Wireless Power Transmission With WiTricity

Whenever a person in a cartoon has an idea then, more often than not, a disembodied light bulb appears above their inspired head. I always wondered where does the power come to light that bulb? Well it would seem the answer comes from the boys at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as they have successfully powered a 60 Watt bulb remotely from a power source over 7 feet away. 

To create “WiTricity”, they have employed an old concept of physics called “resonance”, a technique that causes a physical entity to vibrate when a certain frequency is applied. Now if you can get two entities to vibrate at the same frequency they exchange energy, even with out direct line of sight.

As the energy builds up it produces usable voltage with each cycle, and sure enough, with a transmitter one end and a receiver the other the light bulb pops into life.

It’s exactly the same thing that happens when you see an opera singer smash a glass using just her voice, both the frequency of the glass and the voice has matched, the energy is stored in the glass until it can contain no more and it shatters.

At the moment the experiments have shown there is a 40% efficiency rate using this kind of technology, but that is bound to increase with further experimentation and could prove useful for laptop users the world over. MIT’s Professor Peter Fisher had this to say:

“…..power levels more than sufficient to run a laptop can be transferred over room-sized distances nearly omni-directionally and efficiently, irrespective of the geometry of the surrounding space, even when environmental objects completely obstruct the line-of-sight between the two coils……As long as the laptop is in a room equipped with a source of such wireless power, it would charge automatically, without having to be plugged in. In fact, it would not even need a battery to operate inside of such a room.” In the long run, this could reduce our society’s dependence on batteries, which are currently heavy and expensive……”

Obviously this opens up all kind of applications with the wireless world that we all live in now. Could this actually mean that the very last wire that binds our laptops to power sockets can now be cut?

Could it be “Light’s out” for laptop batteries, fuel cells and power cables? Nice work MIT chaps, but how about a little credit for old Nikola Tesla. As early as 1891 this Serbian born genius came up with a wireless power transmission concept, otherwise known as the “Tesla Effect”, over a century before MIT Lab’s “WiTricity”.

More about – MIT Labs WiTricity