Wireless Power Transfer May Help Reduce Pollution Problems

In 2017, the global demand for energy increased by as much as 2.1 %. The percentage may not seem like a large number, but it surely is a gigantic figure if we consider the amount of energy required to feed this increase. Over 70% of this energy demand growth is met by non-renewable sources of energy. This has led to a tremendous increase in carbon emissions and pollution.

Increasing the share of renewable energy sources in overall energy consumption seems the only viable option to reduce the pollution. But renewable electrification poses some serious problems such as huge initial investments, location-specific nature, government policies, etc. So, our research team at VIT University is looking into ways to integrate wireless power transfer (WPT) with renewable generation to mitigate these problems for faster adoption of clean energy sources.

Space power satellites (SPS)

The idea of integration of WPT to renewable energy sources goes back to 1968 when Dr. Glaser proposed the concept of a space power satellite (SPS). The idea was to send a massive geostationary satellite into space. This satellite would harness solar energy using solar panels and transmit it to the earth via microwaves. Using appropriate apparatus on earth, the microwave beam would be converted into electricity.

According to scientific calculations, its efficiency is estimated to be double to that of ground-based PV systems. However, the problem of transportation of massive components to geostationary orbit required scientists and engineers to develop a more feasible and economical structure. It is estimated that for the project to be feasible, a heavy launch vehicle with 100-ton payload capability needs to be developed. This led to the development of the concept of a hybrid system.

In this system, an additional platform is kept floating at 6km above the ground level called a High Altitude Platform (HAP). A satellite is used to transfer power from space to HAP via LASER. This power is sent to Earth by either electrical cable or using microwave power transmission. Since it uses LASER technology to send power from space to the platform the size of the space satellite can be reduced drastically. Thus, this system diminishes the problem of transportation of heavy components to outer space andĀ the overallĀ cost of the project. It is deemed as a starting point to produce energy in the air despite the fact that this system is plagued with inherent losses at an extra transmission step. Another point to consider with a hybrid system is that it since the platform is not stationary, a beam pointing technology needs to be incorporated.

Electric vehicles (EV)

Another area where major improvements have taken place isĀ the EVĀ market. Combustion vehicle contributes a major portion towards pollution and global warming. Thus, to curb the carbon footprint of vehicles, major automobile companies has been working on the development of eļ¬ƒcient EV. For improving the market shares of EV many new features are being added with every iteration.

To date, two types of charging techniques have been developed: static charging and dynamic charging. In static charging, the vehicle is stationary and may be charged via wireless or wired means. On the other hand, in dynamic charging, the vehicle is moving while being charged by transferring power wirelessly. Rarely, a wired dynamic charging system is implemented due to problems in developing a sturdy contact. Even with these developments in EV, lack of charging stations andĀ a longĀ time to charge the batteriesĀ remainĀ major problems with EVs.

It is predicted that dynamic charging can help toĀ overcome these problems. The importance of dynamic charging can be understood when comparing the prediction of EV share by 2050. With dynamic charging predictions of EV, the share of EV is predicted to be more than 60%, whereas without dynamic charging it is only 20ā€“30%.

Many organizations, such as KAIST UniversityĀ and ORNL, are working towards the development of commercial dynamic charging systems. Researchers at KAIST have filed over 180 patents and are currently testing their sixth generation of electric vehicles in an attempt to make a universal WPT, i.e., a vehicle that can beĀ chargedĀ dynamically as well as statically.

Issues

All the notions presented are at a very primitive stage and will require a lot of research before it could be accepted as a mainstream technology. There are many issues which need to be solved at hand before WPT technology can be implemented in any kind of application.

One of the major problems can be the danger of electric shock. To ensure consumer safety, it is necessary to seal the conductors in a coil to prevent electric shocks. Another thing to consider is that high power may cause insulation or another electrical failure which may lead to a ļ¬re hazard. Also, it is likely that the microwave beam used in some WPT systems will exceed the safety standard and cause harm to humans.

Conclusion

There exist many potential WPT systems in which it can be easily integrated with renewable sources. Some of these technologies have been presented in this article to show the eļ¬€ectiveness of WPT technology.

These findings are described in the article entitledĀ Investigation of wireless power transfer applications with a focus on renewable energy, recently published in the journalĀ Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.Ā This work was conducted by Saransh Chhawchharia,Ā Sarat KumarĀ Sahoo, andĀ M.Ā Balamurugan fromĀ VIT University,Ā SukruedeeĀ Sukchai fromĀ Naresuan University, andĀ FernandoĀ Yanine from the Universidad Finis Terrae.

About The Author

Saransh Chhawchharia

Saransh Chhawchharia is a researcher affiliated with Vellore Institute of Technology. His research focuses on renewable energy and wireless power transfer.

Ā 

Speak Your Mind!

READ THIS NEXT

An Application Of Rhodium Catalyst In Directed C-H Functionalization Of Quinoline N-Oxides

Over the past few decades, transition-metal-catalyzed Cāˆ’H functionalization has emerged as a powerful strategy to synthesize complex molecules. The development of direct methods for activating the inactive C-H bonds to generate C-C bonds is more attractive but challenging due to the higher bond dissociation energy (BDE). Nevertheless, how to control the regioselectivity if the substrates […]

Plant Strategies To Control Growth And Development: Integration Of Both Signal Molecules, Auxin And Nitric Oxide

The term auxin is derived from the Greek word ā€œauxein,ā€ which means to grow or to expand and was sealed by Charles Darwin more than a century ago.Ā In ā€œThe Power of Movement in Plantsā€ (1880), Darwin first described the effects of light on the movement of canary grass coleoptiles. He demonstrated that the tip of […]

Frost Wedging

Frost wedging is the process by which water/ ice weathers and erodes landscapes through repeated freeze and thaw cycles. As water freezes it expands by 9 percent, wedging the rock apart only to melt again during the summer months. The geomorphology of subarctic environments is greatly influenced by processes associated with cycles of freezing and […]

The Impact Of Insulin Resistance On The Course Of Bipolar Disorder

Type 2 diabetes is two to three times more prevalent among people with bipolar disorder than among the general population, with over half of all people with bipolar disorder having either insulin resistance (also known as ā€œpre-diabetesā€) or type 2 diabetes. The development of type 2 diabetes typically follows a progression from normal glucose metabolism […]

What Are Enzymes?

Every second of each day, billions of chemical reactions are occurringĀ in your body. These reactions extract energy from organic material to drive biological processes. In living cells, these reactions proceed extremely quickly, but when performed in the lab, they happen much slower. Why do metabolic reactions in the human body take place much quicker than […]

Can The Subthreshold Volatile Phenol Chemistry Of A Potentially Smoke-Tainted Wine Explain Its Aroma? We Tested Twelve Commercial Red Wines To Find Out

Wine aroma is arguably the most important intrinsic factor used to judge wine quality. The perception of wine aroma is the result of a number of different factors including the composition of volatile compounds in the wine, the perceptual interactions between the volatiles, the physical and chemical effects of non-volatile components of the wine matrix, […]

Socially Thermoregulated Thinking: Temperature Fluctuations Drive Our Need For Loved Ones

Published by Hans IJzerman UniversitĆ© Grenoble Alpes, France These findings are described in the article entitled Socially thermoregulated thinking: How past experiences matter in thinking about our loved ones, recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 79 (2018) 349-355). This work was conducted by Hans IJzerman, Lison Neyroud, […]