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German Student Creates Device That Harvests Energy From Air
3/20/2013

Dennis Siegel has created an energy harvester that can be used to harvest ambient energy from electromagnetic fields in the air, such as those present near power lines, plugged-in electric appliances, or mobile phones. Siegel is studying digital design at the University of Bremen.   (Source: Dennis Siegel)
Dennis Siegel has created an energy harvester that can be used to harvest ambient energy from electromagnetic fields in the air, such as those present near power lines, plugged-in electric appliances, or mobile phones. Siegel is studying digital design at the University of Bremen.
(Source: Dennis Siegel)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Elizabeth M   6/10/2013 6:03:08 AM
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Debera, I think I may have missed your comment earlier, as I just replied to another user that I agree with you all who are commenting that this isn't really "stealing." I think it's a creative reuse of what's already out there and I think that this type of technology should be promoted.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: "Stealing" is not the same as harvesting
Elizabeth M   6/10/2013 5:42:30 AM
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Thank you for your comment, charles000. I, too, thought a lot of the concern about stealing the energy was unwarranted. As you say, many of these devices are just showing the potential for taking advantagae of the energy that's out there and available, so it's not really so different.

Debera Harward
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Silver
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Debera Harward   6/9/2013 1:39:01 AM
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Anne, You are absolutely correct i too dont agree with the idea of stealing energy because this is not stealing energy we are just utilizing the wasted or excess energy as we know all these electromegnatic devices continue to emit energy even when not working .Harvesting energy from air is an excellent idea we can use these devices at airports where radar and communication devices  emit energy to harvest and power wireless sensors that could detect nuclear material .

charles000
User Rank
Iron
"Stealing" is not the same as harvesting
charles000   6/8/2013 11:29:57 PM
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"Stealing" is not the same as harvesting.  There was no intent of malice here, but rather to indicate a potential mechanism for energy recycling, from whatever source may be available.  There are currently (no pun intended) myriad devices and techniques for "energy scavenging" technology already being used or in development.  Why should this be considered any differently?

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Elizabeth M   4/2/2013 3:19:23 AM
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You're welcome, notarboca. I'm quite frankly surprised by the level of comment I've received on this one. You  never know as a writer what is going to provoke a response, and there are opinions and angles to this story that people have posed that I have never thought of. Thanks for reading.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
notarboca   3/30/2013 3:34:56 PM
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Thanks for this thought provoking article, Elizabeth.  This has been a lively discussion with good opinions coming from both sides of the debate.

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Watashi   3/28/2013 4:22:24 PM
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Why would they load their own lines? 

You aren't an EE are you?

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Watashi   3/28/2013 4:20:41 PM
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If you disrupt the broadcast RF or decrease the coverage area (e.g. by using a very large antenna or array), they might have a case against you.  But it would be much harder for the provider to detect the loss, if you are a distance from the transmitter.

However, it is impractical to use RF energy transmitted at a distance.  Transmitted EM waves follow the Inverse Square Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law) which states that the power density of an electromagnetic wave is proportional to the inverse of the square of the distance from a point source. 

The power is reduced in proportion to the square of the distance to the source.  i.e. - If you double the distance to a source, you will only have 1/4 of the power (you lose 3/4 of the power).

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Watashi   3/28/2013 3:02:47 PM
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Power is monitored at substations or below, so there are not millions of killowatts being sensed.  If he was stealing enough to power his entire house, they would detect the loss.

The first electric Co-ops were formed in rural areas like Oklahoma when neighbors would pay to run power lines between themselves and a nearby distribution line.  The electric companies didn't want to power scattered rural homes because they would never get a return on the line investment. Even when the small communities ran their own lines, the power companies didn't want to hook them up and become liable for their distribution.

To force the issue, the co-ops would put poles next to the electric company's line for a distance and parasitically power their homes.

The EM field of conductors is NOT wasted energy and any EE should know that.  It is simply the result of passing current through the conductor.  Sheilding is not an option when considering the massive currents involved in power distribution.

You can use these devices all you want behind YOUR power meter where you get charged for the energy you consume.  But using power you are not being charged for, plus causing additional distribution loses to the provider (find your own EE to explain); is increasing the provider's costs and decreasing the available energy to legitimate customers.  IT IS THEFT! period! 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Elizabeth M   3/27/2013 10:27:15 AM
Now I like this idea, shehan. If they don't like the idea of other people doing it, they should set up harvesters themselves...that way no precious energy is lost. We could perhaps solve the energy crisis this way. What a good idea.

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