Wireless Electricity is No More a Dream
A century ago, the greatest Inventor of the modern era, Nikola Tesla demonstrated that transmitting electricity without wires was possible. Now, an energy startup named Emrod has come up with a very real solution to transmit electricity wirelessly. It’s an answer to the power supply and distribution problems across the world.
According to the Emrod founder Greg Kushnir, “We have an abundance of clean hydro, solar, and wind energy available around the world but there are costly challenges that come with delivering that energy using traditional methods, for example, offshore wind farms or the Cook Strait here in New Zealand requiring underwater cables which are expensive to install and maintain.”
The startup can bring down the cost for installation and maintenance associated with lines and cables for power distribution by up to 85% making it economically viable for harnessing sustainable energy resources.
Wireless electricity or wireless power transmission involves sending power from one location to another without the need for copper wires. It’s quite similar to charging a cell phone wirelessly but on a much larger scale.
Emrod uses its proprietary beam shaping, metamaterials, and rectenna technology.
How the Technology Works?
A transmitting antenna is required to send the energy, and a receiving antenna (called rectenna) to receive and rectify the beam back to electricity. A relay between the two antennas serves the purpose of stretching the distance the energy can traverse.
Normally, such technology seems impractical because of issues due to the loss of signal strength while transmitting through the air. But Emrod’s relay technology makes it possible by focusing the beam without using or losing any power.
The “rectenna” transforms magnetic waves into electricity. A pole-mounted square element serves as the pass-through point that keeps electricity beaming along, and a broader surface area helps to catch the entire wave.
The beams use electromagnetic frequencies in the ISM band as used in Bluetooth or WiFi. Also, point-to-point transmission ensures that the energy is not spilled (lost) round the beam. A low-power laser fence surrounds the beam preventing anything to intersect it. If something intersects the beam, say a bird, it instantly shuts down. What it means is that the bird or any object never touches anything, unlike 5G that spreads electromagnetic radiations everywhere that inevitably hit the human body.
The interesting part of the technology is the new materials (the metamaterials) that have enabled Emrod to convert energy back into electricity quite efficiently making the technology commercially viable.
- Power can be brought to more remote & inaccessible places that just can’t afford to have the physical infrastructure needed for power distribution.
- It can turn many places environment friendly, particularly those that are not connected with the grid and hence rely on diesel generators.
- Wireless power transmission can enable nations to access off-shore renewable energy.
- For wireless electricity to work, the only requirement is to have a direct line of sight from one end to the other. With further scaling and adaptation, Emrod technology can power electric vehicles & ‘in-flight’ drones.
Emrod technology will be tested for the first time by Powerco, New Zealand’s second-largest electricity distribution company.
According to the founder, the technology will be first tested by sending a few kilowatts over shorter distances within New Zealand. The power load and distance can be scaled up to any limit with bigger rectennas.
To Wrap Up
The project has been funded by the government for building a prototype. For almost a century, wireless electricity has remained more like science fiction and a subject of curiosity for most tech enthusiasts. Now, this startup is about to bring this technology to reality.
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