Thursday, December 6, 2012

A wireless battery charging technology, or much more?

As I read Tom's Hardware Guide this morning I kept thinking to myself, “Tesla, Tesla, Tesla.” For those of you who don't know, in the early part of the 20th century a man named Nikola Tesla was in the process of offering to the world something he called “free energy.” The free energy idea was built around a central tower (or series of towers around the globe) that, through some unknown means, would generate or induce a field that isolated receivers could pick up and draw from wirelessly. The prototype power generation station he was using transmitted enough to power full-size electric cars at high speeds, even over dozens of miles.

He began work on a full-size version of his tower, one sufficient for powering the entire state (or a larger area) and was receiving funding to do it. When the financiers came to him and said, “This system is great. There's no infrastructure (wires, poles, etc.) to add expense to distribution, but how do we charge for it?” Tesla essentially told them, “You don't, it's free.” Shortly after that his funding dried up and the tower project was physically dismantled by explosives (citation: “Tesla: Man out of Time” by Margaret Cheney).
The power source discussed in the article linked to below has the potential of being viewed as nothing less than that, albeit on a much, much smaller scale (only transmitting power a few meters). If you read the description of how the device works, it's very Tesla-esque, meaning that there is no reason why it would work based on what most of us would understand through the basic physics courses we all took. However, the researchers claim it does work, although no production devices have been built yet (I'm guessing none ever will be).

It works by creating a non-radiative electromagnetic (EM) field around the transmitter. Unlike regular EM fields that propagate in all directions simultaneously, this one does not (and therein lies the part where most of our heads begin to explode). Instead of radiating its energy outwardly, it simply sets up conditions whereby the conveyance of energy from one point to another–and directly between the two points–could become real if a sink (receiver) of some kind was created to draw the energy from the transmitter. It is from within that system or design where the location/opportunity (whatever you want to call it) could be employed to remotely charge a battery with no general power loss through extraneous radiation.
By attenuating the non-radiative field correctly, only specific devices tuned to the generated (non)field could receive power from the device, allowing remote power charging (and even power generation) without radiative EM sources of high power drain as would be required today through traditional knowledge and use of EM fields as most of us understand them. This design, i.e., setting up the conditions that allow the conveyance to take place, allows power to be sent directly to the receiver in a type of point-to-point manner, as if there were wires between them and without power loss, as any power not being received is simply reabsorbed by the transmitter.
I think it amazing to imagine that nearly 75+ years after his initial work, we could actually find out that not only was Tesla right, but that all of our lifetimes we could've had (everyone in the world could've had) free energy from this system, and done so this entire time, if only his visionary, genius, eidetic (photographic) memory mind had been allowed to thrive outside of the political realities of the day.
Bear in mind that many will debunk Tesla's abilities, but if this discovery is true and can be scaled as Tesla suggested, there would no longer be any need for wires going to our homes. Or for internal combustion engines to be in our cars, our farm tractors, or anything else. No more power outtages, no more remote places without power. Light and heat could be supplied to the poor and isolated. This discovery could increase man's potential significantly, and all could be generated from a central source, or a few central sources.
Sound crazy? Right now we have the Voyager and Pioneer space probes we launched in the 1970s exhibiting an unexpected acceleration toward the Sun. We have no explanation for that effect because, even after accounting for everything we know or theorize, they're not where they should be. The Pioneer spacecraft we launched in the early 1970s are approximately 249,000 miles short of where they should be right now, with no explanation.
So the fact remains that there is some hard evidence suggesting we do not know all that we think we know. This Tesla fellow could have been right all along.

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