Metamaterials That Convert Wifi Into Electric Current
Metamaterials already have proved us to deliver the right properties to get the best out of it by engineering them. There are already researches on engineering metamaterials to provide us some interesting stuffs like the cloaking materials, tunable material coatings, and more applicable materials.
Using this ability to tune material, students from Duke University have engineered a microwave metamaterial that could convert RF waves into DC current using a Split-ring resonator (SRR), a metamaterial itself. It is widely recognized as a possible and an economic way to convert wifi into electric current.
The principle involved is similar to a solar panel, where the incident solar energy is converted to electricity. The students succeeded in converting microwaves into DC and are hoping that this could eventually find its spot in all digital devices and could charge themselves when anyone enter a wifi hotspot with the device. They believe that this could convert the microwave energy incident into 7 volts of electrical energy with 36.8% efficiency.
This metamaterial can also be tuned for other sources of energy like the satellite signals and other radio waves of different frequencies. This could also be coated on the building surfaces to absorb the wifi signals that are abundant around any houses these days and convert it to electricity.
While this is still under research and experimentation, this could be soon integrated with the mobile devices and can evade our worries about charging.
Engineers plan to turn the moon into a Solar Power station.
This post was first published on December 4, 2013.