Company Tests Wireless Power Over 20-story Composite Tower


Nikola Tesla is well known for designing and pioneering the generation and use of alternating current in the late 19th century. Lesser known are his experiments transmitting electricity over long distances using RF waves. Viziv Technologies has built a nearly 200-foot-tall glass pultruded fiber-reinforced polymer antenna tower in Texas to test the use of low-frequency radio waves for long-distance transmission of electrical power, according to Composites Manufacturing Magazine.

The 20-story lattice-style structure is topped by an aluminum ball that is part of the antenna system. The tower was fabricated and constructed almost entirely with pultruded fiberglass products made by Strongwell, a composites manufacturer based in Bristol, VA. The structure meets ASCE 7-10 design specifications and is capable of withstanding wind speeds of up to 115 mph, according to Strongwell.  

The use of RF-transparent FRP minimized signal losses, Strongwell said. “Being outdoors, ultraviolet degradation and corrosion resistance were also factors in material choice selection,” the company said. “In fact, no other structural material was capable of meeting the structural loads and transparency requirements.”

By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor

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