There are some pretty crazy things going on in the energy market these days: brake-electricity, clear solar lithium batteries, and the growing uses for the Internet of Things just to name a few.
Brace yourself for another one…
Former British Science Minister Paul Drayson has begun powering pollution sensors with energy from thin air.
Well, it’s actually from something in the air called “electrosmog.” These clouds of electromagnetic radiation are what supports the world’s Wi-Fi networks; the waves of electric and magnetic fields combine to create a minimal amount of energy.
And Mr. Drayson has found a way to use it: it’s through Freevolt.
Now, don’t get too excited. There’s not nearly enough electromagnetic radiation to power most devices. It’s not quite the same thing as the wireless charging technology some companies are developing. But there is enough power to run small sensors, and possible some low-energy wearable technologies.
Right now, Freevolt is being used to monitor the actual smog levels in the U.K.
Mirroring the capabilities of the Internet of Things, Freevolt harvests power from the electrosmog, the sensor gets power from Freevolt, it detects the levels of real smog, and then sends the results to a mobile app.
The end goal is to create a map that depicts air quality levels the same way driving app Waze depicts traffic levels.
You see, much of the U.K. suffers from dangerous smog levels, about the equivalent of 29,000 premature deaths per year. As the global push for cleaner air continues, a mobile way to monitor that very thing will help put the issue directly into the public view.
When the technology has been tested and scaled up, Drayson intends to commercialize it further. He insists that enough energy could be generated to power a Fitbit Charge or Jawbone UP3.
However, this technology has the same problem that so many amazing, renewable sources do: it’s not entirely reliable. Electromagnetic fields vary in strength and position, meaning there are plenty of places that even a small sensor may not be able to get power.
However, it’s still an interesting innovation. As the world becomes more wireless, and energy-efficiency becomes a must-have, even the small amount of energy Drayson’s Freevolt can produce may be enough to catch the public eye.
To continue reading…
Until next time,
A true insider in the technology and energy markets, Keith’s research has helped everyday investors capitalize from the rapid adoption of new technology trends and energy transitions. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, as well as the investment director of Angel Publishing’s Energy Investor and Technology and Opportunity.
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