New Companies Aim to Power Entire Homes Wirelessly
Soon, computer gadgets and mobile devices will not be the only things that are wireless. A new start up company called WiTricity may change the world as we know it. “We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires. I can’t even imagine how things will change when we live like this,” Dr. Katie Hall, Chief Technology Officer, told CNN.
Dr. Hall began envisioning a future using wireless electricity with a single light bulb. During initial experiments, Hall powered a bulb in the exact middle of a room — without any wired connections from the floor, walls, or ceiling. WiTricity is now working on wirelessly powering entire homes.
How does it work?
“A coil of electrical wire generates a magnetic field when power is attached,” CNN explains. “We’re not actually putting electricity in the air. What we’re doing is putting a magnetic field in the air,” Dr. Hall adds. “When you bring a device into that magnetic field, it induces a current in the device, and by that you’re able to transfer power.”
Right now, WiTricity can successfully power TVs and laptops — and charge cellphones — all without electrical cords and wiring. In homes of the future, CNN likens wireless electricity to the ease and convenience of today’s wireless internet.
WiTricity is also working on a wireless electric car charger, and even taking steps to revolutionize the medical community. For example, a wireless “left-ventricular assist device” — or heart pump — is in the works. Company officials explain that the current wireless technology is new and innovative — and different from Nikola Telsa’s famous, and much earlier, experiments.
“In that case they might have been thinking about Niagara Falls generating the power and getting it to New York City — and that’s a long distance. We’re not proposing that the technology we have here at WiTricity would be used for that kind of application,” Dr. Hall told CNN. “When we came around, power’s already being transferred by wires to homes and rooms and things of that nature, so we had a much different problem, which was really just this much shorter distance.”
“I think it will eventually happen. It’ll probably start off small,” says Wendell Peterson, General Manager of The Rock Island Street Clock Company. “We already have a solar power clock, and we can also use lithium power, so why not?”