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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Wireless Power

  • On November 15, 2006

Only a couple of posts ago I showed the novel uses of Electroluminescence in electrical cabling to create awareness of power use but perhaps soon the transfer of energy will become entirely invisible. US researchers have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players wirelessly. The team of physicists have investigated "resonance", a phenomenon that causes an object to vibrate when energy of a certain frequency is applied as a method of transferring energy to a wide range of devices. Instead of using acoustic vibrations, the team’s system exploits the resonance of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic radiation includes rad waves, infrared and X-rays. Typically, systems that use electromagnetic radiation, such as radio antennas, are not suitable for the efficient transfer of energy because they scatter energy in all directions, wasting large amounts of it into free space. To overcome this problem, the team investigated a special class of "non-radiative" objects with so-called "long-lived resonances". When energy is applied to these objects it remains bound to them, rather than escaping to space. "Tails" of energy, which can be many metres long, flicker over the surface. "If you bring another resonant object with the same frequency close enough to these tails then it turns out that the energy can tunnel from one object to another,"… read full article

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