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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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warren@fourward.com
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
warren@fourward.com   3/25/2013 1:11:17 PM
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Makes you wish the bank was as loose with the money as the power grid is with the power lines and its losses.  Maybe they are, but not with my account...

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Elizabeth M   3/25/2013 11:13:53 AM
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I am suprised by the theft detection as well, warren, but I guess it shows how sophisticated monitoring is. So I suppose some care is in order when engaging in something like this.

jhankwitz
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
jhankwitz   3/25/2013 8:53:53 AM
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You can't get something from nothing. If you consume power, it has to come from somewhere. Putting a load on the secondary of a transformer will cause a load on the primary. The farmer in my discussion was wirelessly stealing power from the grid. His setup was very costly and inefficient, but he was able to get something out of it.

jhankwitz
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
jhankwitz   3/25/2013 8:52:48 AM
You can't get something from nothing. If you consume power, it has to come from somewhere. Putting a load on the secondary of a transformer will cause a load on the primary. The farmer in my discussion was wirelessly stealing power from the grid. His setup was very costly and inefficient, but he was able to get something out of it.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
Elizabeth M   3/25/2013 6:33:21 AM
Hi, shehan, the idea is that there is ambient electricity coming from those wires that can be harvested. Think about when the electricity goes out and how quite everything is...there is no longer the hum of electronic devices or appliances. That hum is actually power being emitted from those electronics, which this device has been designed to exploit. Make sense?

warren@fourward.com
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Platinum
Re: Cool, but it's stealing
warren@fourward.com   3/24/2013 1:45:19 PM
Actually, it isn't really wasted.  The magnetic field around the Power company wires will continue to expand and contract, and as long as there is no contact with a load the field will be preserved (largely).  But when the lines of flux created by the 60 Hz AC current in the wires cut through a conductor with a load (the theft device) then energy is transfered just like in a very poor transformer.  Otherwise, the energy stays within the confines of the electric grid.

What amazes me is that they were able to detect the farmer's theft.  How in the world, with millions of kilowatts being consumed did they notice a little bit missing?

shehan
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Re: Much Ado About Nothing
shehan   3/24/2013 1:29:55 PM
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"You can hold up your cell phone and measure the amoount of energy being eaten by your phone at a specific frequency.  Every antenna is designed to pull energy out of thin air at specific frequencies and provide it for amplification by a receiver.  The amount of actual power you can pull out of the air is proportional to the amount of hardware and software you've installed to do it. "

@jhankwitz- Yes all antennas have the capability of pulling power, as you said all depend on the hardware and the software you use. But this hardware need to power up to pull the power from the grid. The more power you give your hardware the more pulling power it has. I think this is not a cost efficient way as you said.

 

shehan
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
shehan   3/24/2013 1:25:09 PM
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@jhankwitz – The problem is the load on the primary lines, I think this heats up the transformers and add additional lo9ad to it. That's why power companies look for such people. Isn't there any way to do the same without creating an additional load on the primary line?

shehan
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
shehan   3/24/2013 1:19:20 PM
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@Charles- I think if we could use this to generate electricity for 10 houses it's a great achievement. This is like free electricity; we are not wasting our fuel or any other energy to generate this. We are just making use of the energy we waste.

shehan
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Re: Cool, but it's stealing
shehan   3/24/2013 1:15:58 PM
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@Warren- true there a many who were prosecuted for stealing power from line that went through their property. Do you think this is a crime, as this is electricity that is wasted? I think government need to encourage such acts to minimize the electricity we waste.

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