What if you could distribute electricity without pylons and cables?
Swiss diamond maker Lake Diamond and energy and water firm TAQA have unveiled a plan to beam energy wirelessly using diamonds, which could get power to people living in remote areas in developing countries.
Over 1 billion people in the world are lacking access to electricity, 87 per cent are in rural areas, half live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a third in South Asia.
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“Power beaming is part of the solution, it can be used as a sustainable and economical way to transport energy to remote locations. With electricity will come business opportunities and wealth creation,” said Pascal Gallo, chief executive officer of Lake Diamond.
Energy transmission using lasers means no wires are used. This technology already exists in drone aircrafts and space elevator climbers, even in wireless power chargers, but none have yet to put in diamonds in the process.
As conductors of heat, diamonds are used to make powerful lasers. Like an antennae, panels measuring just one square metre can receive power from lasers.
Power beaming … can be used as a sustainable and economical way to transport energy to remote locations. With electricity will come business opportunities and wealth creation.
Pascal Gallo, chief executive officer, Lake Diamond
The lasers emit power over distances covering one to 100 kilometres, and each antenna will generate enough electricity to supply entire villages, or about 1,500 households, using a moderate amount of electricity.
Unlike solar power, combining lasers with panels does not require a large and costly surface area to bring the electricity needed to power hospitals, schools, small businesses and village infrastructure.
Instead of electrons traveling down electric cables, the energy is carried by light through the air, doing away with expensive infrastructure, which is one of the barriers to off-grid solutions.
The technology is more sustainable, since lab-grown diamonds avoid the human and environmental toll of diamond mining.
This emerging wireless solution is set to be trialled in Morocco, before researchers plan to replicate it to least developed areas that need it most.