North West | Energy, utilities | Technology & innovation
Wireless power transfer, St. Petersburg style
12 Dec '16
Russian researchers have tested their wireless power transfer (WPT) device. The instrument, consisting of two ceramic disks, is said to be able to operate at a distance of up to 16cm and a low loss of just 10% of original energy, portal Scientific Russia reported.
To test their small WPT prototype, Polina Kapitanova, a senior research fellow from the nanophotonics and metamaterials chair at St. Petersburg-based ITMO University, and her colleagues used ceramic resonators. The results of the research and tests have been published in English in Applied Physics Letters.
The WPT concept was first suggested by ITMO at the beginning of this year. The research team then elected to use spherical dielectric resonators made of microwave ceramics with what they underscored as “colossal dielectric permittivity.” In their most recent experiments, a flat form of resonators was used.
“We were able to quintuple the distance of power transfer and made the system more resistant to the resonators’ misalignment and mutual rotation. That is expected to give the future user more leeway. Unlike the spherical form we opted for earlier, the flat form is more practical and makes it possible to use our technology in more compact devices,” Ms. Kapitanova said.
The new system is reported to have matched the efficiency of the WiTricity, the device known to be the world’s most efficient to date. What appears to offer a huge competitive advantage is the Russian solution’s higher resistance to variations in the mutual orientation of the device’s receiving part and the source of energy. According to the authors, the system can transfer power to a distance even with the disks’ mutual 4-5cm misalignment, and the transfer still continues with one of the disks rotated at an angle of up to 60 degrees.
Possible applications for this technology are wide and include a range of areas, from wirelessly charging portable electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. to benefitting advanced projects in medicine, the automotive sector, sensor networks, and many others.