47. Microwave Road

Microwave power transmission should be really efficient at close range: the old solar power satellite studies say at least 95%. For you patent-heads, there’s a ton of prior art on this technology, including applications to powering vehicles on roadways. I came up with the idea of RFID-activated grid antennas in the road itself about three years ago.

You’ll find RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags all over the place these days. They have no batteries and rely on incoming radio signals to power a distinct radio chirp in reply.  You’ll find them everywhere movement or inventory needs to be tracked: shipping containers, grocery packaging, even passports.

Is the microwave road really sustainable? Will Les go to China? Keep it bookmarked!


1.Les: When you asked me to lunch, you didn’t say I’d have to sing for it.
2.Marc: Don ‘t worry! It’s just your freshman design project–and I’ll do all the talking.
3.Les: My…?
4.Marc: We’d all drive electric cars if they cost less and had more range. But batteries aren’t cheap.
5.Marc (off-panel): So we designed a road that uses microwaves to recharge your car as you drive.
Graphic captions: (1) RFID, (2) Sensor, (3) Transmission Antenna Grid Under Asphalt, (4) Faraday-Shielded Receiving Antenna (95% Efficient).
6.Marc (off-panel): Power comes from roadside solar panels and wind turbines. We trade shortfalls and excess on the smart energy grid.
7.Marc: Detroit didn’t bite. So it’s all yours if you want it. Now come meet the inventor!
8.Les: I’m NOT going to China, Marc!
Marc: Oh, c’mon Les. It’s only for 18 months.

Posted on September 11, 2009 at 12:00 am in Comics and tagged with . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed.