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New research is bringing energy transfer into the wireless world. Soon, a central hub could be charging your batteries, laptop, televisions, electric cars, you name it… right through the air. You might never untangle a wire again. Cool, right?
Wireless energy is built on the principle of resonant coupling. The devices use copper coils that, if tuned to the same frequency, can resonate with one another. One coil is plugged into the wall, and creates an electromagnetic field; another coil nearby resonates with the first field, picking up some energy in the process to fuel your electronics. The magnetic field lets energy flow regardless of obstacles in the way, so the current can travel through walls. Currently, the type of radiation involved can only resonate within a few meters.
Over the past few years, a number of companies have been racing to put wireless energy on the market. Last week, researchers at Intel showcased a wirelessly charged iPod speaker. In 2007, researchers at MIT revealed a similar project that powered a lightbulb remotely. The physicist and project leader Marin Soljacic (winner of a MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship) went on to found the start-up WiTricity, which is leading the pack in developing a commercially viable product.
The godfather of wireless energy transfer was Nikola Tesla, a brilliant and fascinating figure in the history of electrical engineering. In the late 1800’s, Tesla showed that electromagnetic energy could be transferred wirelessly. He also postulated that some day, all of our electronics would be able to harvest energy that is naturally present in space. That’s probably a little further down Intel’s pipeline. The Wireless Future of Energy Tranfer
Q: Is WiTricity technology safe?
A: WiTricity’s technology is a non-radiative mode of energy transfer, relying instead on the magnetic near field. Magnetic fields interact very weakly with biological organisms—people and animals—and are scientifically regarded to be safe. WiTricity products are being designed to comply with applicable safety standards and regulations
The Company wishes to mention that the "subspace" technology that is moving from idea to physical testing can also be used for communications. In other words, our technical approach holds the promise of producing "subspace power" and "subspace communications" with virtually no loss in transmission.
Eastlund's first patent (US #4,686,605) was for a "Method and Apparatus for Altering A Region In the Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere, And Or Magnetosphere." The patent information contained in my manuscript described the various levels of atmosphere surrounding Earth as a kind of plastic layer, made up of various molecules and having different electrical charges. Eastlund has devised a way of beaming powerful radio waves up in the air and causing these various levels of space that surrounded Earth to become "heated" and to expand - like melted plastic. This seemed like an odd thing for anyone to want to do. But as I read on, it began to make sense.
His second patent described the reflection of a second signal, using a previously "heated" ionospheric bulge, to distant locations on the Earth's surface. Interesting, I thought, but why would anyone want to do that?
Eastlund had been working with the Atlantic Richfield Company, holders of a massive reserve of natural gas under Alaska's north slope. ARCO bought Eastlund's first two patents with the understanding that this new technology would make it possible for their natural gas reserves, too expensive to be piped from Alaska, to be converted to electrical energy on the north slope, and then bounced off the heated ionosphere to customers in remote locations around the globe. Also, because Eastlund's "heaters" could elevate the Earth's ionosphere, his discovery provided the ability to control weather! Jet streams could be altered, tornadoes could be zapped and rain could be made-- anywhere and anytime-- right here and right now! This was definitely getting interesting.
Originally posted by weedwhacker
reply to post by schrodingers dog
My Oral-B cordless toothbrush uses the same induction tech for charging...of course, the base is plugged in the old-fashioned way, but the charge on the brush lasts for a long time, when away on trips.
WiTricity’s technology is more than…
Traditional Magnetic Induction
At first glance, WiTricity’s technology for power transfer appears to be traditional magnetic induction, such as is used in power transformers, where conductive coils transmit power to each other wirelessly, over very short distances. In a transformer, an electric current running in a sending coil (or “primary winding”) induces another current in a receiving coil (or “secondary winding”). The two coils must be very close together, and may even overlap, but the coils do not make direct electrical contact with each other. However, the efficiency of the power exchange in traditional magnetic induction systems drops by orders of magnitude when the distance between the coils becomes larger than their sizes. In addition to electric transformers, other devices based on traditional magnetic induction include rechargeable electric toothbrushes, and inductive “charging pads” which require that the object being charged be placed directly on top of, or very close to, the base or pad supplying the power.
The power exchange efficiency of some induction systems is improved by utilizing resonant circuits. These so-called resonantly enhanced induction techniques are used in certain medical implants and high-frequency RFIDs for example. However, to the best of our knowledge, WiTricity’s founding technical team was the first to discover that by specially designing the magnetic resonators, one could achieve strong coupling and highly efficient energy exchange over distances much larger than the size of the resonator coils, distances very large compared to traditional schemes.
(same source as post above)
WiTricity’s technology is different than…
Tesla’s Vision of a Wireless World
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, at the dawn of the electrification of the modern world, some scientists and engineers believed that using wires to transfer electricity from every place it was generated to every place that it could be used would be too expensive to be practical. Nikola Tesla, one of the most well known of these scientists, had a vision for a wireless world in which wireless electric power and communications would reach around the world, delivering information and power to ships at sea, factories, and every home on the planet. Tesla contributed significantly to our understanding of electricity and electrical systems and is credited with inventing three-phase AC power systems, induction motors, fluorescent lamps, radio transmission, and various modes of wireless electric power transfer. WiTricity technology for power transfer is different than the technologies proposed by Tesla, but his work is referenced and acknowledged in the scientific articles published by WiTricity’s founding technical team.