An Emerging Cure for Charging Anxiety
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