Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Technology

Live from CES: Power Without Wires?

DiscoblogBy Tyghe TrimbleJanuary 10, 2008 6:56 AM
ecoupledpowerces.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Wireless power: We’ve seen it in MIT’s media lab, some predicted it would take over the world and, finally we see it coming out in products. Well, at least one product. eCoupled (owned by Fulton Innovations), hopes to be at the front of this emerging market. They introduced their brand of wireless power in, of all things, a water purifier. Ten years ago the company was having problems with an ultraviolet light and carbon-block filter water purifier. They were getting unwanted hot water caused by the ultraviolet lamp and a unit that was too large, and corrosion of metal-to-metal electrical connections. So they looked towards a connector-free energy-transfer technology to connect the base of the unit and the top. They say they ended up reducing energy consumption and ambient heat by nesting a connector-less ultraviolet lamp inside a submersed carbon filter. This solution also apparently reduced the size of the system and got rid of exposed electrical connections. Now, the company is looking to take this solution and pursue a more difficult task—use it to make power hubs for devices that can charge without connectors. So far, they’ve come up with interesting but fairly unimpressive demos. One demonstration involves a laptop on of a desk that has a wireless charger, which is about the width and length of the laptop’s base and a quarter-inch thick, attached beneath. When the laptop is moved over the wireless hub, it begins charging. Basically, the charger reads the battery in the device it is about to charge, determining the power needed, the age of the battery, and charging life-cycles, and then appropriately couples the power circuit. The eCoupled devices so far provide up to 2 kilowatts of energy transfer at no more than several inches away. This isn’t the room-charging device that some have been speculating is just around the corner, but it is a step towards a wireless-energy world.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In