Power losses during the transmission of electricity can slow down productivity. The primary reason for power loss involves resistance within wires that connect with the grid. To counter these losses, engineers are looking at Nikola Tesla’s “wireless power transfer” solution of using an electromagnetic induction method.
Even though the concept of wireless power transfer has been known for over a century, it’s gaining renewed interest in the 21st century due to the popularity of the smartphone and other mobile devices. The widespread usage of mobile gadgets for online interaction through email and applications has opened the door to public Wi-Fi hotspots becoming important to local establishments.
Once conditions are arranged so that devices can be charged at a standardized station, it is likely that wireless charging stations will become more widespread and be used as a way for physical businesses to attract customers.
Wireless power is an affordable and reliable cost-efficient solution for delivering electrical energy, and distance is not an issue. This emerging technology can be used to charge mobile devices and other wireless applications. The hardware needed for this method includes an HF-Transformer, HF-diodes, basic transistors, a voltage regulator and other components.
The main advantages that wireless power transfer provides are simplicity in design, lower cost, useful for short distance applications and operating at a lower frequency. It also reduces the risk of electric shock. The main disadvantages are high power loss, non-directionality and it’s not an efficient solution for long distances.
Some common applications for wireless power transfers involve consumer electronics, heating and ventilation and industrial engineering. Eventually when wireless power standards are established, this method will be useful for kitchen appliances and tools in the medical industry. Currently, the two main standards are the Wireless Power Consortium (Qi) and the Air Fuel Alliance. The technology is currently being refined and should become more widespread once industry standards are more developed.
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