Lord Drayson, CEO and Chairman of Drayson Technologies, introduced Freevolt this week: a new energy harvesting technology that turns ambient radio frequency waves (RF) into usable electricity to charge low power electronic devices.
The patented technology was developed by an international team from Drayson Technologies and Imperial College London. Drayson Technologies is the first to market with this technology, which as of today, is commercially available for license to the international developer and business communities.
“Companies have been researching how to harvest energy from WiFi, cellular and broadcast networks for many years,” says Lord Drayson. “But it is difficult, because there is only a small amount of energy to harvest and achieving the right level of rectifying efficiency has been the issue – up until now.
“With Freevolt, we have created something special. For the first time, we have solved the problem of harvesting usable energy from a small RF signal.”
The Freevolt harvester comprises a multi-band antenna and rectifier, which is capable of absorbing energy from multiple RF bands at almost any orientation.
The small, lightweight design is scalable and suitable for a range of uses, from the ever expanding low-power Internet of Things, such as wearables, sensors and beacons, to built environments, with the potential to integrate Freevolt into the fabric of urban and industrial architecture.
The first commercial application of Freevolt technology is the CleanSpace Tag air sensor, which is currently being manufactured in the UK. This technology creates a crowd-sourced network of personal air sensors, initially across the UK and then expanding to major cities across the world, which will all be powered by Freevolt.
Lord Drayson expands: “Whether we live in a big city or an increasingly urbanised area in the developing world, radio frequency waves are being generated all around us, at different levels, all the time. Some of this wireless energy goes unused. At Drayson Technologies, we’ve figured out a way to make it useful. We call it Freevolt.”
Frazer Bennett, technology expert, PA Consulting Group said: “PA is delighted to have worked with Drayson Technologies. We had the opportunity to draw on our expertise in IT, product development and software applications to co-develop the CleanSpace Tag. We were impressed with the Freevolt technology and its wide applicability to power the internet of things and look forward to continuing the collaboration between PA and Drayson Technologies to commercialise and support the future of Freevolt.”
David Helms, Chief Product Officer, Radius Networks said: “Radius Networks is always looking for ways to reduce the cost of powering devices over the lifetime of our deployments. Freevolt offers us the promise to power devices perpetually so we are actively looking for ways to exploit this technology.”
A spokesperson for Foster & Partners said: “Freevolt is an exceptional innovation that has the potential to power millions of low energy devices. Here at Foster & Partners we are excited to be one of the first organisations to be working with Drayson Technologies to visualise radio frequency harvesting and explore the ways in which Freevolt will help to power technologies that will enable buildings to become intrinsically more intelligent.”
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