An Emerging Cure for Charging Anxiety

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Wireless Power Transfer Is Booming Area of Innovation and Product Development

An EPRI study has found that “wireless power transfer” offers a potential technological cure for charging anxiety—which affects electric vehicle drivers, cell phone users, and traveling office workers with laptop computers. EPRI examined a range of innovations, navigating more than 300 companies offering about 800 products as of mid-2015, where technologies most used rely on inductive couplinginductive coupling and resonant couplingresonant coupling.

EPRI’s research provides a broad look at diverse technologies and applications, including:

  • Promising electric utility applications include power plant sensors, in-motion electric vehicle charging, and power delivery during outages after major storms.
  • Major companies such as IKEA, AirCharge, McDonalds, and Marriott have deployed wireless chargers for mobile devices in their products and facilities.
  • Researchers are exploring diverse breakthrough technologies, such as transmitting power by light and “beaming” power from solar plants in space to receivers on earth.
  • Environmental benefits through elimination of batteries, power cords, wires, and other charging infrastructure for personal electronics.
  • Potential safety risks—such as injuries that may occur when people or animals cross wireless power transmission paths—still need to be investigated.

Artwork by Kirk Anderson