Student Creates Electromagnetic Harvester


A digital media student in Germany, Dennis Siegel, has put on his engineering hat to create a small device that can collect energy from thin air. Siegel explains,

“We are surrounded by electromagnetic fields which we are producing for information transfer or as a byproduct. Many of those fields are very capacitive and can be harvested with coils and high frequency diodes. Accordingly, I built special harvesting devices that are able to tap into several electromagnetic fields to exploit them.”

Although Siegel’s device only charges a single AA battery in a 24 hour period, the implications of this discovery are endless.

By holding the device up to the electromagnetic fields that surround us- near appliances and antennae, even the static electricity created when you pet your dog, charge is transferred from the air to the battery. The video below shows some of the many places Siegel’s electromagnetic harvester can gather power. Read more about the device on FastCoDesign and Siegel’s website.





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  1. Ray


    This is easy to do. The heart is in the antenna and the brains are in a fast full-wave bridge rectifier. Basically, it’s a rectenna.

    Make a fast full-wave bridge rectifier using four fast diodes, like FD700 diodes. Connect a low-leakage capacitor, like a Mylar, across the outputs of the rectifier, to store the direct current. This capacitor can then be discharged across a light-emitting-diode, LED, causing it to flash, or a rechargeable battery, causing it to slowly recharge.

    The antenna input to the rectifier is the key. Larger antennas will gather more electrical energy. Antennas can also be placed in parallel making them larger. You’ll want to make a long, flat antenna, in order to collect long-wave and short-wave electrical energy. Use a wide ribbon, made conductive by soaking in silver or graphite ink. Real India ink should be made of graphite. The ribbon antennas can be raised by using helium filled balloons. Again, the ribbons can be in parallel, to make them wider. DO NOT let the conductive ribbons contact any overhead power wires!

    Please experiment carefully!

    Try this too.

    How Our World Can Use 50% Less Watt-hours of Electricity:

    Here’s a new concept of reducing the Watt-hours used by 50%, by doubling the electricity’s frequency, using a variable frequency drive in series with a diode, to power various devices.

    If an electric clock is powered at twice its frequency, then it will run twice as fast. If the power is half-wave rectified, then it will run on time using half of the Watt-hours.

    This works! It electronically quickly turns the power ON and OFF. The power is switched OFF 50% of the time. The Watt-hours used are reduced by 50%. The frequency must be doubled to make the ON and OFF cycle quick enough. For example: 60 Hertz power has 120 ON pulses (or half-cycles) per second. Therefore 120 Hertz, half-wave rectified, is needed to have 120 ON pulses and 120 OFF pulses per second. This results in a 50% reduction of the Watt-hours used. Please try it using an incandescent light bulb.

    It can be easily empirically tested by obtaining an appropriate variable frequency drive and diodes.

    The ON and OFF cycle will not be visually perceived in lighting for the same reason that flicker is not perceived in animation.

    If 50 or 60 Hertz is half-wave rectified, the light will glow brown, but you will be using 50% less Watt-hours of electricity. As you increase the frequency, the light will get brighter and brighter, still using 50% less Watt-hours of electricity. Eventually you will not see any difference in the light’s brightness and you will still be using 50% less Watt-hours of electricity.

    A light pulsed quickly enough will not seem to be pulsed, but it will use 50% less Watt-hours of electricity.

    It will not be cheap, but it can be done slowly, over time, by the utility.

    Double the electricity’s frequency after the neighborhood’s step-down transformer and then half-wave rectify it in the drop wires to the consumer. You will be using 50% less Watt-hours of electricity, much less fossil fuels and pollution.

    It’s a win/win solution for everyone!

    Let’s make this concept happen!



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