Feeds

New wonder slab slurps Wi-Fi, converts it into juice for gadgets, boast boffins

Stray downloads could top up your phone's battery in future

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering claim to have created a material that can harvest microwave signals and convert them into electricity.

Duke University energy harvesting array

So meta ... device boffins claim harvests power from thin air

The team developed a "metamaterial", an artificially assembled material not found in nature and built for specific purpose; it can be arranged into inexpensive arrays capable of harvesting 36.8 per cent of the power from a 900MHz signal. The method, detailed in a paper in the journal Applied Physics Letters, could generate electricity from Wi-Fi networks or satellite signals.

Graduate student Alexander Katko said in a canned statement: "The properties of metamaterials allow for design flexibility not possible with ordinary devices like antennas. When traditional antennas are close to each other in space they talk to each other and interfere with each other's operation. The design process used to create our metamaterial array takes these effects into account, allowing the cells to work together."

The array built by the team was able to generate seven volts from a nearby Wi-Fi hub. By adding more antennas the voltage can be increased, they report, and used to generate power in remote locations for sensor arrays, or for people living in Wi-Fi rich areas to charge mobile devices. The research work is similar to efforts to slurp power leaked from microwave ovens.

"Until now, a lot of work with metamaterials has been theoretical. We are showing that with a little work, these materials can be useful for consumer applications," said Katko. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?