Researchers at Georgia Tech have come up with a way to pull electrical power out of thin air… sort of.
Basically, they’ve taken an ink solution containing silver nanoparticles and printed a grid onto paper or plastic (pic above). The grid pulls electromagnetic energy out of the ambient environment, providing around one milliwatt to a battery or capacitor… which is not a lot. However, the researchers hope to increase this to 50 milliwatts using advanced capacitors, and you can also use several such grids wired together to increase the yield.
The technology, which would be insanely cheap if scaled to production levels, has many possible uses, such as environmental sensors (to power seismographs in remote locations, for instance), or as part of a distress sensor (in life rafts or industrial applications, for instance), or to power RFID tags in commerce, or to power inexpensive (easily hideable and movable) bomb sniffers at airports, or even to power stress sensors underneath bridges, where solar power is not an option.
Read more about it here. Go Jackets!