Autovolt Magazine

Drayson Introduces Freevolt; an End to Battery Charging?

Today Lord Drayson, CEO and Chairman of Drayson Technologies introduced Freevolt™ : a revolutionary energy harvesting technology that turns ambient radio frequency waves (RF) into usable electricity to charge low power electronic devices.

The patent pending 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.

For years, we’ve been surrounded by radio and other waves that can be converted into energy. There have been cases in the past where people have attempted to harvest this [seemingly] free energy in order to power their homes. One case in America saw a farmer install inductive coils in his barn which passed beneath an electricity pylon. Another case in the UK saw a home situated close to a radio mast wrapped in copper wire to power the house. In each case, the technology installed worked, but the power supplier or radio transmitter objected in both cases. Similarities to Nikola Tesla’s original intention to create ‘World Wireless’ power supply would have used a similar idea to transmit energy wirelessly.

However, Freevolt appears to have gotten around this fundamental energy supply problem by only targeting small devices, rather than large power hungry homes. Lord Drayson said:

“Companies have been researching how to harvest energy from WiFi, cellular and broadcast networks for many years. 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 possibilities are seemingly endless – but within reason. The device is small and lightweight by design and initially intended for use in wearable tech, sensors and beacons or further afield, entire environments. Critically, this means that batteries in small gadgets may become a thing of the past, instead needing simply good radio reception to operate – or at the very least, only requiring a small battery to keep things going in periods of network outage. Essentially, Freevolt has the possibility – and ambition – to revolutionise the small electronic device by making it more independent and less reliant on carrying around its own power source.

The first commercial application of Freevolt technology is the CleanSpace™ Tag air sensor, which is currently manufactured in the UK and is available for purchase from today (30 September 2015). 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 technology.

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.”

Source; Drayson Technologies / Freevolt