Is this another version of the Tesla Tower? Powerco, the second largest electricity distributor in New Zealand, has recently joined hands with startup Emrod to commence testing on remote wireless power transmission through microwave energy, which is expected for delivery in October, and may become the first commercial remote wireless power transmission system in the world.
Remote power transmission is not entirely a new idea, as Nikola Tesla had discovered in 1890 that power is capable of contactless transmission. Tesla planned to conduct tests through the 187-foot tall Tesla Tower that consists of a 68-foot diameter dome, and commenced experiments way before the construction was complete. It is said that the Tesla Tower is able to provide electricity to areas beyond 3.2km, and generate 300,000 watts of power, as well as 39km of lightning, though the tower was not considered a success since it not only burned down the local generator that led to a power cut in Colorado Springs, but the tower was also demolished in 1917 due to the fall out with the investor.
After 130 years, Emrod has also introduced a new form of remote power transmission that has a different concept to that of Tesla Tower. The equipment researched and developed by Emrod receives and emits through microwave, which achieves remote power transmission through relays and rectifying antennas, and uses a microwave frequency of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that are within the frequency range of non-ionization industry, science, and medical field, making the equipment appearing to be just like any other ordinary machinery from afar.
The rectifying antenna is a component integrated with the rectifier with antenna equipment, and has been commonly used for RFID since its invention in the 1960s, which is also capable of converting radio waves and infrared lights into direct current, apart from information storage and disposal, as well as radio frequency modulation. Greg Kushnir, founder of Emrod, believes that the research team is able to transmit 100 times the power in a longer distance through the same technology, and an electricity meter will not be required for installation since this equipment needs a receiver of special frequency to receive electricity.
Kushnir commented that the new technology will help elevate the market attractiveness, which also indicates that the business philosophy of Powerco has taken a major step forward. Nicolas Vessiot, Manager of Power Grid Transformation for Powerco, expressed that the company wishes to know if the technology of Emrod is able to complement the existing technology of electricity provision, and hopes to apply the relevant technology in remote areas or regions with relatively more complicated topography.
Emrod has managed to produce a prototype of a few kw, with a transmission distance of roughly 40m, though the company commented that the restriction from the testing equipment has prevented from providing equipment of larger power in terms of the technical aspect. Emrod states that the company is currently establishing a machine of larger power for Powerco that is expected for delivery in October.
However, Emrod did not clearly indicate the physical dimension of the final form of the equipment. Kushnir commented that the dimension of the machine is dependent on the required volume of power transmission, and the larger the energy, the larger surface area and further distance is required.
Kushnir expressed that microwave is not impacted by rain, fog, and smog, where the transmitted energy is only dependent on the consistency between the relays. Thus, the specific technology will preserve thousands of US dollars on the infrastructure cost of electric equipment. A successful implementation of wireless power provision means that the concern over damaged copper wires and cable depletion will no longer exist.
Nonetheless, a further study and clarification is still required to find out if this type of wireless power transmission affects the natural environment and the ecology of wild animals, or if the blockage from flying birds or leaves on the receiver will result in signal losses.
(Cover photo source: Emrod)