Disney Research has created a prototype of a room which is capable of wirelessly providing power to phones and household devices.
"Our simulations show we can transmit 1.9 kilowatts of power while meeting federal safety guidelines", Matthew Chabalko, associate research scientist at Disney Research in Pittsburgh, said. They published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE.
Free-roaming wireless power has been a dream of engineers since the days of Tesla and Edison waging their war of innovation but a number of technical hurdles have prevented it from becoming a reality.
Research scientists at Disney Research in the United States are introducing quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), which can enable cabinets, rooms, and warehouses, to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained almost anywhere within. These receivers can be connected to a device, like a phone or fan, to supply it with power. In its center was a copper tube between the floor and the ceiling, with a current running through it. The middle of the pipe was cut out and in the gap the researchers placed fifteen capacitors, "and it's those capacitors that set the electromagnetic frequency of the structure, and can find the electric fields". Following this, uniform magnetic fields are generated and these permeate the room's interior.
The researchers at Disney have successfully come up with a methodology using the Quasistatic Cavity Resonance (QSCR) technology to provide wireless power at full coverage of a room the size of a standard living room. It involves bringing 1900 watts of energy that can charge with an efficiency rate of 40 to 95 percent.
There are a couple of issues, though.
There are certain conditions that need to be followed in order to achieve a room-scale wireless power delivery. Also, the circular nature of the magnetic field produced means receivers only work when at right angles to it, although this can be solved with three coils pointing in different directions. Firstly, so that the human body doesn't absorb harmful levels of energy, humans must remain at least 46 centimeters away from the copper pole.
Secondly, while around 100 watts of power can be transmitted into the room safely, there would need to be a significant amount of utility taking place.
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