WiTricity – Wireless Electricity

WiTricity – Wireless Electricity, these words are simpler said than done. The concept behind this fascinating term is a little complex. However, if you want to understand it, try and picture what I state in the next few lines. Consider two self resonating copper coils of same resonating frequency with a diameter 20 inches each. One copper wire is connected to the power source (WiTricity transmitter), while the other copper wire is connected to the device (WiTricity Receiver).

The electric power from the power source causes the copper coil connected to it to start oscillating at a particular (MHz) frequency. Subsequently, the space around the copper coil gets filled with nonmagnetic radiations. This generated magnetic field further transfers the power to the other copper coil connected to the receiver. Since this coil is also of the same frequency, it starts oscillating at the same frequency as the first coil. This is known as ‘coupled resonance’ and is the principle behind WiTricity.

this concept of wireless electricity is not new. In fact it dates back to the 19th century, when Nikola Tesla used conduction- based systems instead of resonance magnetic fields to transfer wireless power. Further, in 2005, Dave Gerding coined the term WiTricity which is being used by the MIT researchers today. Moreover, we all are aware of the use of electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) which is quite well known for wireless transfer of information. In addition, lasers have also been used to transmit energy without wires. However, radio waves are not feasible for power transmissions because the nature of the radiation is such that it spreads across the place, resulting into a large amount of radiations being wasted. And in the case of lasers, apart from requirement of uninterrupted line of sight (obstacles hinders the transmission process), it is also very dangerous.


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  1. Guru

    WiTricity is omni-directional (it works irrespective of the relative position of the energy source and the device being powered) and does not require direct line of sight between source and device. The power transfer worked well even when the space between the two objects was completely obstructed. WiTricity is based on coupled resonant objects operating in a so-called “strong coupling regime,” which is key for efficient transfer of power. At current power levels, the apparatus could power two or three laptop computers or a few dozen cell phones inside a room simultaneously. The researchers’ calculations suggest that their system could be designed to operate within general safety standards for general population exposure. The MIT team is currently pursuing several ideas to improve the performance of the system. They would like to increase the distance of the power transfer (up to a few yards), improve the efficiency,and miniaturize the “receiver” so that it can fit inside portable electronic devices.