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High Voltage Power Lines: Drone Super Highways
4980 18 2016-3-29
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Nink
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I have been discussing different forms of powering drones for longer or continuous flight. From fuel cells to laser beams.  Today I would like to propose a new method.  Magnetic Induction from High Voltage Power Lines.  

The way it works is a drone has a copper coil on the bottom of the drone. The drone flies along the high voltage power lines that span across the planet.  As they follow the power lines they charge as they go.  So if a package is in New York and wants to get to Detroit the drone hops on the HV super highway and charges as it goes (guided by Object Avoidance of course)

Initial use case will probably just be power line inspection drones.  Some neighbourhoods even still use above ground lines for household power as well. There are tram lines and train lines and all sorts of power systems laid out across the planet that could act as drone highways, charging the drones as they go.



2016-3-29
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pgrover516
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Nink
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pgrover516 Posted at 2016-3-29 09:37
very cool idea! of course would not be legal taking the power unpaid

I have faith that the power companies will work out a way to charge us :-)
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pgrover516
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golf_sierra
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Nice concept, but impractical. All you get from a high voltage power line is a strong electrical field. That can light up a neon light, but will not transmit enough power (watts) to keep the drone flying.

See
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wellsi
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Nice idea, and I love your adventurous thinking, however as I recall, induction only works of you're moving perpendicular to the power supplying lines.  Flying parallel to the power lines would effect no magnetic induction whatsover; the drones would have to continually zig and zag along the lines at a rate that would consume far more power than the induction power provided by the lines.


I think....

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Nink
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golf_sierra@lib Posted at 2016-3-29 15:23
Nice concept, but impractical. All you get from a high voltage power line is a strong electrical fie ...

I think you actually proved this is possible by your video  The amount of current produced is directly proportional to the number of turns in the receiving coil and the distance from the energy source.  The people in your video have an antenna placed a long way from the power source and are producing enough power a neon light bulb.  Now if you collected energy just 1 foot above the energy source (the power lines) you will be able to receive more than enough energy to power your drone. I believe it was Bill Brown back in the 60's who was powering a helicopter using wireless power.

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Nink
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wellsi Posted at 2016-3-29 17:06
Nice idea, and I love your adventurous thinking, however as I recall, induction only works of you're ...

Induction charging is not dependant on direction of motion. Even a stationary coil will receive energy as per the previous video posted by Golf Sierra

I think the only way to fully validate this theory is to build a drone attach a coil, battery and a multimeter and measure the amount of energy transferred.  Probably a good project for DJI as if they captured the wireless charging of drones via power line market that would be a big win.  Nink Runs off to file a patent.
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wellsi
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Nink Posted at 2016-3-29 23:23
Induction charging is not dependant on direction of motion. Even a stationary coil will receive en ...

Induction charging only works if the coils are moved through the electric field. So static induction charging only works if the power supplying current is alternating.  HV power lines aren't alternating; they're direct current, so the only way to get induction is to move through the magnetic field, as the magnetic field is stationery.  And the direction of the field lines mean you would have to move across the wires, not along.
The video shows electrical charge down to an earthed receiver.   This is not induction.  

Heading to bed now... almost midnight.  Look forward to tomorrow's physics quandary....

Ian


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Geebax
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wellsi Posted at 2016-3-30 09:53
Induction charging only works if the coils are moved through the electric field. So static inducti ...

'HV power lines aren't alternating; they're direct current, so the only way to get induction is to move through the magnetic field, as the magnetic field is stationery.'

Oops, no they are not. DC transmission would incur huge losses in the lines.
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Nink
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Geebax Posted at 2016-3-29 18:59
'HV power lines aren't alternating; they're direct current, so the only way to get induction is to ...

Yep AC but we can convert it to DC, drop the volts and increase the amps with a step down transformer and bridge rectifier.
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Geebax
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Nink Posted at 2016-3-30 10:03
Yep AC but we can convert it to DC, drop the volts and increase the amps with a step down transfor ...

Yes, but you can't use a step-down transformer on DC, hence my point that transmission lines are AC.
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ddh1313.gmail
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And the arc flash created when the drone drops the 3 pack of Yard Force metal rakes across 2 phases will make for some great 4k video from the drone behind (assuming it's not vaporized also).
Honestly I think the idea is very cool. I believe that "electric highways" have been field tested providing sufficient energy to power a full size car at highway speeds so I would have to assume this is technically feasible.


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Nink
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Found this video.  These guys clamp power harversters onto power lines that use induction to charge an on board battery.  They actually use drones to install them as well.   So you could put these devices on the power lines and charge local on line batteries.  When the drone passes over you could then use microwaves to transfer the power stored in the battery to the drone. They can also handle the payment at this device as well.  Simple RFID on drone power transmitter reads RFID and verifys they have paid for the usage.

I think this is probably worth reaching out to these guys and seeing if they want to collaborate.  

  


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DJI-Paladin
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Hi, DJI does not recommend users to fly over or near the high voltage power lines, which could be found in the Safety Guidelines and Disclaimer. 飞行环境.JPG

But your idea is very creative and interesting


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Bhujang
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pgrover516 Posted at 2016-3-29 14:37
very cool idea! of course would not be legal taking the power unpaid

technically you wouldn't be taking it. It would be electromagnetic induction and would be creating it... Check out the works of tesla. They wouldn't even notice it was gone!
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Nink
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-3-30 02:31
Hi, DJI does not recommend users to fly over or near the high voltage power lines, which could be fo ...

Drone Barbeque: Nice PIC.  This is probably worth a little skunk works R&D. I envisioned this would be used primarily for autonomous drones and not necessarily human controlled. You would need to develop the appropriate energy harvesting system and solve the complexity of developing object recognition technology to identify the power lines and then sensing tech to identify the wires and then travel along them without collision.
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Ribfeast
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Just fly it up to the power lines while trailing a long thin coil of copper wire down to the ground and see what happens
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Morph1
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