African Energy: Circumventing the Gridlock of the Electricity Grid

“For Africa to avoid the costs and time spent implementing an entirely new electrical grid, but also meet the energy demands of an increasingly connected population, it should begin to look at reimagining the way in which we distribute electricity entirely. A new connected future could also mean a new energy future.”

Wireless Power Transmission

The technology for wireless power transmission or wireless power transfer (WPT) is in the forefront of electronic development. Applications involving microwaves, solar cells, lasers, and resonance of electromagnetic waves have had the most recent success with WPT. The main function of wireless power transfer is to allow electrical devices to be continuously charged and lose the constraint of a power cord. Although the idea is only a theory and not widely implemented yet, extensive research dating back to the 1850’s has led to the conclusion that WPT is possible. Wireless Power Transmission, TransferThe three main systems used for WPT are microwaves, resonance, and solar cells. Microwaves would be used to send electromagnetic radiation from a power source to a receiver in an electrical device.

The concept of resonance causes electromagnetic radiation at certain frequencies to cause an object to vibrate. This vibration can allow energy to be transmitted between the two vibrating sources. Solar cells, ideally, would use a satellite in space to capture the suns energy and send the energy back to Earth. This concept would help to solve the major energy crisis currently concerning most of the world. These ideas would work perfectly in theory, but converting the radio frequencies into electrical power and electrical power to radio frequencies are two main problems that are withholding this idea to become reality. This paper will explore the technological applications of microwaves, resonance, and solar cells in WPT and explain the basic technique of transmitting power wirelessly. It will also include problems encountered during experimentation and recent advances in the field. The paper will also include the futuristic applications of WPT and its ability to solve the energy crisis.

The Beginning Of Wireless Power Transmission
Electricity by today’s standards is considered an essential to life. Electricity has been the fuel for technological development since its first applications dating back to the late 16th century. This marvellous phenomenon, however, comes with a price. The cost of making electricity is harmful to the environment. The Energy Information Administration’s records show that nearly 50% of all electrical plants are high polluting coal plants. Major changes in the environment have occurred over the last 30 years that are detrimental to the future of this planet. If this path is left unchanged, scientists have predicted that certain parts of the world could be uninhabitable by 2050. The solution is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into earth’s atmosphere through alternative power generation. One sustainable technology leading this charge is wireless power transfer (WPT).

The concept of wireless power transmission has been around since the mid 17th century. WPT is exactly what the name states; to transfer electrical power from a source to a device without the aid of wires. The founder of AC electricity, Nikola Tesla, was first to conduct experiments dealing with WPT. His initial experiment of lighting gas discharge lamps from over 25 miles away, wirelessly, was a success. His idea came from the notion that earth itself is a conductor that can carry a charge throughout the entire surface. Although his idea of a world system of WPT could never be properly funded, his initial research sparked the scientific world into a whole new theory of power generation. While Tesla’s experiments were not creating electricity, but just transferring it, his ideas can be applied to solve our energy crisis. His experiments sparked new ideas such as applications involving microwaves, lasers, resonance and solar cells. Each application has its respective drawbacks but also has the potential to aid this planet in its dying need for an alternative to creating power.

Today, portable technology is a part of every day life. Most commonly used devices no longer need to draw power from the supply continuously. But from portability emerges another challenge: energy. Almost all portable devices are battery powered, meaning that eventually, they all must be recharged–using the wired chargers currently being used. Now instead of plugging in a cell phone, PDA, digital camera, voice recorder, mp3 player or laptop to recharge it, it could receive its power wirelessly–quite literally, “out of thin air”.

Who killed Nikola Tesla’s wireless power transmission idea?

“Nikola Tesla was the turn-of-the- twentieth century genius who fathered alternating current technologies, radar, fluorescent tubes, and bladeless turbines. Tesla also presented the first viable arguments for robots, rockets, and particle beams. If society had followed up on the inventions Nikola Tesla envisioned at the turn of the century we wouldn’t have a fossil-fuel economy today. And J. P. Morgan, Rockefeller and a number of others wouldn’t have amassed extraordinary fortunes on the basis of that fossil fuel economy.”

Good Men Don’t Live Long Enough!

Tesla’s wireless transmission of electricity

In 1899, in Pike’s Peak, Colorado, Tesla demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting electricity through the earth without the use of wires….He chose Pike’s Peak because of its remote location, and the availability of electricity from a local power station.

Tesla's Colorado laboratory in 1899.
Tesla’s Colorado laboratory in 1899.

Wireless transmission of electricity to all parts of the earth was the main objective of Tesla in the famous Pike’s Peak experiment.

He also discovered that tremendously destructive forces could be unleashed in the earth by means of uncontrolled electrical resonance.

Tesla with his magnifying transmitter producing millions of volts of electricity.
Tesla with his magnifying transmitter producing millions of volts of electricity.

Tesla discovered that the earth was a very good conductor of electricity and that he could set the earth in electrical oscillation just like the mechanical oscillation that almost caused an earthquake in Manhattan.

Tesla's large scale oscillating apparatus.
Tesla’s large scale oscillating apparatus.

Power was supplied to the primary coil by the local power station.

The secondary coil was GROUNDED to the earth, producing waves which traveled to the opposite side of the world.

The returning waves were discharged through the atmosphere.

Tesla's assistant Kolman Czito prepares to throw the switch during the Pike's Peak experiment.
Tesla’s assistant, Kolman Czito, prepares to throw the switch during the Pike’s Peak experiment.

Here is an artist’s rendition of Tesla’s wireless world power and data system.

From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.
From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.

Construction began immediately on Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island, New York.

It was never finished and the project literally bankrupted Tesla.

From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.
From the Electrical Experimenter,
February 1919.

When Tesla had demonstrated the feasibility of his wireless power system, he rushed back to New York to begin construction on a transmitter located at Wardenclyffe, Long Island, New York. Morgan stonewalled him and created a panic on Wall St. in 1907. Millionaire John Jacob Astor, Tesla’s close friend and financier, died on the Titanic in 1912.

British spy Marconi is credited with the discovery of radio!!
At the start of 1900, Tesla was just brimming with optimism that he would give the world wireless transmission of electricity and data. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Tesla was virtually broke from losing his royalties on his AC patents and he had to approach his arch enemy J.P. Morgan for funding.

After the War of the Currents, Tesla was bankrupt and Morgan controlled the nation’s finances:

Morgan made inquiries of Tesla concerning his financial structure. There were, in those days, a limited number of strong financial groups who were playing a terrestrial game of chess with the world’s economic resources; the discoveries of a genius like Tesla might well have a profound effect on the destinies of one or more of these groups, and it would be well for an operator in this field to know more of the inventor’s commitments. Undoubtedly, it was a source of surprise and satisfaction to Morgan when he learned that Tesla was a lone operator and now entirely without funds needed to carry on his researches. (O’Neill, Prodigal Genius, p. 197).

Most of the great electrical inventions of the 20th century were the work of Nikola Tesla.

Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
British spy Guglielmo Marconi was used by Morgan to “discover” radio transmission.Marconi’s company was called the British Marconi Company and was financed by J.P. Morgan.After Tesla’s death, the Supreme Court did grant him priority for the discovery of radio transmission.
Marconi Towers circa 1903.
Marconi Towers circa 1903.

Morgan and his backers at the Bank of England realized the deadly military implication of using electricity as a weather weapon. Tesla even mentioned the possibility of using electricity to bring rainfall of desert areas of the planet. A weather weapon is the most diabolicaly clever of all methods of warfare because no nation can prove that it is under attack.

Tesla’s financier John Jacob Astor was drowned with the Titanic!!

Tesla stayed at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and commuted to his laboratory in downtown Manhattan. The hotel was owned by millionaire John Jacob Astor IV who was a close friend and financier of Tesla:

Col. John Jacob Astor, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, held his famous dining-room guest in the highest esteem as a personal friend, and kept in close touch with the progress of his investigations. When he heard that his researches were being halted through lack of funds, he made available to Tesla the $30,000 he needed in order to take advantage of Curtis’ offer and build a temporary plant at Colorado Springs. Tesla arrived in Colorado in May, 1899, bringing with him some of his laboratory workers, and accompanied by an engineering associate, Fritz Lowenstein. (O’Neill, Prodigal Genius, p. 176).

Morgan’s modus operandi was very simple: lure : John Jacob Astor aboard the Titanic and sink her in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeleine.
John Jacob Astor and his
young wife Madeleine.

Col. John Jacob Astor IV was a close friend and financier of Tesla.

He was lured aboard the Titanic and perished on her maiden voyage.

Tesla was now at the mercy of Morgan and his wireless system was sunk too.

Col. Astor was lost on the Titanic.
Astor was lost with the Titanic.

The White Star line was owned by J. P. Morgan. At the last moment, Morgan decided not to sail on his ship….Madeleine survived, and according to John Jacob Astor’s will, Madeleine would have received income from a $5,000,000 trust fund as long as she did not remarry.

All of Tesla’s papers were confiscated by the FBI after his death!!

As Tesla approached his final years, most of his close friends and benefactors were dead. The man who had electrified the planet was almost forgotten by the world….Most of his last days were spent feeding the pigeons in Bryant Park, in front of the public library on Fifth Ave.

The great discoverer went to meet the Creator of electricity on Jan. 7, 1943.

Funeral services were held for Tesla on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
A funeral service was held for Tesla on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Tesla was a U.S. citizen, and of the Orthodox Faith, but his body wascremated, and his ashes sent back to Yugoslavia, where they are on display in an urn in the Tesla museum.

Pagan cremation is forbidden by the Orthodox Church!!

Tesla museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Tesla museum in Belgrade,

Funeral services were held for the great Serb on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Tesla was never married, and he had no direct heirs. He left no will, so all his papers were seized by the FBI, and shipped to Washington City, where they were classified as TOP SECRET:

The Washington Bureau of the FBI went so far as to advise the New York Bureau “to discreetly take the matter up with the State’s Attorney in New York City with the view to possibly taking Kosanovich into custody on a burglary charge and obtaining the various papers which Kosanovich is reported to have taken from Tesla’s safe.” New York was also told to contact the Surrogate Court so stops could be placed against all of Tesla’s effects, so that no one could enter them without an FBI agent being present, and New York was to keep Washington advised of all developments. (Cheney, Tesla: Man out of Time, p. 273).

The FBI is a clone of MI5 and responsible for domestic spying and they work closely with their counterparts in Britain.

Most of his great inventions like radar were later developed by the British. His death ray is now used by the Pentagon to shoot down Russian rockets!!

Vital link


Cheney, Margaret. Tesla, Man out of Time. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1981.

Cheney, Margaret, & Uth, Robert. Tesla, Master of Lightning. Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1999.

Garbedian, Gordon H. George Westinghouse: Fabulous Inventor. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1943.

Jones, Jill, Empires of Light. Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to Electrify the World. Random House, New York, 2003.

O’ Neill, John J. Prodigal Genius. The Life of Nikola Tesla. Ives Washburn, New York, 1944.

Seifer, Marc J. Wizard. The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla. Biography of a Genius. Carol Publishing Group, Secacaus, NJ, 1996.

Copyright © 2015 by Patrick Scrivener

You can’t Keep a Good Men Down Forever!

We, at 5wh Corporate Services, are eternally grateful to Nikola Tesla and all the other unsung heroes.


What do you think? What strategies do you, or your company, use to manage the risk of fraud and error in your organisation? Are you primarily proactive or reactive in your approach to risk management? Share your experience in the Comment box below.

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