Access and Feeds

5G and the Wireless Grid: Powering IoT Devices by Harvesting Power from 5G

By Dick Weisinger

5G was designed for enabling fast and low-latency communication, but high-frequency high-radiated power density that it uses also is an enabler of a wireless power grid to power small Internet of Thing devices.

Aline Eid, researcher at Georgia Tech’s ATHENA lab, said that “we’ve solved the problem of only being able to look from one direction with a system that has a wide angle of coverage. People have attempted to do energy harvesting at high frequencies like 24 or 35GHz before but such antennas only worked if they had line of sight to the 5G base station. There was no way to increase their angle of coverage until now.”

Emmanouil Tentzeris, Professor in Flexible Electronics in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that a wireless grid would enable the “replacement of million, or tens of millions, of batteries of wireless sensors, especially for smart city and smart agricultural applications.”

Jimmy Hester, CTO and co-founder of Atheraxon, said that “I have been working on energy harvesting conventionally for at least six years, and for most of this time it did not seem like there was a key to make energy harvesting work in the real world, because of the FCC limits on power emission and focalization. With the advent of 5G networks, this could actually work and we have demonstrated it. That is extremely exciting – we could get rid of batteries.”

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