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TMCNet:  Lines not, power yes

[May 09, 2014]

Lines not, power yes

(Pakistan Engineering Review Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Wireless electricity is not a new concept - it was publically demonstrated over 100 years ago by Nikola Tesla - but has remained elusive in broad commercial applications. However, a startup company says it is working to change that, with a business model that could make portable power commonplace. ‘We're going to transfer power without any kind of wires,’ Dr. Katie Hall, chief technology officer of WiTricity, told CNN, a famous news channel. ‘I can't even imagine how things will change when we live like that.’ Witri city CEO Eric Giler demonstrated the technology during a TED talk. He explained that ‘all this came from a professor waking up at night – the third night in a row – as his wife's cell phone was beeping because it was running out of battery power. And he was thinking, 'With all the electricity that's out there on the walls, why couldn't some of that just come into the phone, so I could get some sleep?' A team of MIT (Massachutes Institute of Technology) professors then developed what they call ‘resonant power transfer’. Under this system, a power coil is able to wirelessly transfer electricity to another device with a similar coil set to the same frequency. The MIT group demonstrated the technique in 2007, which led to formation of WiTricity. Since then, the company has conducted several public demonstrations, where they have used the technology to wirelessly power objects such as batteries, LED lights and cell phones. ‘We're not actually putting electricity in the air. We're only putting a magnetic field in the air,’ Hall told CNN. ‘When you bring a device into that magnetic field, it induces a current in the device, and you're thus able to transfer power.’ Wireless electricity is widely considered to be safe, but WiTricity and other companies developing similar technology are still trying to find effective ways to efficiently transfer electricity over long distances.


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