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Thread: harvesting energy from radiation

  1. #1 harvesting energy from radiation 
    Forum Sophomore schiz0yd's Avatar
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    can radiation be focused somehow so that energy builds up at a point in space and perhaps create current in a conductor, or something? and if radiation has energy, can't it be harvested? even like wifi and cell phone signals constantly in the air?


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  3. #2 Re: harvesting energy from radiation 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schiz0yd
    can radiation be focused somehow so that energy builds up at a point in space and perhaps create current in a conductor, or something? and if radiation has energy, can't it be harvested? even like wifi and cell phone signals constantly in the air?
    Ever hear of solar energy ?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore schiz0yd's Avatar
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    well yes that's how i got this idea. can't we harvest radio waves as well, from all the sources around us?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    There's plenty of solar energy available. The chanllenges will be conversion, storage and transmission.

    http://www.commodityonline.com/news/...26857-3-1.html

    This article could use some editing:
    a terawatt equals 1 trillion volts
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  6. #5  
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
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    Yup in theory at least

    I remember reading an idea to 'recylce' the radio waves we use, most waves don't hit a radio and so are essentially wasted.

    The problem being it's just a very small amount, energy-wise. We could harvest all the radiation forms, but it's such a huge effort for such little gain, Akin to tilling a whole field for 3 potatoes


    As for 'radiation' in kinda gamma and alpha particles (the kinds I imagine you're envisaging) it's probably possible, Geiger counters capture the particles so it's probably possible to convert it's heat and kinetic energy into a useful form. But there's not as much energy as it might appear, (I think) radiation is just very damaging to organic tissue, and not really that energetic
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schiz0yd
    well yes that's how i got this idea. can't we harvest radio waves as well, from all the sources around us?
    It's simply too weak and dilute to bother with. Take a high powered radio station broadcasting at 100000 watts. At just 1 km away, the energy density works out to be 0.008 watts per square meter. This is just about what something running on a nine volt battery might use. So, if you lived 1 km from such a station, and had a 100% efficient radio wave energy collector 1 square meter in size, you might be able to run a 9v transistor radio to listen to the station. At 2 km, it drops to 0.002 w/mē, so to collect the same amount of energy, your collector would now have to be 4 square meters in size. At 10 km, your collector would have to be 100 mē in size...

    Compare this to the 1369 watts per square meter that we receive via solar radiation.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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