As a society, we've been almost desperate in our need to recharge our phones and laptops and locate the cords and electrical outlets to make it happen. Now scientists at Disney Research have a found a way to turn an entire room in a wireless charging space.
Their method, called quasistatic cavity resonance, has the potential to make wireless electrical power as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi. Just walk into a room and your device starts charging.
To develop the proof of concept, principal research scientist Alanson Sample and his colleagues built a 16'x16' room framed with aluminum supports and sheathed in aluminum walls. At the center of the room, they erected a copper pole containing 15 capacitors, devices used to store an electric charge.
Outside of the room, the scientists placed a generator and amplifier that produced a radio frequency signal and connected it by wire to a device called a drive coil placed inside the room.
When they switched on the generator, the signal moved to the drive coil, which broadcast it to the capacitors in the pole. An electric current was produced that traveled through the pole, ceiling, walls and floor. It created a uniform magnetic field that filled the room.
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A receiver coil that resonates at the same frequency as the magnetic field was able to pick up that magnetic field and turn it into power.
"One of the remarkable things about this room is that with the appropriate receiver design, we can power many devices simultaneously," associate research scientist Mark Chabalko says in the video below.
In the experiment, the scientists were able to power ten different objects at the same time, including a smartphone, a lamp, a fan, and an RC car, to name a few.