Powering Buildings Without Wires?
By James Donahue
We have learned about the invention of a wireless device that beams electricity through
the house without wires and plug outlets, suggesting a new era of homes without wiring.
The device is the brainchild of Dr. Marin Soljacic, who, with the help of a team of
scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed a new way of using electromagnetic induction to transfer
energy through the air.
Scientists have known that electrical current can pass from one coil of wire to another
without them touching, but they have to be close together for this to work. Soljacic has thought of another way of sending
power from a transmitter to a receiver as a conventional electromagnetic wave . . . in a form of radiation. By filling the
room with what he describes as a "non-radiative" electromagnetic field, he believes power can be transferred to light bulbs,
electrical appliances, laptops and mobile phones without batteries.
The claim is that most objects in the room, like people, desks and carpets, will be
unaffected, but objects designed to resonate with the electromagnetic field would absorb this energy.
In early trials, the team was able to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb from seven feet
All of this sounds like the kind of science the late genius inventor Nikola Tesla might
have dreamed up. This writer once met Vernon Trigger, a Michigan genius, who claimed to have discovered a similar way of transmitting
energy. He demonstrated this invention when he asked me to extend my hand out into the room, and a strong tingling sensation
was experienced at the tips of my fingers. Trigger wanted to sell his information, and when he found no takers, he said he
was going to write a book. He died without revealing what he knew.
Our concern with the technology being developed by Soljacic's team is that it sounds
as if the device will bombard our homes with even more electromagnetic energy. We already receive various microwaves from
radio, television, microwave ovens, cell phones and who knows what our government is slamming into us.
This unnatural battering of radiation from all of our gadgets has to be affecting our
minds and our physical health. People are not sleeping, they are not thinking clearly, and they are being hit with odd cancers
of the brain thought to be the direct result of using wireless cell phones.
We all have sensed that peculiar stillness that surrounds us when the power suddenly
blips off in the midst of an electrical storm. This "feeling" is what it is like not to be constantly hit by all of the electrical
energy flowing through our homes and buildings. It seems unnatural to us because we have gotten used to living with this whirling
mass of energy.
But it is unnatural. That seemingly strange feeling we get in a powerless room is really
the way things are supposed to feel all of the time.
Loading our homes with a coiled device, probably in our attic, that fills the building
with electrical energy, sounds like a very bad idea. While it might eliminate the need for copper wires strung through the
building and all over the floors, this invention will do absolutely nothing to ease the growing world demand for power.