Charging an electric vehicle while driving it seems impossible, until now. Wireless electricity could make this seemingly impossible energy fantasy a reality sooner than we ever thought. According to an article in Futurism, researchers at Stanford University have made a major breakthrough on wireless electricity. This breakthrough brings the future closer than we ever expected.
What would a world easily accessing clean energy look like? The potential is endless and exciting. Wireless electricity disappeared long ago as a real life possibility and ventured into the realms of science fiction. But this technology has always intrigued futurists and engineers as a Holy Grail of energy transmission. The idea of making it into reality has been kept alive, even if under the radar, by those with inventive minds and by innovative thinkers. Now, this new study brings it back to the forefront and back to the excitement that Tesla himself must have felt in the late 19th century. Wireless electricity is no longer a Sci-fi fantasy, but a reality on the verge of exponential possibilities.
WHAT IS WIRELESS ELECTRICITY?
Wireless electricity is exactly how it sounds, accessing energy without having to plug into an outlet. Think of it like a Wi-Fi set up, but instead of accessing it to connect to devices and the Internet, you connect to energy. Getting tangled in a bundle of cables would no longer be a problem. Sounds impossible, right? But it’s not and it’s actually an old science from the 19th century that was forgotten and neglected for almost a century.
Nikola Tesla was a pioneer in wireless electricity technology. His vision was a worldwide power grid that everyone could access, making energy accessible and affordable to all. Working on this endeavor for years, he came very close to his dream with the invention of the Tesla Coil in 1891. But his advances and research in wireless electricity didn’t quite go where they needed to be, but the dream has stayed alive. Transmitting electricity from an energy source to an object is fast becoming a reality through new scientific breakthroughs. Although Tesla’s vision for a worldwide power grid is a vast undertaking, the Stanford team has taken his vision and modified it.
THE STANFORD ELECTRIC BREAKTHROUGH
So what were the achievements of the Stanford team?
A huge accomplishment for the team came when they successfully transmitted electricity to a nearby moving object, wirelessly! Wireless electricity has had its problems because it involves a very complex process in which the object receiving the electricity must be tuned to the oscillating coils of the energy source. This is the problem that the Stanford team was able to solve and give them the breakthrough they needed. They did so by utilizing a feedback resistor and voltage amplifier system to help the tuning process that would be needed for the energy to be transmitted. This is a scientific achievement that has many possible applications and is worthy of the buzz it is creating. Pun intended.
For example, it’s a step toward being able to charge electric vehicles in motion. This can be possible in the future if the innovation leads researchers to the point of being able to increase the amount of electricity being transferred. You can brush up on the details of the Stanford team’s work through their published Nature study. Take a look at the published study, while understanding that this is a moment in technological achievement!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
This study is fundamentally important because it brings technology that disappeared from worldview back to the forefront. That is important! The possibility of wireless electricity was put on the backburner, or in the pile of the impossible, for a century. The fact that it is back in front of the world is a significant moment for technological and energy advances. It is a big leap toward moving down a different path and opening up a range of possibilities that had been viewed as impossible science. But now, the fact that researchers at an accredited University like Stanford, are working on this study shows the world that this type of science that used to be thought of, as science fiction, is a plausible science. This is significant because it makes others open their minds to new technologies, and the effects that implementing a broader way of thinking can have a huge impact.
Secondly, if – or when – this technology is perfected it will be the Holy Grail of energy implemented into every day life. The implications for this type of technology are endless. Being able to charge electric cars, to provide cleaner air, is only one application. Imagine if the electricity being supplied to those cars, then came from a larger source, such as solar panels in space that are wirelessly transmitting electricity back to Earth. Space solar panels beaming energy back to Earth, could make energy shortage obsolete, and clean energy a possibility.
These types of breakthroughs are massively significant for many reasons. For one it gets us – the planet – to where we need to be to produce more energy more efficiently. Energy has long been a source of pollution and grief on our beautiful and delicate planet. Energy from oil and gas has resulted in oil spills that devastate the environment. Processing these sources creates toxic air as well as territorial wars in mining for oil. Power from nuclear plants has resulted in meltdowns and catastrophes that are irreversible. So a breakthrough for wireless electricity could harness energy from clean renewable sources like solar and wind power and get it efficiently to the user without the use of heavy cables and wires.
The energy structure we use on Earth is practically a dinosaur and is long overdue for an overhaul. Now, this new study could be the beginning of that overhaul. Tesla planted the seed long ago, and now we might be able to finally watch it bloom to its full potential with this Stanford research study. Imagine the electric possibilities…