Sun. May 26th, 2024
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Raytheon are working to create a “wireless internet for energy”.
  • The $10 million project, Persistent Optical Wireless Energy Relay (POWER), seeks to wirelessly deliver energy to US military equipment, reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
  • The technology may have civilian applications in the future, eliminating the need to recharge devices by power outlets.
  • POWER involves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles with laser-power receiving and transmitting capabilities, creating an energy web that can supply energy whenever and wherever needed.
  • Other renewable energy advancements include a wireless source of energy from airborne water molecules by University of Massachusetts researchers, and a new tidal turbine blade by Scottish engineers from FastBlade.

DARPA and Raytheon have embarked on a project to create a “wireless internet for energy” called POWER, that allows for the remote delivery of energy to US military devices. This system could potentially lessen the military’s fossil fuel dependence and make energy delivery much more efficient. The technology could also have significant implications for mainstream usage, eliminating the need to physically recharge devices.

The POWER system, which involves unmanned aerial vehicles capable of receiving and transmitting laser-power, works by beaming energy from a ground power source to a POWER drone. This drone then transmits the energy beam to the required destination, such as a military vehicle or facility. If the target is distant, the system can relay the energy to other drones, thus creating an interconnected ‘energy web’.

Despite the convenience this technology promises, there are also notable drawbacks. Converting electricity into laser beams and vice versa leads to energy loss, with 20% of the energy consumed in the former process and about 50% in the latter. Nevertheless, DARPA is confident about the potential of this technology for both military and public use.

In other renewable energy news, researchers at the University of Massachusetts have developed another form of wireless energy source that utilizes airborne water molecules. This technology was discovered while developing a “simple sensor for humidity in the air” and could be stacked in vertical space for increased power generation. In addition, FastBlade, a Scottish engineering company, has innovated a new tidal turbine blade that promises greater energy efficiency from tidal waves.

In conclusion, while the military has been at the frontier of energy innovations with projects such as POWER, these advancements hold immense potential for civilian applications as well. With continued research and development, the prospect of a wireless internet of energy could become a reality, revolutionizing the way we consume and manage energy resources.

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