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John O | May 2017

Witricity using magnetic resonance to widen transmission gap in wireless charging

Witricity, a company based out of Watertown, Mass. and founded on technology created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is looking to make wireless charging more efficient and with a higher range thanks to its work with magnetic resonance, according to an article on IEEE Spectrum.


Witricity is using magnetic resonance to expand the range of wireless chargers.


The article explained, “WiTricity’s technology has the ability to charge multiple devices at once, over distances and through materials like wood, plastic, granite, and glass. Companies such as Toyota, Intel, and Thoratec have already licensed the technology for use in hybrid-electric vehicles, smartphones, wearable electronics, and heart pumps.”


According to the article, the system is called highly resonant wireless power transfer and it works through oscillating, time-varying magnetic fields that are created when an alternating current passes through a coil acting as a power source. An amplifier controls the power levels of the magnetic fields.


It continued, “A capture device, which acts as a receiver and captures the magnetic field, contains another coil tuned to the same frequency as the source. The field converts the magnetic energy back to radiofrequency alternating current in the receiver, which can then be used as a new local power source after being rectified and regulated by power electronics.”


Using magnetic resonance offers greater flexibility in terms of positioning. No longer does a wireless phone or an electric vehicle have to be in direct contact with the charging station, only in proximity. Resonant repeaters can also be used to extend the range of the charger.


It also removes the limitation of one-to-one charging; allowing for multiple devices to be charged even if there are different power requirements.


The Witricity website stated, “At WiTricity we aim to make the charging of one’s devices or vehicles seamless, making charging just a natural act in the course of typical usage. Drive your electric vehicle into the garage, and it just starts charging. Place your smartphone on your desk, kitchen counter or bedside table and it just starts charging.”


The company has also demonstrated that its charger is not limited by materials, such as walls, but can be transmitted through stone, wood, glass, concrete, and more. Witricity added, “While metal has traditionally been viewed as a barrier to the magnetic fields utilized in resonance, WiTricity has developed the expertise to create tuned magnetic windows and now supports metal backed devices.”


The company’s ability to scale its chargers makes it possible for the technology to be applied to phones and other consumer products all the way up to cars.


Read more about the technology and its potential at http://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/advanced-cars/witricity-leverages-magnetic-resonance-for-flexible-wireless-charging.


Learn more about Witricity in the video below:

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