Friday, February 22, 2008

The end of wires?

Just as I got to work today I received one of my email newsletters that I subscribe, one of the news there caught my eyes:

Wireless Power
Physicist Marin Soljacic is working toward a world of wireless electricity.

For generations we’ve dreamed of such thing. Dozen sci-fi flicks exploit this. I can even remember some Star Trek episodes where the transferring of energy between ships across space.

But can it really be?

I have a background in electronics and ever since I started learning about electrons and energy, there were wires.

For what I could gather from the article it requires a special setup using resonance to accomplish the transmission and, so far, what was accomplished was to make a light bulb goes on.

It seems a little, but you need to remember that Edison marveled us with the very same feat.

Transmitting energy always involves some degree of lost power due the transmission itself. Transmitting it wirelessly, according to the article, has a huge energy loss. Actually around 50% of the energy is lost during the transmission. And they will settle if they are able to reduce the waste to 20%.

In a world that is struggling for renewable energy sources, creating a new way to transmit energy that has a huge amount of loss seems a little off the mark.

However, we always seem willing to pay a little extra for comfort.

If we only knew how much will be the price tag…


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