Tesla's 1901 vision for wireless power transmission is reborn

Nikola Tesla was one of the great visionaries of the early 20th century. His work to help develop the AC power system we all use to this day was crucial, but his personal goal was to develop a way to transmit electrical power wirelessly. He got as far as building a huge tower for transatlantic wireless power demonstrations, but the system was never completed. Now a group of Russian engineers want to complete Tesla's work and have launched a funding campaign to build a working prototype of Tesla's wireless power system.

Leonid and Sergey Plekhanov are both graduates of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), and they've spent years studying Tesla's original work and patents, while conducting proof-of-concept experiments. They are now convinced that Tesla was onto something, and that his unfinished project to complete a long-distance wireless power transfer can really work.

The first job is to build a modern version of Tesla's 187-foot-tall Wardencliffe transmission tower, and they're seeking funds on Indiegogo to help get the effort going. Currently, they're off to a pretty slow start towards their $800,000 goal, but there's still well over a month left. The main catch is that all of the offers are really what I would call souvenirs of the project. I suggest offering free wireless power for life to the really big donors so they can get the ball rolling a bit faster.

The Plekhanovs say that just 39,000 square miles of solar panels could provide enough electricity to meet the entire global electrical demand. That's a square solar panel farm which is only 200 miles on each side to power the entire world. The problem is getting that power from the sunny places where it can be generated to the rest of the world where it is needed. The Russian team feels that the Tesla transmission system could provide the answer.

Check out the video below to get a preview of the project.

Planetary Energy Transmitter (Indiegogo), via BusByway

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