Wireless Charging for the Future

This article originally appeared on EEWeb.com

Research and development in this generation is constantly evolving. The demand for power electronics, in particular, is changing dramatically. The rapidity with which technologies have impacted consumers’ habits and customs is unrivaled in the past, as they were technologically far behind. Consumers’ energy and charging habits have significantly changed in the last two or three years, and wireless technologies have fully integrated into their daily lives. Powercast helps customers solve many remote wireless charging challenges, powering wireless sensor networks, waterproof designs, reusable smart bands, RFID tags, and many other commercial and industrial devices while launching solutions designed to power consumer electronic devices and patenting many new ideas and solutions.

Electricity is becoming increasingly important

The number of devices is undoubtedly growing. All application sectors involve the use of electronic equipment and circuits, which, of course, work with electricity. Artificial intelligence is contributing to the growth of users, and future generations will undoubtedly use technology extensively in everyday life. These devices require electricity, and the key concern is the batteries. Not only are they hefty, but they also need to be replaced on a regular basis and may possibly fail.

A green future

The need for a clean future and an unpolluted environment has become critical, and the subject has risen to the forefront of any technological conversation. The number of discarded batteries currently ending up in landfills is enormous. There are billions of them, and mines, soils, and underground aquifers are becoming increasingly contaminated. Some drastic but necessary and effective actions could include abandoning the use of batteries completely or implementing rechargeable batteries, which would prevent them from being discarded or, at the very least, ensure that they are disposed of every five or six years.

No actual energy loss

Imagine a Wi-Fi system that enables you to turn off house lights and other heavy loads when users are not physically present in a particular room. You’re making a big mistake if you focus on the simple power usage of the single device that controls and regulates the lights. So let’s take a closer look at the situation. The device in the example uses only 10 mW of power while absorbing 1 W of power from the home outlet to the wall. The usage of this device appears to be strongly discouraged. So if you look at the circuit from only this perspective, it’s actually quite inefficient and certainly not “green.” “Looking deeper into the true function of the charging device will reveal other wonders,” said Charles Goetz, CEO and chairman of Powercast. “The real job of the 10-mW sensor is to turn off the water heater, turn off the lights, and turn off other larger loads, and seen from this perspective, in one year, several kilowatts of electricity are being saved. Therefore, if you look at the issue from a pure physics perspective, we are actually making inefficient use of energy, but if you look at the real reason why that energy is being used and controlled, then it turns out that saving money in a year is really high and that sensor is very useful.” The transmitter in use, for example, works 24/7 and would consume a few euros in a year’s electricity bill. But these few euros make it possible to cut an annual expense of thousands of dollars if all utilities are used wisely and intelligently. There are many examples: For instance, the contactless charging of a hypothetical hand sanitizer station, otherwise powered by batteries, could be recharged at an extremely low annual cost (in the order of a few euros) using a Powercast transmitter. If adopted by a department store, the use of thousands of batteries could be avoided, resulting in saving money and reducing landfills. Another example involves charging Fluke digital multimeters (see Figure 1), one of Powercast’s most-used diagnostic tools, so that the company’s engineers can simply position and charge them automatically overnight.

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