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#164658 - 06/08/07 06:35 AM The end of the plug?
ITO Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 341
Loc: Texas
Ironically one of my favorite lines to tell obnoxious GCs is, "As soon as you figure out how to beam the electricity to your devices, you, wont need me".

Article Link

 Quote:
"The end of the plug? Scientists invent wireless device that beams electricity through your home
by DAVID DERBYSHIRE - More by this author » Last updated at 12:31pm on 8th June 2007

Comments Comments (37)
Scientists have sounded the death knell for the plug and power lead.

In a breakthrough that sounds like something out of Star Trek, they have discovered a way of 'beaming' power across a room into a light bulb, mobile phone or laptop computer without wires or cables.

In the first successful trial of its kind, the team was able to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb 7ft away.

The team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who call their invention 'WiTricity', believe it could change the way we use electricity and do away with the tangle of cables, plugs and chargers that clutter modern homes.

It could also allow the use of laptops and mobile phones without batteries.

The inspiration came when the lead researcher, Dr Marin Soljacic, was standing in his kitchen at night staring at his mobile phone.

"It was probably the sixth time that month that I was awakened by my cell phone beeping to let me know that I had forgotten to charge it. It occurred to me that it would be so great if the thing took care of its own charging," he said.

To turn this dream into reality, Dr Soljacic needed a way of transmitting power wirelessly.

Scientists have known for nearly two centuries that it is possible to transfer an electrical current from one coil of wire to another without them touching.

The phenomenon, called electromagnetic induction, is used in power transformers and electric motors around the world.

However, the coils in motors and transformers have to be close for power to pass from one to another. Attempting to transfer power over distances is impossible.

The breakthrough came when Dr Soljacic realised there was another way of transferring energy through the air.

Rather than sending power from a transmitter to a receiver as a conventional electromagnetic wave - the same form of radiation as light, radio waves and microwaves - he could use the transmitter to fill a room with a 'non-radiative' electromagnetic field.

Most objects in the room - such as people, desks and carpets - would be unaffected by the electromagnetic field. But any objects designed to resonate with the electromagnetic field would absorb the energy.

It sounds complicated, but the result demonstrated by the American team this month was a dramatic success. Using two coils of copper, the team transmitted power 7ft through the air to a light bulb, which lit up instantly.

The scientists say the technique works only over distances of up to 9ft. However, they believe it could be used to charge up a battery within a few yards of the power source connected to a receiving coil.

Placing one source in each room could provide enough power for an entire house.

The receiver and transmitter would not have to be in view of each other.

Professor Peter Fisher, another of the researchers, said: "As long as the laptop is in a room equipped with a source of wireless power, it would charge automatically without having to be plugged in. In fact, it would not even need a battery to operate inside such a room."

The researchers believe there is little to worry about on safety grounds, saying that magnetic fields interact weakly with living organisms and are unlikely to have any serious side effects.

Dr Soljacic said: "When my son was about three years old, we visited his grandparents' house. They had a 20-year-old phone and my son picked up the handset asking, 'Dad, why is this phone attached with a cord to the wall?' That is the mindset of a child growing up in a wireless world.

"Hopefully we will be getting rid of some more wires and batteries soon."
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#164664 - 06/08/07 09:19 AM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: ITO]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 884
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
Tesla originally developed the concept of wireless power many years ago.
Edison killed it for the same reason that someone will kill it again.

If there are no wires...how do you meter it and send bills??
_________________________
Ghost307

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#164673 - 06/08/07 03:11 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: ghost307]
Retired_Helper Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Maine
 Originally Posted By: ghost307
If there are no wires...how do you meter it and send bills??


Possibly the way televisions were (are?) licensed in Britain. Part honor system, part portable sensing unit looking for users who don't subscribe. \:\/

By the way, Ghost, thank you for remembering Nikola Tesla.

Didn't they used to tune into "power broadcasts" in BUCK ROGERS?


Edited by Retired_Helper (06/08/07 03:12 PM)
Edit Reason: Remembered Buck Rogers

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#164675 - 06/08/07 03:16 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: Retired_Helper]
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
There's an REM song that covers this, but I've posted it som many times I'd lose my membership if I did again. \:D

Ian A.
_________________________
Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

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#164676 - 06/08/07 03:20 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: Theelectrikid]
Retired_Helper Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Maine
"It's the end of the world as we know it /
And I feel fine." \:D

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#164681 - 06/08/07 04:42 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: ITO]
TwinCitySparky Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Minnesota
Using two coils of copper, the team transmitted power 7ft through the air to a light bulb, which lit up instantly.

Sounds like we'll still be slingin the wire...

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#164682 - 06/08/07 04:53 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: TwinCitySparky]
ITO Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 341
Loc: Texas
That what it sounds like to me too, you would still have the wire the coil and that could be metered.
_________________________
101° Rx = + /_\

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#164684 - 06/08/07 05:18 PM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: ITO]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Yes, if it were possible, it would be metered, and it is nothing new to get excited about, it was printed in publication that also interviews flying saucer visitors, wireless power transmission, has been around for many years, in the past they have tried pulse transmision, frequency chopping, and just about every type of wave guide you can imagine. The Dr that thinks he hit on something new, has to cut down on his coffee, and stop puffing the weed. I would not be in a hurry to scrap any cable in the near future.


Edited by LK (06/08/07 05:22 PM)

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#164707 - 06/09/07 12:18 AM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: LK]
trollog Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 273
Loc: San Diego California USA
"Breakthrough"? "New"?

where's that pic of the 4' fluorescent
tubes being lit by mere proximity to HV distribution towers when you need it.. and I daresay it works at more than 9'....

ECN newsflash-

Yes, and I have an invention that will revolutionize transportation. It's called the wheel


n a breakthrough that sounds like something out of Star Trek, they have discovered a way of 'beaming' power across a room into a light bulb, mobile phone or laptop computer without wires or cables.

In the first successful trial of its kind, the team was able to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb 7ft away.

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#164710 - 06/09/07 04:11 AM Re: The end of the plug? [Re: trollog]
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Well I thought this was a joke, I was apparently wrong.

I did some more checking and found that the research was done at MIT. I went to MIT's own site and found their side of it.

In my opinion the original link exaggerated the potential a bit, it appears they are thinking of low power items.

"MIT team experimentally demonstrates wireless power transfer, potentially useful for powering laptops, cell phones without cords"

Here is the MIT News story with more technical details.

Goodbye wires…
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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