WiTricity CEO Believes in a World without Power Cords

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XNeonMan

  "The Quiet Earth"...anyone?

The planet went to this type of power system and...well, I won't spoil it for you. Still gets a solid 7.1 on IMDB and sort of a geek must see at this point.

Tesla was so cool Edison hated him and hired him.

 

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charliemikefoxtrot

The laws of physics still apply including conservation of energy, you don’t get more out than you put in.  The transmitter uses a set amount of power to set up the wave, receivers pick up the energy from that wave you, will not get more power on the receiving end than you put in.  In fact you get considerably less, their claimed efficiency is on the order of %15, that might sound bad but it is still a huge savings over disposable chemical batteries, and there are considerable savings in infrastructure as only the receiver built into the device needs to be tailored to that devices power needs, a generic transmitter can supply power to multiple varied devices as in the demo.

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1337Goose

Charliemikefoxtrot is absolutely right. Somebody below mentioned that one charger would be able to power a virtually unlimited number of devices, but that's only because the amount of power being consumed by the charging pad already exceeds the amount required to charge all of the devices. 

~Goose

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codepath

Let's say that one transmitter draws as much power from the outlet as one cell phone charger (that may be a bad example) and that it sends out its device-agnostic wave signal.

And any device within range can pick up that signal.

And let's say that there are 1000 devices within range.

Then wouldn't the amount power being drawn at the wall be less than the amount of power that it normally take to charge those 1000 devices individually the traditional way?

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1337Goose

I totally understand where you're coming from on this one, and it sounds reasonable too, but conservation of energy is the key point to remember here. Allow me to illustrate with an example:

The charging pad draws 50 units of electrical energy and converts it to 45 units of electromagnetic  (wave) energy. We'll assume that a little bit of energy is lost in each conversion because nothing is 100% efficient (unfortunately that's just how thermodynamics is). If you're still following along, there are only 45 units of EM energy being broadcast at this point. As soon as a device "uses" one of those units, it can no longer be used by other devices. Also, when a device uses one of those units of energy, some of that energy is lost. Take a look at the quick diagram below.

50 units electrical energy -> 45 Units of Electromagnetic energy -> 3 devices pick up that energy and each get ~10 units.

Remember, the energy exiting our system cannot be greater than the energy entering our system. If we put 50 Joules into this system, we cannot expect to get 150 Joules out. I hope that was clear enough. Again, it's one of the quirky areas of physics that sometimes needs a little thought, but if you think about it long enough, it will make sense. 

 

~Goose

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codepath

Since one emitter can power multiple devices without increases the draw from the outlet, they could be put in high traffic areas (like Starbucks, shopping centers, office buildings, schools, etc). So, a hundred devices can be recharged for the price of one. That significantly changes the environmental footprint.

Now, if they could eventually fit the emitter and the receiver in the same device, with a "jumpstart" charge, the device could power itself and other devices near by. No more batteries needed.

That could cascade into no more new power generation in the first place and the jumpstart charge could be obtained by other device that are already running the emitter.

Wow! I think I just blew my own mind.

codepath

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charliemikefoxtrot

Wow it still amazes me how many people feel compelled to comment on something without any knowledge, or even reading the article.  This has nothing to do with solar power, it is magnetically coupled resonance.  I can’t get to Utube at the moment as I am at work but if you google on this at home you will see a number of videos on it, be sure and tag on the WiTricity rather than the magnetically coupled resonance as that will tend to get you videos of the mature technology demonstration and not the five year old demo the grad students did with bare wire and poly styrene.  A transmitter plugged into a wall produces a magnetic wave that causes a coil in a receiver to resonate, this resonate energy is then converted back into electricity.  They have made it small enough to fit inside a phone already and it does work.  The demo that the CEO has now done for several conferences has him powering a 20 inch flat screen and four or five different cell phones from an emitter while walking back and forth between.  The cell phones and such will still need a battery in order to work outside of range of the emitter but you can place an emitter in your desk blotter at work and your kitchen counter at home, your dash board in your car and never have to hunt for a charging cable again.  You would also never have to buy disposable batteries for anything as it would become commonplace for everything to have an embedded LiOn cell you could replace every five years or so.  The flat screen is really nice as well as you will be able to actually hang one on a wall, just like a picture without a cord running to it.  Any of you with kids will know you go through a ton of disposable batteries (and the associated cash) on toys used in the house, that would go away, and yes I know the power in the outlet costs money to but disposable battery power is about 800 times as expensive as the highest shore power rate on the planet per KWH so it’s still a huge savings.  Besides saving a ton of money it will keep a huge mass of disposable batteries out of landfills.

-cmf

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MRrelabled

Cool, thanks for the link, First yeah solar right now isn't that great but I have seen trickle chargers that are bulky but I assume they help, I don't think the answer is using AC charger then shoot the energy thru the air for a device that only uses 3 volt - to whatever an ipod uses. I think the answer for solar chips is to start mass production in smaller devices so they either consume less power or can charge them maybe in a day or two enough for an emergency or something 

Then as far as photons, I've been read stuff way over my head about nano technology and photons, even circuits on chips that use photons if I remember correctly. As for the device in the video remember that could have been created when the first nintendo  was on the market what was that 1986 ? that's 23 year old technology.

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dylanwinn

First off, it's common sense that you can't charge an iPhone with a solar panel that isn't much larger than the device itself. Second, as demonstrated on systm (http://revision3.com/systm/zapper), there is only enough ambient radio energy to power a single LED.

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MRrelabled

umm how about solar ?  like my calculator ? or how about photons this sounds like it's going to take more power and that seems backwards. Maybe if they truely understood resonance they could just make natural resonance a power source.

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I Jedi

The idea of not having to use cords anymore sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, the idea to implement this widespread still sounds like it's at least a decade or so off.

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szore

Thanx, you beat me to the punch (or kool-aid)

 

I wish whatever government agency has Tesla's technology sealed up will finally start releasing it.

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1337Goose

Yes, but will it make me sterile? 

~Goose

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Hoboparade

Tesla

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LVmonkey

This tech has been out for a while... and its not very efficient, yet nor does it have much range, to my understanding. In a world going green, those could be serious problems to bringing the tech out in force. Well that, and you still have to convince the large manufacturers to institute this in their devices without any infrastructure currently in place to support it.

I mean, great the new cell phone works without a battery... when your within range of a specialized transmitter...that has yet to be built ...anywhere.

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MeTo

i thought the purpose of this was to charge your cellphone/laptop/mp3/e-book reader without cables you would still have batteries in them.

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