WiTricity

The idea for wireless electricity has been around for a while, but the nuts and bolts of it have been difficult to hash out.  A company, inspired by work at MIT, WiTricity has made an adapter of sorts that plugs into a wall, acts as a wireless transmitter and sends electricity to devices such as TVs and phones. The great part of the video is he shows it works.

Considering the obvious market barriers such as high costs and public scrutiny over safety, do you guys see this a game changing technology? Plugging things in is annoying and batteries are bad for the environment (and very expensive).

Perhaps the more interesting question is – do you guys see this as being something that can be scaled up to transmit power directly from the plant to cities and homes? The advantages of wireless transmission on grid congestion would be immense. Questions to think about would be, how far can the electricity be transmitted? What would be the limiting factors? Would this make our grid more or less susceptible to attack (we probably would be much safer from the grid crippling squirrels)?

Losses in transmission would be interesting to look at. What sort of currents would be induced in motors or anything with windings caught in the path of the field? Lot of questions…would love to hear what everyone thinks

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2 Responses

  1. Cool stuff.

    One of the more interesting snippets from the video is that the MIT experiment had a net efficiency of 50%. Now this would probably fade over longer distances, but 50% is better than i would have expected.

    The electric car application, as described by Mr. Giler, seems pretty lame. The only valid reason he provides for switching to wireless power is that its annoying to plug things in. I doubt people would be willing to sacrifice 50% of their car’s electricity because they’re too lazy to plug in a cord. Then again…

    This could be a real gamechanger if they found a way to install it the charging pads along roads so that cars could use electricity as they move, similar to a subway or cable car. You would avoid the losses & headaches associated with charging a large on-board battery.

  2. Very interesting … Best application – Charging laptops on the airports.

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