Absolutely. Heat can be captured and also converted to electricity, funnelling the random thermal motion of ions or electrons into a more ordered motion of charge. The researchers Guoan Tai, Zihan Xu, and Jinsong Liu have recently demonstrated the conversion of heat to electricity using the ion layer that forms between silicon and a copper chloride solution.
Isn’t that a hot idea to charge your phone in the future?
Electromagnetic waves carry energy, in a way that is similar to a phone signal. The radio waves surrounding us are strong enough to carry a signal, but not suitable to provide waves of electric power to devices.
But what if we could develop them to become stronger? If science could find a way to use more intense radio waves, the outcome would be that energy could be beamed wirelessly, at significant power levels to a device.
In the 1890’s, our favorite electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla researched wireless power transmission. He found ambient radio waves from rocks, trees, stars, and so forth, but these were not strong enough to provide power. He realized that a dedicated power transmitter would be needed to create the intense radio waves required to harness their power. This was considered an expensive drawback.
Some thoughts are that a simple tabletop radio transmitter could be used – although the device to be charged would need to be in the same building as the transmitter in order to efficiently capture the electromagnetic energy.
“Radio waves are self-propagating travelling waves in the electromagnetic field. In contrast, induction effects are more localized electromagnetic disturbances that do not wave, but still carry energy. From a technology standpoint, radio wave power transmission and induction power transmission is virtually the same thing. Radio wave/inductive charging methods are already being used on several commercial products, such as Google’s Nexus 4 phone and Nokia’s Lumia 920 phone.”
At the Vanderbilt University in Washington, scientists have designed a novel super-capacitor, which could help develop devices such as cell phones to recharge themselves in seconds and work for weeks.
Let’s find a definition before we continue:
A supercapacitor (SC) (sometimes ultracapacitor, formerly electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC)) is a high-capacity electrochemical capacitor with capacitancevalues much higher than other capacitors(but lower voltage limits) that bridge the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries.
It should be possible to construct these power cells out of the excess silicon that exists in the current generation of solar cells, sensors, mobile phones and a variety of other electromechanical devices, providing a considerable cost savings, according to researchers.
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