What is Wireless Power Transmission/Transfer ?
Wireless power transfer is a generic term for a number of different technologies for transmitting energy by means of electromagnetic fields. This is a wide-sweeping field within which there are many different applications and technologies.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Wireless power transmission is the act of delivering meaningful amounts of energy without moving or employing mass between transmitter and receiver. Electromagnetic fields convey power across space. It can replace the need for wires and batteries to provide a more convenient, mobile and safer way to provide energy.
According to early history, Heinrich Hertz was the first to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves. Hence the name “hertz” as the unit for frequency.
Image Source: Emrod
As quoted on Wikipedia, Wireless power transfer (WPT), wireless power transmission, wireless energy transmission (WET), or electromagnetic power transfer is the transmission of electrical energy without wires as a physical link. In a wireless power transmission system, a transmitter device, driven by electric power from a power source, generates a time-varying electromagnetic field, which transmits power across space to a receiver device, which extracts power from the field and supplies it to an electrical load. The technology of wireless power transmission can eliminate the use of the wires and batteries, thus increasing the mobility, convenience, and safety of an electronic device for all users. Wireless power transfer is useful to power electrical devices where interconnecting wires are inconvenient, hazardous, or are not possible.
Image Showing: Tesla demonstrating wireless transmission by "electrostatic induction" during an 1891 lecture at Columbia College. The two metal sheets are connected to a Tesla coil oscillator, which applies high-voltage radio frequency alternating current. An oscillating electric field between the sheets ionizes the low-pressure gas in the two long Geissler tubes in his hands, causing them to glow in a manner similar to neon tubes.
Short-Range Power Transmission:
Short-range is typically power transmission within centimetres and metres. The most common wireless power transmission technique is with Inductive Power Transfer, where power is transferred utilizing a magnetic field using inductive coupling between two coils of wire.
Examples of short-range power transmission by this definition include powering devices wirelessly within a house or building and charging electric cars using a resonant magnetic induction pad on the ground.
Long-Range Power Transmission:
Long-range is typically power transmission of 100’s of metres or across kilometres. One technique of power transmission is using antennas to send electromagnetic beams, like microwaves or lasers. The limitation with using inductive coupling power transmission in long-range is that the magnetic field decays quite rapidly when the distance between the transmitter and receiver is increased. Therefore, electromagnetic beaming is more appropriate for this reason.
Long-range power transmission with antennas can be categorised into Near-Field or Far-Field. In the near-field, one can observe plane waves with very little to no beam divergence. Conversely, in the far-field there is significant beam divergence, and inverse squared decay for the power density with distance, something which is not observed in the near-field.
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