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Tag: Marin Soljacic

Wireless Power: charging your mobile wirelessly

By definition, wireless power is the process where electrical energy is transmitted from a power source to an electrical load without any interconnecting wires. We are not used to see wireless power in our daily life, even most of us are not aware that it could be possible, but surprisingly enough, wireless power dates back to late 1800s. Last year, an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) professor by the name of Marin Soljačić has decided to work towards a world of wireless electricity.

Wireless power has a long history that started in the late 19th century with the inventor Nikola Tesla, who had a grand scheme to beam elec­tricity around the world. he figured that wireless is the way to go, so he started designing and building a 57 meter long tower on Long Island that he claimed would transmit power to points kilometers away. Although he did some tests, funding ran out before the tower was completed. The promise of airborne power faded rapidly as the industrial world adopted wired electricity.

A couple of years ago, Soljačić started searching for ways to transmit power wirelessly. Instead of pursuing a long-distance scheme like Tesla’s, he decided to look for midrange power transmission methods that could charge - or even power - portabl­e devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and laptops.

Soljačić eventually landed on the phenome­non of resonant coupling, in which two objects tuned to the same frequency exchange energy strongly but interact only weakly with other objects. He found magnetic resonance a promising means of electricity transfer because magnetic fields travel freely through air yet have little effect on the environment or, at the appropriate frequencies, on living beings.

Working with MIT physics professors John Joannopoulos and Peter Fisher and three students, Soljačić built two resonant copper coils and hung them from the ceiling, about two meters apart. When they plugged one coil into the wall, alternating current flowed through it, creating a magnetic field. The second coil, tuned to the same frequency and hooked to a light bulb, reso­nated with the magnetic field, generating an electric current that lit up the bulb - even with a thin wall between the coils.

Wireless power technology was regarded by the Technology Review magazine, published by the MIT, as one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2008. Read more about it on the page of Marin Soljačić at the MIT website.

Wireless Power of Marin Soljačić - Bryan Christie Design

Wireless Power of Marin Soljačić - Bryan Christie Design