Wireless Electrical Power for the Home
Technology that will Eliminate the Need for
Appliance Power Cords
By Mark J. Donovan
Imagine a computer desk or home
theater system without the jumble of electrical power cords sitting below or
behind it. Next, envision the day where you no longer need a cell phone charger
cord laying on your kitchen counter or desk to charge your phone. Though these
visions may sound like pure fantasies, believe it or not, the days of wireless
electrical power are now upon on us. Companies such as WiTricity have been hard
at work developing and recently demonstrating technology that will revolutionize
how we power our consumer electronics, and even our automobiles.
At the heart of WiTricity's wireless
electrical power technology is a magnetic resonating power source. The
magnetic resonating power source transfers power from an electrical wall
outlet via magnetic waves, over extended distances relative to the size of
the power source. Resonant tuned magnetic wave capture devices integrated
into the consumer electronics, and even electric automobiles, convert these
magnetic waves back into electrical energy to power them.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Depending upon the specific design
features of the magnetic resonating power source and capture devices, the
maximum operational separation distance between them can vary from a few
centimeters to several meters.
Besides efficiently transferring
power, this type of wireless electrical power technology is ideal for the home.
Magnetic waves easily pass through most home building materials such as wood,
concrete, gypsum board and plastic. Consequently, there is no concern of
requiring line-of-site alignment for this technology to work effectively.
As a result of this technology, a
small magnetic resonating power source could be located in one corner of a room,
and all consumer electronic devices fitted with the capture device could be
powered by it without the use of any power cords.
In regards to electric automobiles,
one of the biggest consumer complaints is that they have to make sure to plug
the automobile into an electrical outlet once they pull into their garages. With
wireless electric power technology this problem is solved. A magnetic resonating
power source mat, if you will, can be located on the floor of the garage, and the
automobile fitted with a power receptor capture device. When the electric
automobile is driven over the power source mat the automobile begins to
As for safety concerns, unlike
electric fields, magnetic files are consider to be scientifically safe with
biological organisms. Relative to
WiTricity they claim that any byproduct
electric fields that are produced by their magnetic resonating source are almost
completely contained within the source, thus causing no threat to humans, as
well as no electrical interference to other electronics. In addition, WiTricity
has stated that their products are being designed to be fully compliant to the
relevant regulatory bodies such as the FCC and ICNIRP.
So the days of electrical cord
rat-nests appear to be numbered, and it cannot come soon enough. With today’s
techno-cultured society, homes have become cluttered with wires lying all around
them. Besides being unsightly, electrical cords create risks within the home,
including fire and trip objects. They also add significant expense to consumer
products as electrical wire is typically heavy gauged and well insulated. By
employing wireless electric power we can potentially reduce energy costs,
un-clutter our homes, and save on some of our natural resources such as copper
and other products necessary for building power cords.
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