American researchers have developed a new antenna that takes advantage of a feature of 5G that we did not have until now: its ability to transmit power wirelessly. Its creators claim that this invention, applied to small electronic devices, It could be the final goodbye to batteries.
The antenna, created by a team of researchers from Georgia Tech University, It is printable, flexible, takes up like a credit card and is capable of charging electronics without a problem.
It is not the first time that an attempt has been made to collect energy from the waves, But until the arrival of 5G it was not possible efficiently. According to the researchers, “5G is designed for high-bandwidth communication and its high frequency allows it to collect energy that would otherwise be wasted.” They also comment that it has been tried capture energy at 24 or 35 Gigahertz earlier, but those antennas only work if they are perfectly aligned with the 5G base station.
His invention solves this problem by means of a component called the Rotman lens, which is capable of collecting energy from millimeter waves in a 28-GHz band regardless of the direction from which they come. Rotman lenses are commonly used in radars because they have the property of receiving waves coming from different directions. With them are able to see targets at different points without the need to move.
Manos Tentzeris, Georgia Tech professor, explaining his invention
The Rotman lens is that kind of sun with rays that appears in the center of the card. A rectifying antenna (rectena) has been added to this lens that has the property of converting microwaves into direct current. This combination allows to have a printable version of the antenna that is capable of collecting energy from the waves that come in any direction and that works even if it is bent. The full results of this research can be seen in detail in this article that researchers have published in the prestigious scientific journal ‘Nature’.
“The fact is that 5G is going to be everywhere, especially in urban environments. It can replace millions or tens of millions of wireless sensor batteries, ”says Manos Tentzeris, one of the creators of the antenna. Tentzeris predicts that on-demand wireless power could be the next big revenue stream for telcos, adding that if this technology becomes popular it could even wipe out batteries.
This discovery is great news in a world obsessed with draw energy from under the stones, but it depends on how quickly the 5G network can be implemented and the ability of this antenna to adapt to different devices. Its creators affirm that it is and are sure that it can be used to power ‘wearebles’, new smart fabrics, and small internet-connected appliances that are beginning to appear. Even our mobile phones would be able to charge with the energy generated by their own emissions. We’ll see if the dreams of Dr. Tentzeris and his team are fulfilled, but if this means we stop worrying about charging our electronic gadgets, I hope so.