Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cosmic Background Crystal Radio

Harvest Energy at 160.2 GHz
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I propose a crystal radio tuned to 160.2 GHz, the dominant frequency of the 3 Kelvin cosmic background radiation. This is the frequency in which you'll hear the most "static." Instead of driving a speaker, the energy can be stored and used.
kevinthenerd, Jul 06 2008

prior art. small_20FreePower!_20electrical_20devices
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 06 2008]


       How long would a half wavelength aerial be? (I suspect really short), and would it need several in parallel (could it be done this way)? Or should it be parabolic (direction wouldn't matter, I expect)?   

       Finally, is there enough field strength to do anything useful?
Ling, Jul 06 2008

       A parabolic reflector would be nearly useless since the purpose of such a thing is usually to concentrate radiant flux from a distant object assumed to be a point. Here, you'd be able to collect the energy from all directions.   

       The field strength would be very low, yes, but it's finite, and it's from a free energy source. Unlike conventional energy sources that have fuel costs, you really need to think in terms of how you could scale a large array of collectors and how much it would all cost you. You need to stop thinking in terms of efficiency and start thinking in terms of watts per investment dollar and maintenance dollar; in the case of something like this, it will probably work out to be pretty cheap I suppose. Whether it's competitive with legacy energy sources remains uncalculated on my desk.
kevinthenerd, Jul 06 2008

       I actually was thinking about this the other day as a power system for deep space satellites.
MisterQED, Jul 06 2008

       Don't think it would compete with solar power. It does have the small advantage of working at night. But solar panel + battery would still beat it. And solar panel isn't all that good in terms of bang/buck.   

       I'm going to have to bone this. It's a neat idea but I have serious doubts about getting enough power to beat existing technology.
Bad Jim, Jul 06 2008

       I am all for casimir effect diodes for rectifying space time energy.
travbm, Oct 29 2015

       A tunnel diode for energy harvesting would easily pick up that frequency.
janpeternordin, Mar 07 2018

       A tunnel diode for energy harvesting would easily pick up that frequency.
janpeternordin, Mar 07 2018


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