Soon, a new device will wirelessly charge your cell phones, electric cars
“In addition to advancing the wireless charging of vehicles and personal devices like cellphones, our new technology may untether robotics in manufacturing, which also are on the move,” said Professor Shanhui Fan.
According to the study, published in the journal Nature, wireless charging would address a major drawback of plug-in electric cars — their limited driving range. A charge-as-you-drive system would overcome these limitations.
“In theory, one could drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to stop to recharge. The hope is that you’ll be able to charge your electric car while you’re driving down the highway,” Fan explained.
He noted that a coil in the bottom of the vehicle could receive electricity from a series of coils connected to an electric current embedded in the road.
“We can rethink how to deliver electricity not only to our cars, but to smaller devices on or in our bodies. For anything that could benefit from dynamic, wireless charging, this is potentially very important,” Fan said.
Mid-range wireless power transfer is based on magnetic resonance coupling.
“Just as major power plants generate alternating currents by rotating coils of wire between magnets, electricity moving through wires creates an oscillating magnetic field which causes electrons in a nearby coil of wires to oscillate, thereby transferring power wirelessly,” the study said.
The team transmitted electricity wirelessly to a moving LED lightbulb but the demonstration only involved a one milliwatt charge, far less than what electric cars require.