/2014 11:34:33 »
Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
As of right now you an power things as powerful as calculators from miles away.
Those LCD devices with no screen illumination probably consume 1mW or less power.
In the "Ultra-High Frequency" (UHF) band, a smallish antenna can deliver this much power at a distance of 4km (about 3 miles) - if you have the antenna on an elevated tower with direct line-of-sight to the transmitter.

Quote
Tweak the power to over 100 times and walah you can power cellphones and perhaps slowly charge computers.
100mW of power would cover an average cellphone power consumption - the battery would run down a bit during a call or while watching video, and charge up again afterwards.

To extract 100mW would require about 100 antennas of the size shown in the video. These would need to be spaced perhaps 1m apart so they don't interfere with each other, so they would require a fence that is about 10m x 10m. If one building has deployed a large receiver array like this on the roof, then buildings further away will have extreme difficulty getting direct line-of sight to the transmitter.
Such an array is not very portable compared to something like a solar cell.
A desktop computer consuming (say) 150W would be able to be used only 0.1% of the time.

Quote
Tweak the power an incredible level and you can power car!
An electric car like the Prius has a 50kW motor (although is not running at maximum power all the time).
To provide the acceleration required when traffic lights turn green, you would need an antenna array of around 50 million antennas, taking up an area of something like 7 square kilometers. This will require almost surrounding the transmitter in a forest of antennas which would crush your car - and tough luck to anyone else who wants to drive a car (or watch TV) at the same time!

If you merely wanted to charge your car at a 10kW rate, this "only" requires 10 million antennas, which might be part of a fixed installation, rather than carried around on the roof of your car.

Frankly, for long-distance power transmission on the Earth, using solar power to charge a battery during the day is far more economical.

Transmitter antennas at several hundred MegaHertz are not very efficient due to the high-frequency skin effect, so it's more efficient to carry a charging cable with you, and plug into a low-frequency (50/60Hz) power point at your destination, delivered over fixed wiring (also developed by Nikola Tesla).
 

Offline teragram

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #15 on: 30/11/2014 17:34:45 »

I don't see how you think this sort of thing would interfere with radio broadcasts, it's not like your using frequency modulation or amplitude modulation.  The tower would just have to send out constant energy via a single frequency.  As long as you don't tune into that frequency then you won't pick it up.

The tuning circuit in a receiver has a response which follows a Gaussian curve, with maximum sensitivity at the desired frequency of reception. The method of modulation is irrelevant. Other frequencies can be received by the same circuit, although with less effect. The AGC (automatic gain control) circuit in the receiver reduces the effect of undesired signals. Given sufficient transmitted power, any transmission will overcome the tiny signal being produced by the tuned circuit in a broadcast receiver. The effect is known as “swamping”. Therefore any receiver designed to detect signals from a distant broadcast transmitter will be swamped by the power being distributed by your proposed method. My car recently refused to let me into it, (RF key) because a radio ham was operating a few metres from it. I have not checked, but I’m sure that my car’s electrical system has been tested under the E.U. Directive on EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility).
The possibility of distributing power by the proposed method has never been denied. In fact thirty years ago or thereabouts, the system was proposed (and revisited from time to time since then) of placing huge solar panels in a static orbit, with the collected power being transmitted back to earth via microwaves. 
Also about thirty years ago, one of the large American tech companies, Bell Labs or Lockheed Martin, I forget, demonstrated power transmission with an electrically powered hovering device powered by a beam of radio frequency energy from the ground.
Both of these examples were mentioned in one of the Wikipedia links referred to earlier in this topic.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #16 on: 01/12/2014 07:29:14 »
Teragram

Your comment is very interesting, do you think it might be possible to beam power to a spacecraft in orbit?

One other thing completely unrelated..

In a imaginary scenario were it would be possible to beam power to cellphones, and similar devices do you think you could sell the "mobile power" consept as a monthly service? I mean if you could sell it as a service you could potentially be looking at thousands of customers wanting to power their toys.  Imagine a future were you never have to charge your Xbox controller or your cellphone, Tv remote, Bluetooth, wireless headphones, flashlights, small drones and similar electric devices. It could make a lot possible in the near future.

You could power an led anywhere for extended periods of time. Now that's pretty cool if you ask me. I for some reason thought of a news paper from the future with a paper thin antenna powering electronic components like paper thin speakers and electroluminescent/ electrochromic displays

if you set up a big ole tower right in the middle of a city. It can be perfectly possible.
That's something awesome which you could help bring to the future.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #17 on: 01/12/2014 08:55:00 »
You can direct and restrict a microwave beam to some extent, but only to a fixed or trackable target. "Broadcast" means exactly what it says.
 

Offline teragram

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #18 on: 01/12/2014 23:52:58 »
Teragram

Your comment is very interesting, do you think it might be possible to beam power to a spacecraft in orbit?

Power is routinely beamed to spacecraft in the form of control signals TO orbiting satellites, roving robots on Mars, etc., and FROM the same. Don’t forget that signals are still being received from the “Voyager” spacecraft which are, after 37 years of  travelling, now at the boundary of the Solar System. The Voyager antennae must produce a very tight beam, to enable the signal from transmitters of only a few tens of Watts (if that), to still be of receivable strength after reaching Earth from a distance of billions of kilometres. The only difference between these signals and your power transmission, (apart from them being modulated) is the magnitude of the inputs to the transmitters. But again, for the reasons elucidated by contributors to this topic, there are many problems in the way of transmitting the enormous amounts of power around our environment. The reference to “living in a microwave oven” sums it up, I think.
 

Offline ScientificSorcerer

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #19 on: 03/12/2014 22:10:09 »
We already "live in a microwave oven" small amounts of microwave energy permeates your house as we speak.

And it's not microwaves I'm talking about, I am talking about radio waves, which are very different from microwaves.  Unlike microwaves, our bodies don't absorb much radio energy. we are practically invisible to a radio wave.  Even if there were 100 watts of energy in radio waves around you at a steady pace you would only absorb about 0.02 watts.

Another thing is the Idea of resonance, It is known that radio waves can be reflected off of the ionosphere many times before the signal is lost, this concept may vastly improve the efficiency of such a tower if it were to exist.

Many radio powered machines already exist believe it or not.
the only thing I want to do is turn up the radio so that cool stuff can be possible in the future.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #20 on: 03/12/2014 23:46:19 »

And it's not microwaves I'm talking about, I am talking about radio waves, which are very different from microwaves. 
No. they are exactly the same thing, just different frequency.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #21 on: 04/01/2015 19:48:23 »
Radio waves are a fairly rubbish way of distributing significant power; they're highly directional like a flashlight, so  you would have to point directly at the receivers. Also not all the radio waves are caught by the receiver, so you'd have high power radio waves everywhere which would be hazardous.

There have been demos for low power things like cell phones, if it's only a watt or two it just about works.

But for the kinds of powers you need to run your electric oven, nobody would want to accidentally stand in front of a multi-kilowatt radio beam, it's seriously bad news.

The problem is that humans are basically big bags of conductive salty water, so they tend to absorb radio waves and turn it into heat. Being in a kilowatt radio beam is rather like being microwave cooked.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2015 19:50:53 by wolfekeeper »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #22 on: 04/01/2015 22:25:55 »
The topic we are discussing in this thread is "Rectenna".
 
Quote from: Teragram
The only difference between [control signals from Voyager] and your power transmission... is the magnitude of the inputs to the transmitters
I suggest that another difference is the magnitude of power input to the receiver. After traveling for billions of kilometers, the transmit power from Voyager is spread out over an area bigger than the Earth-Moon distance. To detect signals from Voyager, you need a 70m parabolic antenna, a cryogenically cooled receiver and complex coding schemes to even detect that a signal is present. It takes far more energy to detect the signal than was injected at the transmitter.

To be worthwhile, a rectenna needs to produce more power than it consumes.
Quote from: ScientificSorcerer
we are practically invisible to a radio wave.
I agree. Imagine a radio transmitter at 3MHz; the wavelength is 100m. Because we are much less than a wavelength, a human being is a very inefficient antenna, and will absorb little power from a radio wave.
However, if you want to power some device, your rectenna would need to be around 25-50m across. Not exactly something you could easily mount in the window, balcony, or even on your roof.
On the other hand, imagine a radio transmitter at 3GHz; the wavelength is 0.1m, which is a very convenient size for a rectenna. Unfortunately, a human being is much larger than the wavelength, and so would absorb power fairly efficiently. This really would be standing in a microwave beam.
 

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Re: Will radio replace the energy grid?
« Reply #22 on: 04/01/2015 22:25:55 »

 

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