The start-up company Emrod from New Zealand wants to fulfill the dreams of Nikola Tesla. They joined forces with one of New Zealand’s energy distributors and are getting ready to test a device capable of transferring energy without wires.
People have been dreaming about wireless energy transfers for along time. Nikola Tesla was capable of making light-bulbs shiny over a distance of roughly 2 miles. And it doesn’t matter that he destroyed the dynamo of the local power plant and caused a blackout of a whole town. It was still a huge achievement. Tesla wanted to build towers all over the world that would transfer energy into homes, factories… pretty much everywhere where you’d need electricity. But it didn’t pan out.
120 years have passed and the dreams of Tesla could be fulfilled by a New Zealand start-up Emrod. This start-up company managed to convince the second-largest energy distributor at New Zealand – Powerco – to participate in the wireless energy revolution. Emrod says they have the technology that can effectively transfer large amounts of electricity between two points that can see each other.
Nicolas Vessiot from Powerco says that wireless energy should become an addition to already existing technology. It should be used in places that are hard to reach – and New Zealand has a lot of such places. Emrod already has a working prototype of the device now will build a second one for Powerco. Then they will do a lot of testing in a lab for a few months before trying it out in the wild.
The prototype is capable of transferring a few kilowatts but they say the amount can easily be increased hundredfold. The system uses an antenna to beam energy and a rectenna that receives the energy by changing microwaves into electricity. According to images I was capable of finding, the components look like simple squares on four rods and it seems the technology is using a non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The energy is transmitted by a direct beam between two points. There is no radiation surrounding the beam. The safety is secured by a laser device that immediately shuts down the main beam whenever an object comes near it – no matter if it is a bird, a drone, a helicopter, or an energy thief. Emrod claims their device works under any atmospheric conditions including rain, fog, or dust. The only needed thing is direct vision between the two points of transfer.
Emrod thinks that their technology could become the key to the widespread use of renewable energy. Renewable energy sources are often located in hard to reach places. And the technology could also be used to secure electricity in places that were affected by a blackout – no matter whether it was caused by a technical issue or a natural disaster. And maybe, one day it could be even used to provide energy for cars equipped by a receiver.
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