Charging your battery from electromagnetic waves can virtually give it unlimited life in standby.
Each one of us, using a smartphone knows that the battery is a very important issue. The capacity of our devices is vital for the convenience and the more rare a recharge is required, the better.
Tesla-inspired energy over the air, sounded unrealistic and fancy. But soon this might very well become reality. Nokia’s engineers are currently working on such a design.
It is supposed to harness electromagnetic waves, that flood modern city’s air. The output, for now, is not powerful enough to support the typical services like apps and calls, but can provide enough energy for almost eternal recharge in standby mode.
If you live in density populated city, you are surrounded by a stream of ambient radio and micro waves. The TV, mobile and many other types of radiation can be truly harvested.
Limitations and future outlook
This idea is more than a century old. It was Nicola Tesla, who first came up with the idea of wireless energy transmission over long distances. He went as far as planning on transmitting energy over the air between America and Europe.
This great visionary’s inspiration could be achieved step-by-step and the first one is already been taken. Nokia’s battery concept is, of course, far smaller than Tesla’s, but the principle is similar.
It consists of wide-band antenna and two receiver circuits. The frequency range this antenna and circuits is relatively big. It can receive waves between 500 MHz to 10 GHz.
The first circuit converts the electromagnetic waves into electric current, while the second one is used to directly recharge the battery.
In order for this technology to be effective, the first thing to achieve should be that the energy received is more than the energy consumed by the circuitry.
So far, the developers at Nokia’s Research Center have managed to get 5 mW of power received from the air. Their goal is to reach at least 20 mW, which will be enough to feed the phone in standby state for indefinitely long period of time.
Their long term goal is to pass the threshold of 50 mW that will be sufficient for a slow recharge. Voice calls and other high consumption processes will need to wait a bit more.
Such innovations make us think, where could we go, if further improvements are made in this area. Tesla’s imagination and knowledge might eventually lead to accessible for everyone technology.
Such energy-over-air prototypes, like the one researched by Nokia are only a small step towards a futuristic stuff we will have for granted some day. Cable battery chargers will then become obsolete.