Over the next decade, the most vibrant Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) markets will be the contactless charging of portable and mobile equipment, in particular consumer electronics and electric vehicles. This is the focus of a new report, "Wireless Power Transmission for Consumer Electronics and Electric Vehicles 2012-2022." The research carried out for this report describes technologies that will be a stepping stone to contactless power for a high proportion of static consumer, industrial and military electronics and electrics.
For now, it primarily concerns wireless charging of batteries in portable consumer electronics and in electric vehicles. Both travel considerable distances and ready availability of standard, convenient, contactless, charging capability are key to their further growth in adoption. For example, the user will enjoy ever greater functionality and longer hours of use of mobile phones despite the on-going shortcomings of their batteries.
Our research, highlighted in the report, concerns transfer of Watts up to high power of the order of kilowatts at ranges of about one millimeter to about 60 centimeters. The WPT of concern usually involves static transmitters and a larger number of receivers incorporated in what is usually portable or mobile equipment.
The transmitters are usually hard wired to AC mains or energy harvesters such as photovoltaics, there being a trend towards multiple energy harvesting. It will only become a mass market if more comprehensive standards are widely adopted and the manufacturers of the portable and mobile equipment incorporate the receivers during manufacture. We forecast the demand by power level and consider other criteria such as technology, range, and region of adoption.
Automotive applications For success in the automotive area, those using pure electric cars seek to avoid range anxiety in some other convenient way. Standing in the rain to plug in an electric cable which then trips off for safety reasons does not qualify though almost all the investment in vehicle charging infrastructure is currently going into just that.
Convenient electric top up of hybrid electric cars is also an important market driver as they become capable of all electric range of more than 100 kilometers, creating the opportunity to pay one fifth as much for "fuel" due to a quirk in the taxation system (electricity is cheap) and to save the planet as power stations get cleaner. And it has been established that, as with gasoline pumping, a high proportion of women in particular find it unpleasant and even dangerous to get out of the vehicle and plug in for electricity. With WPT they stay clean and safe inside the vehicle.
For the more on this report, which also considers wireless charging as a consumer convenience that may be limited by the slow pace of infrastructure change, click here, courtesy of Automotive Designline Europe.
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The problem with BetterPlace is that it requires a standard. Who would set this standard? Is there really only one battery solution at this point or ever, look at what we have now in a mature liquid fuel system, I can think of at least 4 different fuels with possibly more on the way. I would like to know what the efficiency of the best wireless solution is, we work hard to make an efficient system and then we are going to through some of that away because we can't be bothered to plug the car in? If the losses with a wireless charge method are small enough and the reliability is better than plug contacts than it may be a reasonable solution at some point.
BetterPlace, a company in the Silicon Valley has a better solution (no pun intended!) for the range anxiety mentioned above -use of a switch station. A lot like gas station (or Petrol bunk for those of you outside US!), the driver parks in a designated location of the switch station where a robotic mechanism reaches from underneath the vehicle and swaps out the batteries with charged ones. Obviously this model needs a cooperative ecosystem and standardization. I understand BPlace is working with several EV companies, but Tesla is not yet on the list!!
Dr. MP Divakar
My company has been developing IP in wireless power technology for more than 5 years which is far superior to anything yet published. If you're interested in learning more then send an email to email@example.com. If you are seriously interested you would need to sign an NDA, but we are looking for partners to take the technology to the next level.
Wireless charging of EV batteries is a very exciting news. Charging EV batteries requires much higher charging current compared to charging of mobiles and if the current wireless power transmission technology has made it possible many other applications will also open up. One example I see is when a car does not start when its battery has totally got discharged( may be the headlights remained on , on a foggy day). You could start such a car by wireless method without those jumper wires !
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