I don’t have Hue, I do not like battery operated switches and I’ve not yet found a battery free alternative but I like these. Do other people also want to use these with SmartThings without having to buy the Hue system?
Here’s a new form of energy harvesting based on the emerging field of quantum thermodynamics: http://facecompanies.com/Evercell/ This device harvests thermal energy with no apparent thermal differential in any environment where the temperature is above absolute zero.
The Illumra brand are supposed to Work with those smartthings hubs that supports zigbee 3.0 (so far that ‘s the V3 hub), But only if your hub happens to be working on one of 4 specific channels.
If ZigBee 3.0 support is available, the Click for Hue can be configured to transmit on 1 of 4 ZigBee channels by holding one of the buttons for >10 seconds. Button to channel mapping is:
Button 1 : lower left (BO) - ZigBee Channel 11
Button 2: lower right (AO) - ZigBee Channel 15
Button 3: upper right (AI) - ZigBee Channel 20
Button 4: upper left (BI) - ZigBee Channel 25
Setting aside any SmartThings issues, the technology has been around for years and works just fine. probably most widely used by
Enocean. The idea is simple: when you physically push a switch, you are generating just enough energy for a tiny microsecond radio burst. Zigbee’s “green power” profile allows for messages as short as 2 bytes, and that’s what these switches are using. No battery required.
Zigbee PRO devices using the Green Power feature are able to complete communication with an average 100-500 ÂµJ (micro Joule) of energy. This energy is often created by capturing the energy used to flip a switch via common energy harvesting techniques including piezo-electric elements and dynamo/electro-mechanic converters.
Sorry, @JDRoberts. My reply was meant for @jshepard who was describing a device that uses quantum mechanics and tunneling to create a micro current in any non-zero Kelvin thermal environment. In other words, literally harvesting the natural entropy in the environment to create electricity … which sounds like it violates the laws of thermodynamics. But strange things happen in quantum mechanics, so maybe it’s possible. Which is why I want to hear more. I read the evercell website, but it read like BD mumbo-jumbo. Or like something I would write to sell an unproven technology.
I guess it uses tunneling to create a thermal gradient. Instead of moving energy itself (violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics), move more energetic particles themselves to one side and isolate less energetic particles on the other side. Somehow, the particles are encouraged to self-order without the application of external motivation.
Then you can generate a small current through the thermoelectric effect. That’s neat!
But I’m skeptical that random tunneling of large particles will be common enough that it creates a long lasting thermal gradient (or even one that’s statistically significant enough to be measurable). Also, every time one of those particles collides with something in the environment, they trade energy to reach equilibrium.
And the De Broglie wavelength of anything much larger than a free electron becomes short enough that the tunneling effect is negligible. Whatever is tunneling must be large enough to carry no net charge. So tunneling seems infinitesimally low probability.