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Wireless Charging Breakthrough May Revolutionize the Electric Vehicle Industry

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The time necessary to charge the batteries of electric vehicles, and the speed at which they discharge make them impractical for anything more than short commutes (except for Teslas, of course).

If we are to add the scarcity of refueling stations, it becomes apparent why so few individuals have decided to use them.

While the upcoming Tesla Model 3 promises to have a greater range, it is unlikely that it will have a charge time shorter than what it would take to refuel a diesel car.

However, Stanford University scientists have been successful in transferring electricity wirelessly to a moving object. Should this technology be developed further, it may turn the tables on petrol-fueled cars. Essentially, it would completely eliminate the range issue of electric cars, as it would enable them to recharge while being driven.

The core concept is that the car would be recharged through a coil attached at the bottom of the car, which would receive power from power lines embedded in the road.

As interesting as all this may sound, the team has only succeeded in transferring enough electricity to power a 1-milliwatt LED bulb. Much more research and development would be required in order to transmit enough electricity to power an electric car.

Basic Principles and Lifestyle Implications of Using Wireless Charging

In order to wirelessly transfer electricity, the team had to use a magnetic resonance coupling, where an oscillating magnetic field would be created by the electricity moving through wires. This field causes the electrons in coils of wire placed in the proximity to oscillate, thus enabling the transference of power.

One of the issues of this technology, that the team had to overcome, is the fact that both the transmitting and the receiving coils must be stationary or continuously tuned. The scientists at Stanford found that the solution is to use a voltage amplifier and a feedback resistor in order to replace a radio-frequency source in the transmitting coil.

As a result, this enabled the transmission of electricity across as much as 3 feet, without having to compensate for movement.

The technology promises to revolutionize the EV industry, however, its uses may also provide new technological opportunities in terms of robotics, wearable devices, and home appliances. It would practically enable us to power any and every device, without having to plug it in.

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