When being used, microwaves give off excess energy. Engineer Yoshihiro Kawahara and his team of researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a device that harvests the wasted energy that microwaves generate while they heat food.
The device has an antenna that can pick up the excess energy from the microwave and put it to other devices. Initial tests by the research team showed that a microwave running for around two minutes gives off excess energy that’s enough to power a small device such as a kitchen timer for a few minutes.
Powering up larger devices would require the microwave running for a longer time since the excess energy that microwaves leak are limited as required by federal regulations.
If further developed, the technology can be built into kitchen appliances and help consumers save on energy and decrease their carbon footprint.
The team presented their study at the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2013).