Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ambient Electricity

Get Electricity from the Air
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(+2, -4)
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AC, when traveling through a wire, emits RF, or Radio Frequency. The national power grid is, of course, 60Hz AC. I have seen that you can light flourescent bulbs underneath cross-country power lines, which demonstrates this. The way a radio receives a station is that its circuits, and possibly more important, its antenna, is "tuned" to the frequency desired. If a wire loop antenna, the wavelength of the power grid (which would be around 3105 miles wavelength) was mounted, or "wrapped" around your house, free electricity would be available at its ends. Granted, to get a conciderable amount of current, one would have to use a decent sized wire, which, with the length needed, would be extremely heavy, but maybe a much smaller wire might power lower-consumption devices like LED- lighting, ect.
BruceRH90, Apr 08 2006

Free Energy Clock Free_20Energy_20Clock
Related principle. [bungston, Apr 08 2006]

Electrical field glow jewelry Electrical_20field_20glow_20jewelry
Short discussion on lights which run on power through the air. [bungston, Apr 08 2006]


       This is similar to your older radiowave- power idea (linked). The difference here is that the radiowaves are not those carrying music, but those generated by power lines. I am not positive that it is radio waves that light the fluorescent bulbs under powerlines. Is this true?   

       I like it in any respect.
bungston, Apr 08 2006

       The 3100 miles of cable isn't really necessary. A simple induction coil is enough. Of course, this is only "free" in the sense that you are using power that isn't going through your meter. The utility still has to generate the extra power.
NoOneYouKnow, Apr 09 2006

       I read a reminiscence by a former miliary jet pilot to this effect:   

       He's sitting in the open cockpit, on the carrier deck, chatting with one of his buddies. A technician happens to walk by carrying an armload of fluorescent bulbs.   

       Watch this, he says, flipping on the active radar in the nose cone of his plane.   

       The tech apparently was so startled when every bulb lit up like the sun that he dropped the lot.
GutPunchLullabies, Apr 09 2006

       My RF is a bit rusty, so someone check this, but aren't you referring to magnetic induction rather than RF?   

       But if it is indeed RF, would you be essentially stealing electricity, or would you be simply putting energy normally lost in transmission to good use (i.e. wouldn't the RF a component of the transmission losses?) If so, it seems like a pretty good idea, although you're not going to get too much power out of it.
threepointone, May 11 2007

       I believe there are (were, certainly) longwave broadcast stations in the UK whose nearby neighbors had to install faraday cages around their fluorescent tubes so as to prevent them "stealing" power from the transmitter. That is, folks could otherwise turn the lights on momentarily, then shut off the "mains" power as they say, and the lights would remain on.
ngvrnd, Sep 25 2009


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