Wireless Electricity: The Wave of the Future
As the world charge full speed ahead into the 21st century, wireless technology is becoming increasingly popular and convenient. The days of cumbersome cords are falling by the wayside and a new dawn approaches. Cell phones, headphones, laptops (with wireless networking, of course), GPS units, garage door openers, computer mice, keyboards, and ipads are among the gadgets that many of us visualize when we hear a term like “wireless technology.”
All of the aforementioned are common in our technologically growing society. Despite the advances in wireless capabilities, however, there are countless items found around the home or office that rely on a cord. In most cases, this cord provides the power or electricity to the object. When you think about it, everything needs plugged into some type of power supply or requires a battery change to continue functioning. This is where the “new dawn” of wireless technology enters in the form of wireless electricity. Just imagine the possibilities of wireless electricity. No more worrying about charging your cell phones, ipods, laptops, or even bothering, or needing, to plug in your refrigerator — all within a wireless energy zone. This wireless energy zone can be located at work, home, school, and, needless to say, your closest Starbucks. “Laptop batteries are always burning out and always need a charge. What we did was build a coil into a standard laptop computer and it gets its source from behind a wall in your office,” said Eric Giler, president and CEO of WiTricity. “You could move them around the room and the laptop will continue to charge.” Another amazing breakthrough is the concept of WiTricity, which could power an entire house completely free of electrical lines. The ramifications of this new technology seem endless and will certainly change the way in which the world views wireless technology.
The idea of wireless power has been around for hundreds of years and originated with the reknown and familiar scientist, Nikola Tesla. Although his idea never came to fruition during his lifetime, it's clear that we are becoming more and more of a wireless society.
The next step in wireless power originated with a group of scientists from MIT when they were able to light a light bulb from several meters away. WiTricity works by using the idea of resonant energy transfer. A coil is used, with a capacitor attached, that resonates and pulses at a high frequency. When another coil is brought in range of that frequency, which will only function at the same frequency, they will "strongly couple" and transfer magnetic energy between one another. In order for this to work, electricity is converted into a magnetic field and then converted back into electricity for usage.
In essence, one coil would be hidden away in the wall of your home, while the other would be part of your television or computer. This would allow for an endless stream of wireless electricity to your devices.