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A4WP gains support from an industry giant

It's not at all uncommon in the technology world for multiple organizations to be competing to become the standard for new technology. This went on in the past with the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD among others. A new battle is brewing when it comes to wireless power with multiple organizations vying to be the standard.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and has added a big name to its list of supporters: Intel. “In joining A4WP, we look forward to working alongside other member companies and contributing to standards that help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessoriesto smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks," said Navin Shenoy, Intel vice president, PC client group and general manager, mobile client platform division.

The Alliance for Wireless Power has a goal of creating a "flexible wireless power" specification wireless charging that will become an industry standard.

A4WP claims to have 50 members including some major companies in the technology realm including Broadcom, Delphi, LG Electronics, and SanDisk. The technology the company is supporting uses near field magnetic resonance charging allowing charging using a loose coupling of electromagnetic fields. The technology that A4WP is backing will allow multiple devices to be placed on a single charging pad at the same time with no need to fiddle with wires.

Competitors vying to become the industry standard for wireless charging include the Wireless Power Consortium and the Power Matters Alliance. The Wireless Power Consortium is backing technology that is already available on the market called Qi and is being used by Nokia, Samsung, and LG. The specification being pushed by the Power Matters Alliance is called Power 2.0. One of the biggest backers for the Power 2.0 standard is battery giant Duracell. The battery maker is backing Power 2.0 with its subsidiary, Powermat Technologies..

A4WP Chairman Kamil Grajski said his group aims to "[Remain] above the fray of the squabble that has broken out between first-generation players WPC and PMA" and "Has kept its eye on the next generation of [wireless charging] technologies and enhanced user experience through wireless charging spatial freedom."

Sources: Computerworld, Alliance for Wireless Power [PDF]

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By danjw1 on 6/20/2013 11:00:23 AM , Rating: 1
I just don't get it, why use a technology that everyone know is going to be high in waste. Aren't we actually trying to improve efficiency? Why is it hard to plugin your hardware? Why is this the new must have feature? Are consumers too lazy to plug a cable into their phone?

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 11:08:31 AM , Rating: 4
Why do people need cars? We can just ride a bike everywhere.
Why do people need running water? We can just walk a few miles to find some fresh water.
Why do people need a refrigerator? We can just go back to having an ice man.
Why do people need a cell phone? We can just use homing pigeons.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 11:24:43 AM , Rating: 3
Motoman, I usually agree with you on many things, so I'm surprised at you attacking me here.

I believe your argument is a bit shortsighted. Charging mats are only the first step. Imagine having a "wireless power generator" in your house that can power/charge any device in the home no matter where it is located. Think beyond a charging mat and think about the longer results wireless power can result in.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 11:31:58 AM , Rating: 1
Think about the massive waste of power you're talking about with a field induction charging system of that size.

After we build our trillion-dollar smart grid, and prop up another couple dozen nuke plants, maybe I'll stop worrying about massive (and useless) wastes of power.

Until's a tragically, horrifically, mind-boggingly bad idea to use such field induction charging.

Having one of those little charge mats you drop a cell phone on? Honestly not that big a deal...the wattage in use is negligible, as is the distance that the induction field has to cover (the phone's in contact with the mat). What you're suggesting though? Nightmare.

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 11:39:28 AM , Rating: 3
Think about how inefficient cars were when they first came out. Wireless power is in it's infancy, how do you expect it to get better without taking the first step? Think about how inefficient powerplants were when they first arrived...and through years and years of use and testing and studying we have developed highly efficient nuclear power plants. Where would we be today if people had your attitude and never looked beyond the infancy of the technology?

I could not disagree with you more. Wireless power can have a huge impact, especially if they are able to make it efficient. And the only way to get there is to take the initial steps.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Again your assumption is that we know everything possible about physics and everything we do know about physics to be 100% accurate.

Science and everything we know is constantly evolving. To say that there will never be another breakthrough and that this can't be done "Period.", as you put it, is nonsense.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
Um, there are many things we learn about via science that we find are immutable.

None of us is Q from Star Trek. We can't solve a problem by "changing the gravitational constant of the universe."

An induction field is a *very* simple phenomenon. It's perfectly well understood. It is what it is, and what it is is very lossy.

I'm not saying we know "everything about physics." I'm saying we have a seriously good grasp on induction fields. And we know, for a fact, that they're really lossy.

Again, if you find a legitimate, peer-reviewed study that demonstrates how an induction field can be made to *not* be lossy, I'll accept that information. Until then, you're simply comparing apples and oranges.

RE: Lazy!
By chripuck on 6/20/2013 12:33:37 PM , Rating: 3
Your entire argument relies on induction being the only possible way to provide wireless power. Granted we have nothing legitimate on the horizon now and all current form of wireless chargers utilize induction, but that doesn't mean something can't/won't be invented/discovered in the future that changes that.

Water molecules encapsulated by carbon nanotubes that convert the heat generated from microwaves (which can be highly directional) into energy. That is complete BS and has a myriad of issues that I can't even think of (nevermind cooking everything between the device and the transmitter, water in the air etc.) but the point is that we will find a way, eventually.

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! Wish I can rate you up, but I've already commented.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 1
OK, then you go off and start working on something different than field induction then.

But you're obviously talking about doing something *completely* different that bears no resemblance to *this* topic, and therefore isn't relevant to *this* discussion.

I would LOVE to see some kind of lossless, long-distance, contactless energy transfer method. It would be awesome, and would revolutionize society worldwide.

But this isn't it.

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
Which brings us back to my original point. That the technology has to start somewhere. You can't expect to have the end all be all wireless generator without going through the infancy phases first.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're talking about something completely different. Like, ocean-wave generators instead of a coal power plant.

Building coal power plants doesn't help you develop ocean-wave generators.

And there's nothing new about field induction. We've understood it well for a long time. It's not like this is some amazing new discovery.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 11:59:21 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, based on commercially-available tech, resonance and induction mats are more efficiency the moment you put more than one device on one. There's no plug-in adapter standard or multi-port adapter. Wireless power is the only way to share one adapter between devices.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Um, no. Plugging each device into the wall will always be more efficient than any wireless system, by necessity.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 12:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
No disrespect friend, but you should probably get yourself a physics book or something.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
I did. Learned these basics of physics in high school and college.

Unless congress passed legislation changing the laws of physics when I wasn't looking, this is the way it is.

If you want to prove me wrong, find me a peer-reviewed publication outlining research that demonstrates how field induction charging can be done without massive loss.

And yes...10% loss is *massive*.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 12:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
17% is more massive than 10%, right?

Statistically speaking, nobody uses wireless power. So where is your rage for all the plug-in adapters that are losing 40% of the power feed? Most of them lose 30%?

Where has your activism been, for the entirety of human history, where adapters have to be super awesome and meet special certifications just because they only lose 20% of the power? A plurality of adapters are losing like 37% of the power feed which even just compared to an adapter that isn't that great is a 17% loss?

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and 17% loss is a likely number for the entire system of your wireless charging mats, whereas 10% loss is a likely number for just the A/C adapter you plug your phone into instead. Thank you for finally seeing the light.

You seem to be lost on the notion that the manufacturer claims the mat itself is 90% efficient - there's an A/C adapter involved in that system ahead of the mat, so at best you're 90% of 90%.

There's not much point in activism on A/C adapters...they are what they are, and if you have the opportunity to get one that's more efficient than another, then go ahead and do that. Generally speaking, the A/C adapters are as good as we can make them.

The problem you're not seeing is that you're adding *additional* loss on top of whatever loss there already is in the A/C adapter. unless you think your charging mat is just going to magically pull energy from the environment with some kind of zero-point energy generator.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 1:59:49 PM , Rating: 2
There's not much point in activism on A/C adapters...they are what they are
This argument is entirely invalid. It's simple arithmetic:

17% > 10%. A plurality of AC adapters lose about 17% of the power feed as compared to an 80% efficient adapter. Our hypothetical EV charger loses 10% by that same metric, a lower amount of power loss than 17%. Your complaint is about the 10%. I pray you can see the illogicality.

I'm not even necessarily saying drop your suit against wireless power. I'm just saying, if you won't drop it, you need to (even more seriously) go after adapters that don't hit 80% efficiency (possibly even CEC, which is 85%, or Energy Star, which is 87%). The majority of adapters actually hit about 70%, which is representative of the 10% loss you appear to lament so deeply.

17% is more than 10%. This is Kindergarten mathematics.

Also while we're on the subject of math, even if 100% of all motor vehicles were wirelessly charged EV, the cost measurement would not be total * 0.1 = loss, except in a world where the only electric devices were said vehicles. Just Saiyan.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
You need to either convert the electricity before the induction or after the induction. Just about every device has some type of converter at one point or another. The field induction part just replace the wire part.

So the converter is applied at the wall or in the device. Either way. You will lose 10% on top of the pre or post converted electricity if field induction is 90% efficient.

There is no free lunch. Wired connections are not 100% efficient either. If it was then we wouldn't need boosters.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
I should also add that resistance increases in metal as temperature increases. A hot wire can be inefficient.

I don't think a field induction system will have that problem.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm...what do you think gets the electricity to the wireless thing?

Wires. And unless you're doing something stupid, like using aluminum wires, that's negligible under the scenario we're talking about.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:33:27 PM , Rating: 1
This is the part he's missing. Somehow he's got it in his head that the A/C -> DC bit is happening for free someplace.

It's not.

The 10% loss of the field induction is ADDITIONAL to the A/C conversion loss.


RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
There's an A/C conversion happening before your wireless thing.

The wireless thing has 10% loss between it and whatever is getting charged.

There was another 10% loss at the A/C conversion before the power got to the pad.

You're right - this is kindergarten mathematics. 10% + 10% != 10%.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 2:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
I like you dude, but you're pretty bad at understanding stuff. I don't know how to do this other than in English lol.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Karim, maybe this will help you understand

efficiency = 100%(wall) X (ACDCconverterOfWirelessInductionDevice) X WirelessInductionEfficiency X Device

If you are using wired connection then you eliminate the WirelessInductionEfficiency because a normal temperature wired connection is almost 100% efficient.

The Temperature Coefficient of Copper (near room temperature) is +0.393 percent per degree C. This means if the temperature increases 1°C the resistance will increase 0.393%

If you have 1 foot of ribbon cable with a resistance of 0.0649 ohms at 20 degrees C. You plug the wire into your cable tester and keep your hands on the wire while it tests. The wire temperature goes up 10°C because of your body heat. The wire resistance will go up 0.00255 ohms (10 degrees * 0.00393 per degree * 0.0649 ohms = 0.00255 ohms) .
While the wire resistance changes about 4 percent, the total change is only 2.6 milliohms which is a very minor change.

It will take a lot before a copper wire becomes inefficient compared to field induction at 90% efficiency. But in the future, I don't see why field induction can't be more than 90% efficient.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 3:33:25 PM , Rating: 2

If we were to use Energy Star as our baseline for acceptable efficiency, we'd get a benchmark of 84% in the case of an EV. With this baseline, assuming a 10% loss is quote "massive," all adapters below 76% efficiency should be targets in Motoman's jihad. Most are below 70%.

efficiency = 100%(wall) X (ACDCconverterOfWirelessInductionDevice)* X WirelessInductionEfficiency X Device

*You Are Here

He's directly demonstrated that he's more concerned with the 10% wireless loss on an 80% efficient adapter than a 63% efficient adapter, which represents a 9% overall loss compared to the hypothetical wireless setup.

He is literally demonstrating that whatever it is he cares about, it isn't the actual power loss or economic cost. It's some kind of odd principle about only having one source of loss, or, God, I don't know.

The 63% efficient adapter is being used RIGHT NOW all over the country. The wireless EV charger, statistically, doesn't even exist. He's raging against a nonexistent machine while a real one destroys the city behind him. The argument's lack of validity is crying out to me like a baby trapped in a well.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 3:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
You're wrong.

We *have* to do A/C conversion. There's no way around it. The fact that it's not 100% efficient is irrelevant to this discussion, BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING ELSE.

You are ADDING additional loss to this system FOR NO GOOD REASON. We don't HAVE TO do wireless charging. You *want* to do wireless charging because you're indescribably lazy.

YOU are ADDING an ADDITIONAL 10% loss to this equation THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THERE.

Nothing can be done about the A/C conversion loss. Aside from perhaps finding a more efficient adapter, which I have already noted.

You are horrifically wrong, and honestly it's perfectly clear that you're aware of that now, because you're not even trying to defend yourself anymore - you're launching a baseless ad hominem attack on me because apparently you finally realized how utterly wrong you are.

A/C conversion loss: necessary evil.

Additional wireless loss on top of A/C conversion loss: unnecessary evil.

Now please STFU and GTFO because you have just proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you're horribly wrong and completely unwilling to admit it (strangely, even though you've done so in the past).

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 3:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think I've found the simplest way to say this. Please note that this is only a different wording of exactly what I've been saying this whole time:

Not all conversion is created equal. If 10% is so bad to add on top of conversion, then a conversion setup that's 10% worse is bad too.

Most stuff is not Energy Star compliant because 84% (in a high-wattage scenario) is hard (read: expensive). But it's achievable, which should make anything less unacceptable and not just wireless transfer.

By your entire metric, a wireless transfer on an 84% efficient adapter is equally as bad as a 75.6% efficient adapter, and yet you never had any hissy fits about the vast majority of power adapters, which are at and below 70% efficiency. It breaks the validity of your argument.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 4:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't.

A/C conversion is an unavoidable necessity.

The % loss due to A/C conversion is a loss that can't be avoided.

The % loss due to wireless charging, instead of wireless charging, can be entirely avoided.

And note that at no point did *anyone* say *anything* that indicated approval of the efficiency rate of A/C conversion. It is what it is and it can't be avoided, so there's frankly no point in worrying about it.

Wireless charging, on the other hand, is entirely elective and all additional losses due to that are entirely avoidable.

Good god, you just keep digging your hole deeper. You so seriously should have stopped at least a dozen posts ago.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 4:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
At this point it just seems like you're feigning ignorance for the sake of trolling.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2

You've got a serious projection problem. The very thought that you're even still trying to argue your non-case would be laughable, if it wasn't so sad.

You got caught forgetting about the fact that your precious wireless charger thingy needed A/C conversion too, and once that finally dawned on you instead of doing the decent thing and admitting that you were wrong, you just started flailing.

And you're still flailing.

Somebody get some popcorn.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 4:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Here's how this entire argument started:
A 90% transfer efficient resonance coupling on an 80% efficient adapter would be more power efficient than most plug-in adapters, none of which I've seen you complain about.
As you can see from this quote of me, I was never unaware of the power conversion before the wireless transfer.

Most adapters are less than 70% efficient. In the example I've explicitly repeated numerous times by this point, an 80% efficient adapter is still more efficient than most adapters even with a wireless transfer added on.

I described this scenario in plain English to see your response and input, which in this case was "it's still worse because it's wireless" -- a response that directly rejected simple arithmetic.

I was trying to figure out, if power efficiency is so vital to you, why you don't have the same (or any) passion about inefficient adapters. You've given no discernible response on this.

I have no way of explaining this better. I'm limited to English.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 4:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
A 90% transfer efficient resonance coupling on an 80% efficient adapter would be more power efficient than most plug-in adapters, none of which I've seen you complain about.

Your mind must have exploded when you wrote that.

Make up WHATEVER % of efficiency you want for the A/C conversion. But whatever % you come up with apply it to BOTH CASES.

If you find that the A/C adapter for your phone is unacceptably inefficient, you can get a different one.

And where, exactly, did you get an 80% figure for the A/C conversion that would happen in conjunction with your wireless thing anyway? I'm guessing thin air.

The one and only rational thing to do is to hold the A/C conversion loss as a constant, and compare from there. And it's clear that wireless is by necessity adding loss to that equation.

I was trying to figure out, if power efficiency is so vital to you, why you don't have the same (or any) passion about inefficient adapters. You've given no discernible response on this.

I have already stated NUMEROUS TIMES that there's nothing that can be done about the A/C conversion loss. It's a necessary evil, and I've also stated that if you don't like the loss of a given adapter, go and buy a different one.

But the irrefutable fact of the matter, AGAIN, is that A/C conversion is NECESSARY. The fact that energy is lost there is UNAVOIDABLE.

Is that "discernable" to you? Since it apparently wasn't the last half-dozen times I said the exact same thing.

You're a f%cking loon. Absolutely off your rocker.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 3:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know any way to say this more simply than this:

An A/C conversion is happening in BOTH cases. Use whatever % efficiency you want for that. Say it's 80%. Fine. BOTH the wired *and* wireless charging solutions have an A/C conversion that's 80% efficient (20% loss).

THEREFORE, if you plug your phone into the A/C adapter (as one normally would), you're experiencing 20% loss due to the A/C conversion from the wall. Or another way to look at it is 80% of the power that was delivered to your wall socket made it into your phone.

IF INSTEAD you are using a wireless charging thing of some kind, that in and of itself has a 90% transmission efficiency, you are now getting 90% of the 80% to the actual phone. Because you're ALREADY LOST 20% of your power due to the A/C conversion from the wall. 90% * 80% = 72%. 72% of the power that was delivered to your wall socket made it into your phone.

Wired: 80%

Wireless: 72%.

I can't make that any easier. You have COMPLETELY lost sight of the fact that someplace there's an A/C conversion happening that's in addition to the loss during wireless power transfer. Those losses are additive.

Ergo, wireless < wired. And thus it must always be, lest you actually are a god and can change the laws of physics.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 3:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
In this capitalistic world, wireless > wired. It's all about choice and sales. People only care about power plants when their power bill skyrockets or there's no power.

People will always pick convenience. Most of us who support green only do it because it makes us feel good. The best way to save energy and resources has always been to be less materialistic and buy less. Unfortunately, if we did that then the economy would tank.

The bigger fish to fry is to convert transportation to EV. If we can do that using this tech then it'll do way more good than the inefficiency it brought us.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 4:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
No, it'll crash our grid and bring major cities to a grinding halt.

Once again, if you put in a new smartgrid and a whackload of more nuke plants, such that we have a highly stable distribution network and power to spare, I no longer care about this issue.

But the unavoidable fact is thatt the existing grid is seriously creaky, and literally teeters on the edge of cascade failure every day.

Yes, people routinely choose convenience over the smart choice. But in this case, not making the smart choice can actually have seriously bad ramifications for our society as a whole.

Unless you can sh1t us a new smart grid.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/21/2013 8:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
Our grid can more than handle EVs even if 2 million of them suddenly pop up in the next hour.
^ DOE says it can handle 180mil vehicles

The US can build a new nuclear power plants faster than automakers can pump out EVs on the market. We will not have an energy problem. Perhaps a delivery problem because some of our grids are poorly maintained.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 3:47:09 PM , Rating: 2

Sorry brother, but as noted our grid is precarious as it is. Google "usa rolling blackouts" for example.

Saying "we can handle X" at this point is ridiculous, when it's clear we can't handle what we have already.

Yes, we need more nukes. Build them. We need a new grid. A true smart grid. It'll cost a trillion dollars. Build it.

But no...we don't have any excess capacity right now. Significant additions to the load on our existing system is foolhardy.

RE: Lazy!
By Mint on 6/24/2013 1:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
Your link proves nothing. The California rolling blackouts in 2005, for example, happened because a transmission line went out for a reason entirely unrelated to electricity demand. High usage already has a feedback mechanism with utilities charging notifying businesses of days that demand is expected to be higher (and hence prices will be high).

The US absolutely has excess capacity. There's over 1000 GW of generation capacity:
Average consumption is 450 GW.
Peak consumption is 782 GW:

Near field wireless power is not going to be used for major appliances, because it costs too much. It only makes sense for things that move around a lot, like cell phones or tablets. If every household in the US charged 100 Wh of batteries a day wirelessly, then 10% loss would add up to a 0.01% increase in grid load.

So stop whining.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 11:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. And apparently it's a huge hardship to have a cable of any kind. We've forgotten that our grandfathers had to walk ten miles, in the snow, uphill, both ways just to find some cables to put on their desk every day.

The thing with this kind of stuff though, like a mat you place your phone on, is that they're in contact with one another, which is quite useful in limiting the waste.

It's still wasteful, and I still can't understand why people find it so difficult to plug their stuff in - "OMG I have to plug my tablet in *every 5 days*! >:[" But it's nowhere near as wasteful as the BS about wireless EV chargers for example.

But seriously people. Get over it. You can spare 2 seconds of your life to plug something in.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 11:38:13 AM , Rating: 2
That manufacturer is claiming 90% transfer efficiency.

Your argument loses a lot of its steam at 90%. I'd say that 90% is probably the absolute threshold for acceptability though lol, but still, it's there. You can probably stand down now, soldier.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 11:58:19 AM , Rating: 1
No, 90% efficiently is a trainwreck.

Not on a scale as small as something like a pad to charge your phone, mind you (although honestly I was figuring that thing might be like 99% efficient). But on a scale of something like a wireless charger for your EV? Or a "whole-house" wireless induction field generator like the other poster was suggesting?

Yeah. That 10% would likely range into the billions of dollars of losses a year nationwide if it was actually adopted in any significant manner, and add significantly to the instability of our teetering power grid that stands ready for cascade failures pretty much all the time now.

To be honest, even 1% loss on a large scale is socially unacceptable. We're really looking to cause massive social problems with this stuff, and it's well and truly sad that so many people don't get it.

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
Motoman, your whole argument is based on the assumption that efficiency won't improve. And you can't expect the technology to improve without making the first models.

I always try to facilitate insightful conversations on these boards, but if you're going to keep up with the snarky jabs at those who propose a different viewpoint, then I lost a lot of respect for you.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
It won't. Basic law of physics...if only I had Max Faraday's phone number...

A field induction system of any size is required by physics to have a huge amount of loss. Period. You can't improve that.

If you want to change my mind on that, go and find a peer-reviewed study published in a real science journal that demonstrates how field induction can be done without massive loss.

Go on. I'll wait.

RE: Lazy!
By Solandri on 6/20/2013 2:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
We used induction coupling to recharge batteries in underwater robots, where we didn't want to expose conducting metal to the ocean. At very small distances (in our case about 1 mm), it is nearly 99% efficient.

Yes the efficiency drops off at larger distances. But think about what's being charged. We're not gonna charge electric cars with this (except for the crazy dreamers who don't understand the limitations of physics and so don't realize how foolhardy that is). The vast majority of wireless power applications are going to be charging small devices whose battery capacity is limited by size.

A cell phone battery carries about 0.07 cents worth of electricity. No phone owner is going to care about losing 10% of that in efficiency losses. The convenience far outweighs the cost. Same for something like an artificial heart implanted in someone's body. The convenience of wireless power far outweighs the cost of the lower efficiency.

You're arguing as if efficiency is the end-all be-all goal. It's not. Cost/benefit ratio is. Higher efficiency can improve that ratio by lowering cost, but so can the benefit of wireless power's convenience. Nobody is suggestion we convert our entire power grid to wireless power. Only the applications where the benefit outweighs the cost of lower efficiency.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're arguing as if efficiency is the end-all be-all goal. It's not. Cost/benefit ratio is.

No, actually I'm making the same argument you just did.

I've stated that the loss at the pad-for-your-phone thing is negligible in any case. And I noted that I had hoped it would be 99% efficient, granted that the distance is essentially zero.

And, like you, my main concern (that I've stated many times) is trying to use this for *big* stuff - like EVs.

We are in agreement on this issue.

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 12:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
This would be a valid argument if anyone ever saw you complaining about inefficient AC adapters. The good ones lose 20% of power. A lot of them lose 30%. Some lose 40%. A 90% transfer efficient resonance coupling on an 80% efficient adapter would be more power efficient than most plug-in adapters, none of which I've seen you complain about.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
You're falling into a classic logical fallacy.

The fact that an existing plug-in A/C adapter isn't 100% efficient isn't justification to add additional loss to the system.

It's like saying "well, I already have AIDS. May as well go and get herpes and hepatitis too."

Or imagine if Congress passed a budget that had a 10% bigger deficit than the last one, and their excuse was "hey, we already spend a trillion dollars more than we make every year - why not spend $1.1 trillion?"

RE: Lazy!
By karimtemple on 6/20/2013 12:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
A fallacy accusation preceding multiple fallacies. Unfortunate, lol.

I'm not justifying the additional loss. I'm questioning the integrity of your argument that "plug-in is always better," given the fact that the majority of adapters are 70% efficient or less, which would make a 90% transfer efficient coupling on an 80% efficient adapter (and there are 87% efficient adapters!) superior by your own requirements.

Sometimes it's okay to just let go and humble yourself. It's okay.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. OK, let's think about this...friend.

Your little plug-in mat thing is going to need an A/C adapter.

As noted, the A/C adapter is, for the sake of argument, 90% efficient.

Then, your mat introduces another 10% inefficiency as a function of it's wireless field induction charging to the phone (or whatever) you use it with. Now you're at 80% efficiency (or 81%, depending on how you look at it.).

Or, you can just plug your phone into the wall with it's own A/C adapter at 90% efficiency.

90% efficiency vs. 80/81% efficiency.

Are you getting any of this?

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:29:52 PM , Rating: 3
Not to be a broken record, but, YOUR ARGUMENT IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT NONE OF THESE VARIABLES WILL EVER CHANGE AND OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE AND HOW EVERYTHING WORKS IS 100% ACCURATE. Can you get it through your mind that science is constantly evolving and that if we are to ever advance beyond what we currently know, we must attempt to accomplish things that haven't been done before?!

Seriously dude! Get off your high horse for a second!

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
Can you get it through your head that some basic laws of physics can't be changed?

You're like someone who's complaining that they weigh too much, and your solution is finding a way to reduce the gravitational force.

Dude. Get a grip.

RE: Lazy!
By chripuck on 6/20/2013 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
Two words: quantum physics.

The basic laws of physics can't explain how we got here or how or universe is expanding at an accelerated rate. There are elements of our existence that we haven't even thought of, much less discovered or know how to harness.

The idea that you sit here declaring absolutely that it will never happen is the truly laughable part. You're the one who needs to get a grip.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
Two words: irrelevant assertion

Do we have lots to learn? Yup. Will we be changing long-standing theories on the way? Yup.

Is there the slightest reason to believe that the most fundamental laws of physics, like the strong and weak forces for example, can actually be *changed*?


Induction fields are very simple. They're very well understood. There's not any available information that suggests they can be changed as is being asserted.

That's not someone who needs to get a grip. That's someone who is used to using critical thinking skills.

If I ran around declaring that there were invisible green 7-D aliens that lived in my belly button, would I get to tell you that you need to "get a grip" because you wouldn't accept that assertion? Or even declare that it was reasonably possible?

No. Because it's not reasonably possible.

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
I do get what your saying about physics. Specifically electromagnetic propagation and coupling whether is be inductive or capacitive.

I do think we have the technology right now to make this work.

An antenna array with each horn having load sensing capability. The un-used antennas are shut down to a low power state when no inductive load is sensed. As someone moves through the home there is a hand off between antennas maintaining efficiency and power distribution. The exact design of the antennas, array structure, and number of antennas are all TBD... obviously.

This kind of transmit/receive array is well understood and is the basic building block of AESA type radar systems.

Once again our mil tech has what we need to change our lives. We just have to get the tech in the hands of civy engies.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
That's great in that you can have the load-sensing low-power-state thing. But when in use, the inductive field is still going to be as lossy as ever.

If you're trying to imaging some kind of directionalized energy transfer, you're not talking about an inductive field anymore. That would be something else entirely...

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 1:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
There is nothing inherently lossy about energy transfer through electromagnetism. Typically what determines this is the transmit and receive mechanism and freq charactistics. From a theoretical sense if the antennas are designed properly one could have near 100% energy transfer. This of course is ideal and we would never reach quite that high.

The transfer of energy through the inductive term of the electromagnetic field is exactly directed energy transfer. It's the receive and transmit that doesn't catch all that energy.

Also, given the weight and volume that a battery consumes for current mobile devices this could be far more profound than simply not plugging in your phone. I'm not sure who to bet on in this race- better battery tech or wireless energy transfer.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Mmmm, any kind of field induction is always going to have significant loss to the environment. My assertion is that even if the loss is dropped to like 1%, it's still an unacceptable additional amount of loss placed on top of all the other inefficiencies we already have (like the oft-mentioned-in-this-thread A/C adapter).

We've been messing with field induction for a long time...and batteries. I think there's still some marginal improvements available in both, but I don't see any reason to think there's any earth-shattering new discoveries to be made in either.

We need batteries, as a necessary part of mobile electronics. We don't really "need" wireless charging. Although as noted if we can come up with a way to do it with losses that are well and truly negligible, then I'm all for it.

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 1:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. If we are using this kind convoluted wireless scheme to simply charge a device which could be otherwise wall plugged then that is just a waste of money. I don't think the market will ever bare this out. Why buy a fancy 300$ wireless charger when I can do it faster with a 2$ plug in. We haven't even talked about the time factor between wired and wireless charging.

I think the really cool deal here is dumping the battery all together. The batteries, associated power conversions, and storage losses open up some opportunity for innovation.

IF (big if here) we could slip a true wireless mobile power source into a product with the same overall losses and footprint as a battery system then that would be a game changer. Not just for fart phones, but jesus, I've been waiting for a wireless powered signal and speaker system since I was like 12. We might have a snowballs chance at supplying the kind of wattage needed to run some 6" speakers.

I've known people with these silly mat chargers that STILL forget to put the damn phone on the thing to charge, and now instead of a quicky 30 min or something to get you back up and running they are looking at much longer... and then they plug the phone into a standard charger when their wife isn't looking LOL.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
You must hate the world then because phone wireless chargers are already standard in some cars. It doesn't cost $300, more like $100. A wired charger cost $12-30.

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 2:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
If they are standard options inside a new automobile then I don't think you really know how much they cost. You know what the dealer tells you.

The wireless chargers worth their salt and actually usable cost bucks.

It's very hard to get anything more than a trickle charge out of these things.

And on wired chargers... all depends on what your charging. I can find a wall adapter that's hundreds of dollars... but these aren't the kind of applications wireless charging is ready to tackle.

I don't know if its exactly 2$ or 300$ or whatever... they are an order of magnitude more expensive either way.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:44:18 PM , Rating: 2

charging mats are everywhere. They are wireless chargers using the same kind of tech.

The new field induction systems that actually give more distance between charger and battery will cost more now. It will be cheaper in the future when economy of scales takes place.

Whatever everyone is saying, this tech will go mainstream regardless of what "inefficiency" you may think. The overall cost of this loss is minimal overall. The convenience and simplicity it brings outweighs the cost.

GE produced a wireless charger for EVs. I don't know why you're saying we're not ready. The only reason these chargers are not ready is probably because EV is not mainstream.

RE: Lazy!
By tigz1218 on 6/20/2013 12:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
He also fails to take into consideration the amount of waste these wires take up in landfills, the amount of energy that goes into making them, shipping them, etc...

I would hate to have a mind that was bound by existing rules, never thinking that rules can be bent or broken.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
...seriously? You think you're going to compare the production cost of a wire to a lifetime's worth of massive electrical loss by field induction charging?

I would hate to have a mind that's so wildly incapable of critical thinking that you can't accept that you're wrong.

I've asked you to show me proof that I'm wrong, and you can't do so. You need to accept that you're wrong instead.

RE: Lazy!
By ikjadoon on 6/20/2013 1:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
[tips his hat]

RE: Lazy!
By protomech on 6/20/2013 1:27:21 PM , Rating: 3
This is far larger than just plugging in a phone.

Consider wifi. 10-12 years ago, you could make the argument that wifi was simply for people too lazy to plug in their computers. After all, it uses more power than wired ethernet does it not? And 802.11b was vastly slower than 100 and 1000 mbps ethernet.

Today wifi is of course not just for computers. Wifi connects everything in the house together; cellphones, IP cameras, game consoles, "the internet of things", etc.

Wireless power has the potential to do even more; particularly the spatially-independent magnetic resonance coupling the WPA is talking about. Big, power-hungry devices that use most of the energy in the home are likely to remain plugged in; air conditioning, refrigerators, electric heaters, desktop computers. Electric cars too will likely use physical plugs for some time.

Wireless power transfers are likely to stay below 10W. That covers small laptops, cellphones, personal electronics. Small sensors carried on your body / clothing? No problem. LED lighting could be super-easy to install without wires. Similarly for wireless repeaters and other "smart home" electronics.

A typical home consumes around 1000 kWh per month. Transferring 30W for 8 hours per day at 70% efficiency will waste about 2 kWh in a month, or about 0.2% of the monthly energy budget.

You can save more energy by swapping a single incandescent bulb for an LED light bulb (2 hours/day).

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:37:15 PM , Rating: 1
Big, power-hungry devices that use most of the energy in the home are likely to remain plugged in; air conditioning, refrigerators, electric heaters, desktop computers. Electric cars too will likely use physical plugs for some time.

This is what I'm getting at though. I've noted that the little pad you drop your cellphone on doesn't really matter...the amount of energy in that equation isn't going to add up to much of anything, regardless of the amount that's lost due to the field induction.

What bothers me truly is when people start talking about using it for big things, or *everything*.

When it's come up with the EV charging thing, I've responded in those articles about what that loss looks like. If you assume 10% loss in energy transfer from the charging pad to the EV, and $50/month in electicity cost for that charging, it's $5/month that's lost due to the wireless system.

Which doesn't sound like much. Until you get to a signicant population of people doing that. Like, if there were a million people in NYC doing that, it's a loss of $5 million per month, or $60 million per year...just in NYC.

That's what makes my skin crawl.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 1:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
NYC residents don't have garages. Most people don't even have cars. Some of my friends there don't even have licenses.

You should really use holdholds than individual. A family of 6 will probably only have 2-3 vehicles.

$60mil is nothing in NYC. That's like rent for a floor or two of an office building. The world US will actually save a lot more money/energy if everyone converted to LED lights. Just think of all that heat generated by bulbs and AC to cool the rooms. Hell, if everyone just turn off their damn computers after they're done then we'd probably save more energy lol.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 2:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Use whatever city or other example that you want.

And I don't care where or who you are - $60 million is a lot. But worse than that is the fact that this was electricity that was generated, transported, and delivered to the endpoint - only to be thrown away by a dipsh1t who can't spend 2 seconds to plug something in.

On our existing power grid, which literally teeters on the edge of cascade failure on a daily basis.

This categorically isn't the same thing as someone saying "you know what, I've got so much money I'm going to wipe my a$$ with it and flush it down the toilet." That doesn't cause anyone any harm but that guy.

Large-scale waste of additional electrical load on our grid threatens all of us.

Or at least, as I've noted, until we have a truly smart grid with a wad more nuke plants and more electricity than we know what to do with. When that happens - go nuts, I no longer care.

But that's not the world we live in.

RE: Lazy!
By eriohl on 6/24/2013 4:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
I can think of a lot of applications for wireless power besides charging you're mobile. Charging you're pacemaker for example (operation or socket on you're chest being the alternative).

Besides. I think that for most people with a mobile phone convenience trumps the additional costs. For them power efficiency in the case of mobile phones has more to do with longer battery life then cost or saving the planet. I people want it companies will sell it.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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