Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States, have developed a machine that converts Wi-Fi signals into electricity to power electronic devices without having to charge it at night.
Scientists have created a small two-dimensional article with materials very thin and flexible which absorbs the waves of the wireless network as well as other electromagnetic waves in the air, and turns them into electricity.
Thanks to this invention, which converts a signal into a useful direct current, Wi-Fi can be a generalized source of energy. According to Thomas Palacios, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MITthe road was laid to collect energy stolen from the environment.
"When you have one of these devices, you accumulate energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (…) you can cover the table with an electronic tablecloth, and even if it is only on the table, it will constantly accumulate energy, ”the researcher told the magazine. nature,
Although the power achieved does not exceed the microwatt range, the invention brings people closer to the possibility of obtaining electricity from almost anywhereand be able to use it in our mobile phones, laptops and other devices.
Palacios and his colleagues developed an antenna that receives radiation emitted by any device using the 2.4 GHz and 5.6 GHz frequencies. This alternating current flows into the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), where it is converted into a direct electric current.
A system developed by MIT scientists Efficiency ranges from 30% to 40%. in laboratory tests, producing about 40 microwatts when exposed to signals that transmit 150 microwatts of power.
"It doesn't sound like much computer needed compared to 60 wattsbut you can still do a lot with it, "Palacios explained.
“A wide range of sensors that operate with one microwatt can be developed for environmental monitoring or chemical and biological detection. you can save battery power to use later "he added.
Although other energy collection devices were previously created, they were tough, fragile and very difficult to produce on a large scale. On the contrary Molybdenum disulfide sheets can be manufactured in industrial machinesThis means that they can be large enough to capture useful amounts of energy.