Magnetic Resonance-based Long Range Wireless Power Transfer
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) is a popular technology, and the technology is being continuously advanced to keep pace with the fast-growing world. There are two types of wireless power transfer: The one that allows powering through short distances while another that enables power to be transferred over long distances. Magnetic resonance technology is a way through which long-range wireless power transmission is possible.
Tesla is known to be the pioneer of wireless power transfer through magnetic resonance. This technology is a significant step towards increasing mobility as power can be transferred at greater distances via magnetic fields. As a result, it can be used anywhere, from domestic use to commercial and industrial fields. With increased mobility globally, magnetic resonance works as a good option to charge devices wirelessly at long ranges. There are other ways of WPT that are currently used by several companies, each of them having its pros and cons. Similarly, multiple start-ups are working on magnetic architecture as a source of transferring power wirelessly.
Witricity is working towards improvements in magnetic resonance technology in which the sending and receiving coils are tuned in such a way that they resonate at the same frequencies. This allows charging to be done at a bigger distance. They continue to optimize their designs for longer ranges by simulations on software called Cosmol Multiphysics for making new prototypes.
Solace Power is also a start-up that makes use of the resonance technology inspired by Nikola Tesla’s experiments to work towards providing wireless power. In 2015, Solace Power aimed at producing wireless mid-flight charging. It made an attempt to recharge unmanned aerial vehicles to keep them in the air for extended periods of time. The objective was to avoid the battery swap operation or any kind of physical contact for charging purposes.
Chushan Technology is another Research and Design start-up based in Shanghai. It focuses on providing wireless power transfer for industrial devices. The company uses kHz-based magnetic resonance technology for wireless power transfer.
Another instance of a start-up working towards long-range magnetic resonance-based wireless power transfer is Resonant Link. It has attracted investments from other companies to be able to provide wireless power. It is specially designed for industrial fleets and a few other applications.
Magnetic resonant wireless power transfer operates at low-frequency bands and allows greater length transmissions. A company called Emrod, established in 2019, is working on providing WPT over longer lengths. Their wireless power transfer technology allows power to be transferred over several kilometers. They use magnetic resonance but have advanced it to create electromagnetic beams via their beam shaping technology.
Wibotic is another example of a recent start-up that is working towards providing wireless power to charge the aquatic, aerial, and mobile robot systems. Magnetic resonance technology can help provide them wireless power through long distances. This technology is used alongside certain software libraries and allows for an optimized uptime for drones.
Furthermore, Magnetika, established in 2018 in Barcelona, is a start-up that focuses on improving the technology involving magnetic resonance for WPT. It offers the transfer of power through magnetic resonant coupling. Their technology is contributing to solving the problem related to alignment.
There are also many other initiatives that are conducting further research regarding magnetic resonance and how it can be taken to greater heights for wireless charging. For example, Reasonance is a Russian initiative that came into existence in 2020. It consists of scientists and researchers working towards wireless power transfer. They aim to work towards wireless transmission through a safe and cost-efficient solution.
Benefits of Magnetic Resonance in Wireless Power Transfer
- It is an efficient and environment-friendly way of power transmission.
- Charging via magnetic resonance allows power to be transferred to a larger range. It can even pass through any barrier or surface that may be obstructing its path.
- Receiving devices can be kept in any orientation or position; hence the factor of flexibility is a benefit.
- It can allow multiple devices to be charged at the same time.
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) via magnetic resonance is still undergoing rigorous research and development to enhance power supply at long ranges. Magnetic resonance has a longer transmit distance than other techniques that allow power transmission to be done wirelessly. Moreover, it has a high power transfer efficiency (PTE). Having a high PTE is a significant goal for all WPT techniques. However, there are some issues associated with magnetic resonance, like load variation tolerance and misalignment tolerance. Improvement in the coil and circuit design can help resolve such problems. Although wireless power transmission is a technology that continues to grow and is expected to grow in the future as well, alternative technologies are also being preferred over electromagnetic methods of wireless power transmission, such as radio waves and ultrasound for long ranges.