The Power Matters Alliance (PMA) is a group of companies and government and academic bodies that wish to promote the concept of wireless power delivery to mobile devices. The smartphone is a 21st century invention, but the dream of wireless power transmission is at least a century old. My articles Wireless hype existed a hundred years ago, also and Wardenclyffe site to be acquired for proposed Tesla museum touched on this ancient dream. Tesla and Marconi dreamed of long-distance wireless power transmission. The PMA’s goals are more modest: they want you to place your phone on a hot-plate at Starbuck’s, where it will receive power through the miracle of inductive coupling. (Discovered by Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry c 1831, electromagnetic induction is the principle behind transformers and motors.)
As part of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections program, the PMA is fleshing out a suite of standards that provide advanced wireless power – called ‘Power 2.0’
It sounds good, but there’s one pesky law of physics that interferes: The efficiency of inductive coupling is inversely proportional to the distance between the two coils.
Meanwhile, in the world of wired battery chargers . . .
In 2009, all GSM phone manufacturers except Apple agreed on a standard low-voltage DC charger-to-phone interface specification (GSM phones will have a standard battery charger), which was a big step forward.
The PMA has lofty goals:
It is estimated that by 2020 wireless charging could offset the equivalent of 289.4 million metric tons of CO2 and the equivalent of 482 100MW power plants. These savings could amount to a cancellation of the entire embedded energy usage of external power supplies by over 118%, thereby saving the unnecessary disposal of an estimated 4.5 billion transformers and associated toxic components into landfills.
It’s going to be tough to achieve good efficiency. I wish them luck.
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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695