US Scientists have invented the machine that generates electricity from Wi-Fi signals without the need for a battery. The machine is named ‘rectenna’.
According to researchers, Wi-Fi could become a widespread power source thanks to a cutting-edge semiconductor that converts the signal into a useful direct current. Electricity from Wi-Fi can be very useful for the upcoming times.
Antennas are known as ‘rectennas’ convert alternating current (AC) waves into the direct current (DC) voltage, which is more useful for electronics.
A new type of rectenna captures Wi-Fi waves carrying the Wi-Fi and converts them to wireless energy using the semiconductor. By this means the Electricity from Wi-Fi is generated.
The team, from MIT, claim the device could power large-area electronics, wearables and even medical devices to beam data to doctors.
‘We have come up with a new way to power the electronics systems of the future – by harvesting Wi-Fi energy in a way that’s easily integrated into large areas – to bring intelligence to every object around us,’ said Professor Tomás Palacios, who co-authored the study.
‘Such a design has allowed a fully flexible device that is fast enough to cover most of the radio-frequency bands used by our daily electronics, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular LTE, and many others,’ postdoctoral fellow and first author of the study, Xu Zhang, said.
The rectenna uses a radio-frequency antenna to capture electromagnetic waves carrying Wi-Fi in the form of AC waves.
This is then connected to a flexible and inexpensive two-dimensional semiconductor.
The AC Wi-Fi signal travels into the semiconductor and is converted into a DC voltage that could be used to power electronic circuits or recharge batteries.
This electricity from Wi-Fi conversion requires a piece of equipment known as a rectifier. Most traditional rectifiers are thick and inflexible.
In experiments, the researchers’ device can produce about 40 microwatts of power when exposed to the typical power levels of Wi-Fi signals (around 150 microwatts).
That is sufficient power to light up a mobile display.
This research is published in the latest online issue of the journal Nature.