Thursday, August 28, 2008

Intel's wireless power

Intel has demonstrated a wireless power system sufficient to power a 60-watt light bulb, which they say is enough to drive a laptop. (Report here.)

They say the power is transmitted via magnetic fields:

"It turns out the human body is not affected by magnetic fields; it is affected by elective [sic - electric] fields. So what we are doing is transmitting energy using the magnetic field not the electric field."

I'm quite rusty on the physics, but I imagine it might involve some sort of inductance, which involves the transfer of energy between magnetic and electric forms.

Looking at the bottom of my laptop, I see 19V by 4.74A, which would mean it's running at about 90 W. Right order of magnitude, and my one would not be the most efficient one on the market.

I'm not sure the human body is unaffected by magnetic fields, but it's plausible the numbers stated would make for a fairly small field. It's not the broadcast power of science fiction dreams: I imagine the application of this technology would be limited by distance to quite local appliances. Thus it's understandable that a company like Intel would be interested in investing.

1 comment:

combizs said...

This is nice that more companies are getting involved in the wireless electricity revolution.

I know that a company called PowerBeam is also involved in the wireless era and they safely transmit energy through optical energy, instead of the copper wires and the electro-magnetic field.

By using optical energy they can send energy over long-range distances. Their device also has a safety system so that it shuts down if anything is close to the beam.

I'm not exactly sure how efficient their system is but if you're interested in more info check out