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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wireless charging....how it came about....and is it worth it?

Your phones battery shows 5% left, so you head out to the living room and plop the phone down onto the wireless charging matt. It's true...wireless charging has a real "cool" factor....but is it really worth it?....and how exactly does it work?


How it started

Wireless charging is not new, but the technology in in it's current (pun!!) form is. In 1831 Micheal Faraday discovered electrical induction during an experiment using two wires wrapped around an iron ring. He expanded on the idea with the theory of "lines of force", but this theory was rejected by scientists of the day due to the lack of mathematical formulas.
Tesla demonstrating wireless transmission of electrical current
Soon after, Nicolas Tesla brought the idea further in 1890, lighting Geissler tubes and incandescent light bulbs across a stage during public demonstrations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transfer#Tesla







Inductive charging works using an electromagnetic field between two objects. a coil in the pad creates a magnetic field which induces a current in another coil, in the phone, charging its battery. The stronger the magnet and the current in the first coil, the increase of the induction and power transfer. There are two different types of wireless charging standards today; Qi and Powermat. They both use the same inductive charging, however the charging rate and current are different.












Is it worth it?

So it's a real cool technology, but it's more like a *"proof of concept" than a major jump in technology where it can be used to a full potential. So before you plop $10-$30 for a charging mat, think about three main disadvantages which involve wireless charging.

1. The mat is the charging platform....so that still needs a source of electricity. But the phone needs to remain on the mat in order to charge......so much for true freedom.
2. The charge/current will still be weaker and slower than directly plugging in your phone to a charger. On the average wireless pads take 25% more to charge a phone than direct cords.
3. The charging mats create heat.....alot of heat. And heat is the evil enemy of cell phones.

The future of wireless charging

It's still in it's infancy, and wireless charging has a lot of potential, especially in the automotive industry.
Were not talking having your car charge on the driveway charging....we're talking about wireless charging your Tesla WHILE your driving!
The UK has already spent $300,000 investigating the feasibility of "Dynamic charging".....electric roadways which charge the car while driving on the roadway. The UK has setup an 18 month trial for the testing.



So wireless charging has alot of potential, and if you find you're walking down the street and you realize you only have 2% before your phone dies you can stop into a Starbucks for a quick charge (enough to get the phone usable), but in the long run.....you'll probably be better off just buying a longer cord.

*Proof Of Concept is the realization that an idea, technology or otherwise, has practical potential, but yet the application of the idea or technology has yet to be feasible.




 
 
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