Another small development for wireless power

Companies have been toying with the idea of wireless power for a while now. More officially known as 'wireless energy transfer' or 'wireless power transmission' it is useful where instantaneous or continuous energy transfer is needed, but interconnecting wires are inconvenient or hazardous or an impossibility. With devices becoming increasingly portable, multi functional and 'dead finger', the idea of running out of battery, for some, is too much to bear.

The most common form of wireless power transmission manifests itself with regards to induction, followed by electrodynamic induction. Seemingly space-age, the basis of this technology had been discovered in the early 1800's by a French physicist named André-Marie Ampère. He developed Ampere's law, showing that electric current produces a magnetic field.

Flash forward to the recent past and you'll find the technology news littered with big name companies trying to harness wireless power for their products. A good example of this is the announcement on September 29th 2006, by Seiko, Epson and Murata teaming up to work on a contact-less quick charger. More recently on July 20th Showa Aircraft showed off a true contact-less charging system. Showa had developed a rig which harnesses an electromagnetic induction method, letting it charge or power up devices at a maximum distance of a meter apart. Working at its best at distances of less than sixty centimeters, it is able to reach a ninety percent transfer efficiency rate. The challenge for these companies is to now try to get the energy efficiency up to a more impressive percentage, showing not only that the technology works well but is also efficient in doing so.

Despite there being some controversy about the danger of wasted energy, Showa assured the public during their demonstration, that it was completely safe, going as far as placing a frying pan between to giant coils, which apparently (according to Engadget) did not heat up.

Little over a month after the public demonstration of Showa's wireless power induction, a company named Nagano Japan Radio Co Ltd. has developed a similar system which has just been demonstrated to the public; trouncing Showa's effort by five percent. Nagano's system provides a ninety-five percent efficiency rate at a distance of forty centimeters. According to Tech-On, the company is currently hard at work trying to ramp the output up from "several tens" of watts to several kilowatts, gaining an impressive power output. As opposed to Showa's effort (which relies on electromagnetic induction), this system uses magnetic resonance to achieve its effect. However, as this method "drastically lowers" its efficiency when the position of the sending and receiving units are displaced, the team designed a system that automatically detects coil displacement and reorients itself accordingly.

According to Engadget, the company hopes to develop this technology to the extent that it is able to someday charge electronic vehicles. The latest effort from Nagano signals another, albeit seemingly small, development towards this technology finding its way into our everyday devices.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Archos App Store Now; Android Tablet Next

Next Story

Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo! join fight against Google

15 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

ive got an electric toothbrush that charges this way, altho the emitter and collector need to be nearly touching however they are seperated by plastic because the toothbrush is fully submersable

This is very cool. If only the figures were a bit more impressive. I wonder how many years out this is. Quite a few I would imagine... A shame, because I so hate wires... LOL

we do have this technology already in the braun electric toothbrush. its contactless recharging, although some might argue that it has to be put on a cradle/charging station. however, it takes like 20 hours to charge a small toothbrush. imagine how long it will take to charge a car.

this technology might be good for small scale electronics like wireless speakers for the home theatre, cellphones, remote controls but to assume that it can charge something like a car, i really dont see it even in the next 50 years.

I can't wait until this becomes a reality in our homes, how much better would life be without wires and cables everywhere, especially in areas like my computer desks, or bedside table. Put your phone/ipod/PSP etc down on the desk and they are charging away happily. The same for my laptop or my PC or Xbox 360 etc, external hardrives no more wires and plugs, this will save me hours of annoyance.

going as far as placing a frying pan between to giant coils

I think that will be the other 'two' you are looking for. Sometimes I shudder at the prospect of spending my twilight years being looked after by members of your generation.

Magallanes said,
And it worked fine but the project was abandoned a century ago.

Tesla was a genius which methods were the best, but americans wanted to capitalize electricity, it's on history.

jstillion said,
Tesla (the inventor) also did some stuff with this. (Wireless power transmission)

Tesla was fascinating... I'm sure his theories and ideas will be revisited in the future.

Charging cars wirelessly in our driveways, garages or parking lots would be awesome. One the biggest questions was going to be how are we going to charge our cars at home and are we going to have to use big ugly extention cables or something along those lines? This solution would be awesome. Just pull the car into the garage or driveway up to the charging station/unit and it does it automatically with no work by us. That would be cool.

dogmai said,
Charging cars wirelessly in our driveways, garages or parking lots would be awesome. One the biggest questions was going to be how are we going to charge our cars at home and are we going to have to use big ugly extention cables or something along those lines? This solution would be awesome. Just pull the car into the garage or driveway up to the charging station/unit and it does it automatically with no work by us. That would be cool.

Or how about wireless charging while driving on a highway or roads.

Talk about the possibility of cancer baby! But hey, that would be wicked.