Last year we told you about energy parasites and the efforts of groups of people to capture spoiled energy in the city and make it useful for other purposes. Recently we found a stunning new invention in the field of parasite energy harvesting that we want you to know about. German designer Dennis Siegel created a small device that is able to harvest energy from electromagnetic fields and instantly recharge batteries (!).
Since electromagnetic fields are omnipresent, this small invention has a huge potential. Siegel explains that we are surrounded by electromagnetic fields which are the results of information transfer, or byproducts of electric equipment. Those fields can be found near power supplies of electronic devices like a coffee machine, a cellphone or an overhead wire. Many of those fields are very capacitive and can be harvested with coils and high frequency diodes. Siegel’s small harvesting device is able to tap into several electromagnetic fields to exploit them. The energy is stored in an ordinary battery. This way spoiled energy that flows around in the air can be ‘re-used’ easily.
An LED on top of the harvester indicates the presence and the strength of an electromagnetic field. There are two types of harvesters for different fields: a smaller harvester suitable for lower frequencies below 100Hz which you can find in the general mains, and a bigger one that can be used for lower and higher frequencies like radio broadcast, GSM, Bluetooth and Wireless LAN.
For recharging purposes for portable consumer devices such as smartphones and photo cameras, this invention could become very relevant. Imagine yourself waiting for an important call while your battery is draining and your charger isn’t there to help you. Particularly when integrated in a phone, energy harvesting will make it possible to just reload your phone by having it somewhere close to a electromagnetic field. The city is the charger of the future!