Electrical power lines and power outlets distributed throughout the world deliver power to billions of people in different areas. Can we think of wireless electricity in the future?
Although we would like to see wireless connections to all types of devices, it is the small devices that are going to see the most fundamental benefit. Even in the case of small devices, the effect is going to be absolutely enormous because of their numbers. Think about how many of your small domestic electronics such as CFL lamps, computers, and microwave oven are constrained by having to put them near outlets or having to run extension cords.
The wired connections are an enormous issue that negatively impacting consumer electronics, especially the growing market of wearables and internet of things mainly for home automation purposes. Almost all portable devices are battery powered, meaning they all must be charged through the battery chargers, which at present are wired. Now instead of plunging in a mobile phone, digital camera, Personal digital assistant, voice recorder or an electric trimmer to recharge it, if required without plugging life would become much easier.
Wireless charging technologies.
The development of wireless technologies is advancing towards two major directions.
Radiative wireless technologies using radio frequency or microwaves radiation used for long distance transmission of power. Due to the safety issued raised by RF exposure radiative wireless charging operates in low power region.
Non-radiative wireless charging is based on the coupling of the magnetic field between two coils within the distance of coils dimension for energy. dimension for energy. It involves inductive coupling, magnetic resonance coupling, and capacitive coupling. As the magnetic field of electromagnetic waves attenuates much faster than the electric field, the power transfer distance is largely limited. Due to safety implementation, non-radiative wireless charging has been widely used in our daily appliances like an electric toothbrush. Most of today’s wireless chargers use inductive charging with transmitting and receiver coils in close proximity. The action of an electrical transformer is the simplest instance of wireless charger via induction. The primary and secondary circuits of a transformer are electrically isolated from each other by few centimeters. The transfer of energy takes place by electromagnetic coupling through a process known as mutual induction.
In principle, laser energy transmission systems are very similar to energy transmission via microwave technology; the power source which is solar and electricity is converted into an emitter or an emitter array that generated the directional electromagnetic radiation shining a laser beam, which is subsequently absorbed in a receiver that transforms energy back into electricity.
The laser method of energy transfer involves a photovoltaic receiver. This requires the ability to precisely track the position of the receiver relative to the laser transmitter. The most efficient DC-to-laser convertors are solid-state laser diodes commercially employed in fiber optic and free-space laser communication. The advantage of a laser is that its monochromaticity allows better control of the beam over long ranges, as well as possibility to tune the photovoltaic receiver to the laser beam.
Solar-based Satellite Power.
There is unlimited constant solar energy supply in space free from weather conditions. Solar power satellites tap into the solar energy using a large scale photovoltaic array in space and transmit it to the ground using microwave or laser beam. It has a great potential for large-scale clean energy system to replace fossil fuel plants.
The time average power per unit area in space is 5-10 times larger than that on the ground, while the power loss for the wireless power transmission/reception is expected to be less than 50%. Thus, Solar power satellites have a competitive advantage over solar power plants on the ground.
- feature image: thewirecutter.com