A study by Nadeem Javed, Ngoc-Luu Nguyen, Syed Farhan Ali Naqvi, and Jinyong Ha published in the journal Optics Express has for the first time exhibited how power can be safely transmitted wirelessly through the air at distances of over 100 feet (30m).
Imagine walking into an airport, and your phone starts charging automatically. This could be real soon.
In this recently published paper, the researchers describe their new system, which uses infrared light to safely transfer high levels of power. Laboratory tests showed that it could transfer 400 mW of light power over distances of up to 30 meters. This power is enough for charging sensors, and with further development, even mobile devices.
“The ability to power devices wirelessly could eliminate the need to carry around power cables for our phones or tablets,” said research team leader Jinyong Ha from Sejong University in South Korea. “It could also power various sensors such as those on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors used for monitoring processes in manufacturing plants.”
In the past, it has been difficult to safely send enough power over meter-level distances. To overcome this challenge, the researchers optimized a method called distributed laser charging, which provides safe high-power illumination with less light loss.
“While most other approaches require the receiving device to be in a special charging cradle or to be stationary, distributed laser charging enables self-alignment without tracking processes as long as the transmitter and receiver are in the line of sight of each other,” said Ha. “It also automatically shifts to a safe low power delivery mode if an object or a person blocks the line of sight.”