Technology is rapidly advancing as can clearly be seen in modern laptops, tablets and mobile phones. However, the one thing that hasn’t quite managed to keep up with the change is the battery technology. No matter how sophisticated your smart phone is, you have to plug it into a power outlet at least once or twice a day.
While there have been a few instances of wireless charging, experts agree that there is still a lot of work to be done. The current ‘wireless’ chargers can only charge the device if it is in contact with the contact pad. Wireless charging is still very much in its infancy.
Or is it?
Disney is a company well-known for children’s movies and superhero movies. However, it has taken everyone by storm by venturing into wireless technology and doing so very successfully. Its scientists claim that they have found a solution to the battery charging problem. They have invented a new way to charge many electrical devices in a room – wirelessly. No longer will you need to worry about power outlets, electric cords or even charging cradles. The method they have developed allows them to not only charge various devices but also run lights and fans at the same time.
What was the Demo?
A room that was 16 feet high, 16 feet wide and 16 feet long was constructed by researchers. The room had aluminium ceiling, floor and walls which were in turn bolted to a frame made of aluminium. The researchers then put a copper pole in the middle of the room. There was a small gap in the pole; in this gap researchers inserted the discrete capacitors. The capacitors were meant to confine the electric fields and also set the electromagnetic frequency of the room.
How Did They Do It?
The method used by the Disney Research Lab scientists is known as quasistatic cavity resonance or QSCR. A room which has a floor, ceiling and walls made of metal is needed for this method. Electricity is induced into all parts of the room. Since the walls, floor and ceiling are of metal, this causes them to generate their own magnetic fields that filter through into the interior of the room.
Power is transmitted to receiving coils in an efficient way. The receiving coils need to work at the same resonant frequency as the magnetic fields. There are separate capacitors through which the induced current is channelled. The capacitors can separate electric fields that could be potentially harmful.
Researchers believe that size is not a factor here and the room can be scaled down to the size of a small chest or increased to the size of a storage compound. They have run simulations that show that if they follow the federal guidelines for safety, they can still project power up to 1.9 kilowatts – the equivalent of charging 320 smart phones at the same time.
Although the demo room had been specially constructed by Disney researchers, it is not necessary that rooms in the future will need to have metal walls, ceilings or floors. In fact, current structures can also be retrofitted with the necessary materials such as conducive paint or modular panels. If the room in question is very large, multiple copper rods can be used.
The possibilities that such technology offers are endless. It will no longer be limited to charging up your smart phone or tablet. This technology could be used to charge electric cars without having to bother with power outlets, run fans and lights without having to worry about wiring and how well it’s been done and even power up headphones while they’re lying in your gym locker.
The system is not ready for commercial use yet, a disappointment for those who were looking forward to no more headaches with regards to recharging phones, laptops and tablets. However, this technology could eventually make inventor Nicolas Tesla’s dream come true. Tesla had invented and demonstrated a lighting system that was wireless back in the 1890s. He had even suggested a system that would transmit power over long distances to factories and homes. However, these plans were never realised and his technology never came to the market. Disney aims to change all of that and make wireless technology part of our daily lives.
Information shared by MyPrivateTutor UK