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Is it Commercially Possible to Implement Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission?

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3 months ago

These experiments were conducted in Colorado, funded by JP Morgan to build the first of several substantial transmission towers based on wireless technology. Soon after, it got crashed after JP Morgan canceled additional funding.

Currently, New Zealand is About to Test Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission

Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission
Long-Range Wireless Power Transmission

Nowadays, New Zealand’s startup Emrod has made its way to execute the formation of a world wireless system for power transmission. The company is building a combined approach to beam power over long distances wirelessly. In August 2020, Emrod generated funding from Powerco, New Zealand’s second-biggest utility company, to conduct a test of its wireless system at a grid-connected commercial power station in the domestic market.

The company aiming to bring energy to communities far from the grid or transfer power from remote renewable bases, such as offshore wind farms.

This wireless system uses a transmitting antenna, a series of relays, and a receiving rectenna (a rectifying antenna capable of converting microwave energy into electricity). Each of these components appears in these images to look like squares on poles. Besides, the system’s beams use the non-ionizing scientific, medical, and industrial band of the radio spectrum, comprising frequencies commonly used in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.

How Wireless Power Transmission Works

Wireless power transmission system primarily consists of four components such as power source, transmitting antenna, transmitting relays, and rectenna.

Initially, the transmitting antenna converts the electricity into microwave energy, an electromagnetic wave, to focuses its flow into a cylindrical beam. Further, these microwave beam is directed through a series of relays till it hits the rectenna, which again converts it into electricity.

To maintain the safety standards in the pilot project, Emrod is using energy in the scientific, medical, and industrial band, and keeping the power density as limited. The density levels of these bands are relatively low. At the instant, it’s about the equivalent to around 1 kW per square meter, which equals to standing outside in the sun.

However, the beam is so formed that it won’t come in contact with anything, apart from empty air. Therefore, the system use net of lasers surrounding the shaft to detect obstacles, such as bird or person, and it robotically shuts off transmission power until the barrier moved on.

The technology for power transmission via microwave energy has already been around for decades in the global market. However, it was never counted as commercially viable for the whole world. To make it commercially viable and affordable for the developing countries, the company uses metamaterials to convert the microwave beam back into electricity more efficiently. Then the relays are incorporated to spread the shaft beyond the line of sight through refocusing it, which is makes it a limited loss. 

It is estimated that most of the losses happen at the other end, where electricity is transformed into microwave energy. Thus, this creates a system’s efficiency to be around 70%, which is similar to copper wires but economically viable to the global market. However, the prediction is too early that all copper wires may be replaced by wireless. Still, it makes sense to adopt wireless power transmission across the developed infrastructure areas around the globe, soon after the prototype seems efficient. 

Future of Wireless Power Transmission

New Zealand company Emrod stated that it is working in any atmospheric conditions, including dust, rain, and fog. Also, expanding the transmission capabilities of the wireless power transmission through extending its transition distance with the help of relay, which gives the potential to transmit maximum power in the thousands of kilometers, at little maintenance costs, infrastructure costs, as well as environmental impact through the imposed of wired solution.

Indeed, Emrod intends towards wireless transmission as a critical disrupting technology for renewable power, which is often generated from a remote location from the location of need.

This kind of wireless system is expected to generate enormous opportunities for the energy company and provide the opportunity to update the traditional grid with the last grid to minimize the need for giant storage batteries to share the power to offshore and remote renewable energy generation into the city grids.

To meet every standard to form a wireless system, the companies should be in direct connection with the local associations and authorities to resume the work without a halt. For instance, Emrod has been communicating with the Radio Spectrum Management authorities in New Zealand throughout its development process, to meet strict safety standards even once the technology scales right up to high power levels.

In conclusion, it is expected that the wireless power transmission was a better judge based on efficiency, size, shape, prototype state, future plans, and safety measures if something got stuck in the middle of these beams. The implementation of wireless power transmission is in the development phase, and it needs a standardization across the entire manufacturing and installation process to reduce the risk of failure associated with the concept. Also, the direct involvement of the local authorities and governments may widely influence the demand for the futuristic vision in the domestic and global markets. This system is focused on reducing the environmental challenges and influence the focus towards the green future around the globe, with little cost for power generation.

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