Wireless electricity is almost a reality, thanks to Disney

22 February, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Lorraine Moran

"Ultimately this unexplored form of wireless power offers a seamless charging experience when entering a QSCR enabled space as easily as data is transfer [sic] through the air", the authors write.

Wireless power is an idea that goes back to the 19th century, with Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla perhaps being its most famous proponent. "This is equivalent to simultaneously charging 320 smart phones".

A team at Disney Research, though, showed how they were able to transmit power in an entire room, powering a variety of devices while remaining relatively safe for humans. The research paper suggests that it could be equipped with intrusion detection or surrounded with a decorative wall.

According to Sample, wireless power transmission is a long-standing technological dream. "However, existing solutions are limited to near contact distances and do not provide the geometric freedom to enable automatic and un-aided charging".

Its ubiquitous wireless power delivery can, in the team's own words, "enable purpose-built structures, such as cabinets, rooms, and warehouses, to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained almost anywhere within". This penetration allows for power to be transmitted efficiently to receiving coils.

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The room's walls, ceiling, and floor were built with aluminum panels, and a large copper pipe was placed in its center. In its center was a copper tube between the floor and the ceiling, with a current running through it. The in-pipe capacitors manage the electromagnetic frequency, lowering it until the electric and magnetic fields are separated. Following this, uniform magnetic fields are generated and these permeate the room's interior. The next wave of research will look at downscaling the device to power a child's toy chest and to upscale the wave generator to power a warehouse.

Secondly, all of about 100 watts of the 1900 total watts of power being beamed around the room have to be used by objects inside the room.

There are a couple of issues, though.

Alanson said that we have demonstrated room-scale wireless power. The 1900 watts of power is still within the Federal Guidelines for Specific absorption Rate (SAR) or the measure of energy that can safely be absorbed by the human body and anything higher can be deemed unsafe. Oh, and if you're pumping 1,900 watts into the room, you also need devices to be using this to remain safe.

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