Transmitting electromagnetic energy through a “world wireless system” was Nikola Tesla’s dream over a century ago. Tesla wanted to deliver free energy, liberating the world from the burdens of living on the grid and the “sinful waste” of fossil fuels.
However, how could such a free system become monetized? It couldn’t, and Tesla called out “ignorant, unimaginative people consumed by self-interest,” who fought to protect their profits. Tesla was cast a mad scientist, and critics dismissed any notion of free energy.
Today, powerful people continue to fight a shift away from fossil fuels and monetized energy consumption. And, the thought of free energy will always be heresy to powerful politicians and corporations.
However, today, there’s a dire need to move to clean energy after decades of burning fossil fuels. Today, the motivation to change is about survival for all life on Earth, as Sir David Attenborough tells world leaders.
Furthermore, today the realization (at least partially) of Tesla’s dream is coming true in one place: New Zealand. Now, there’s no more dismissing the idea of wireless electricity. However, the idea of free global energy remains far from realized.
Tesla’s Dream: The Wireless Future of Energy
In New Zealand, a startup called Emrod is working with the government to create the wireless future of energy.
“We’ve developed a technology for long-range wireless power transmission,” says Emrod founder Greg Kushnir. “The technology itself has been around for quite a while. It sounds futuristic and fantastic but has been an iterative process since Tesla.”
In Popular Mechanics, they note that any nod to Tesla is a “feel-good tale,” because Emrod is not deriving electricity from the Earth’s natural “fluid electrical charges.” Instead, the company will transmit electricity from man-made sources, such as wind and solar energy. Therefore, the technology can reduce costs and support renewable, eco-friendly clean energy.
Now, no copper wire is needed, and electricity is transmitted wirelessly over large distances. Thus, one doesn’t need to live on the grid to receive energy. Now, there is the possibility for airplanes that don’t require fuel, flying by receiving energy on the wing. Furthermore, people living in remote areas could get power, and in emergencies, cities could receive backup energy.
With wireless transmission, there is no need for cables, and you can deliver energy anywhere on Earth, although at a cost. For the first time since Edison, Siemens, and Westinghouse (150 years), no copper wire grid is required. Thus, infrastructure costs are slashed by up to 65%, says Kushnir.
“We have an abundance of clean hydro, solar, and wind energy available around the world but there are costly challenges that come with delivering that energy using traditional methods, for example, offshore wind farms or the Cook Strait here in New Zealand requiring underwater cables which are expensive to install and maintain,” said Mr. Kushnir.
How it Works
Soon, New Zealand’s second-largest electricity distribution company, Powerco, plans to test Emrod technology. They will receive the first prototype in October.
The process uses four components:
- A power source
- A transmitting antenna
- Transmitting relays
- A rectenna
As the electricity reaches the transmitting antenna, it is transformed into microwave energy in a cylindrical beam, notes Singularity Hub. Then, it is projected through the air by relays until it reaches the rectenna.
At that point, you can convert the energy back into usable electricity. The company uses metamaterials to reduce energy loss to keep the system efficient. (around 70%). So, it’s not yet as economical as copper wires, but it would be preferable in some applications. For example, harvesting energy from offshore wind farms would eliminate the need for undersea cables.
One might wonder if transmitting electricity wirelessly could be dangerous. Fortunately, Emrod states they will transmit power with a widely used, low density, well-regulated frequency.
With a controlled beam, there is no need to fear radiation, they say. For safety, a net of laser around the beam can shut off transmission if a bird or other object passes through. So, birds would fly by without noticing any change.
“The levels of density we’re using are relatively low. At the moment, it’s about the equivalent of standing outside at noon in the sun, about 1 kW per square meter,” Kushnir told New Atlas.
The non-ionizing Industrial, Scientific, and Medical frequency (ISM) band has a history of safety and scientifically proven safety guidelines, the company states. Notably, it’s the same radio band that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth frequencies use.
One Step Closer to Tesla’s Dream?
Emrod says the wireless energy beam is safe, bringing the world one step closer to part of Tesla’s dream.
If the pilot program is successful, wireless electricity could be a positive step for the environment, supporting clean energy solutions. The company expects some pushback as they reassure and educate the public. But, perhaps, pushback will not be coming from the public?
For example, in the US, polling has shown that the “vast majority of U.S. voters believe the nation should be prioritizing a transition to 100% clean energy.” Furthermore, they “support legislation to decarbonize the economy over the next few decades.”
Unfortunately, anything remotely resembling Tesla’s dream receives pushback from powerful people. Today, efforts to prevent clean, free, worldwide energy are ongoing. Nevertheless, Tesla’s vision is one step closer to reality. Hopefully, the public will loudly encourage the shift as dubious critics try to stop progress.
One day, maybe the full reality of Tesla’s dream will be realized?
See more about the “World’s First Commercially Viable Long-Range Wireless Transmission Technology” from EMROD: