What is Wireless Charging Technology? How does it work?

Published by Raju Gorla on

wireless charging technology

Recently Xiaomi Announced Their 80W Wireless Charging Technology! The new age of tech is really amazing, isn’t it?

The information has never been as accessible as it is now; games, music, videos – all kind

of things are in your pocket at any time. It’s even kinda scary how attached we can become to our smartphones.

When the battery runs out, it’s nerve-racking, but unfortunately, it happens.

The more functions our devices provide, the more power they need, and they’re hungrier than hungry hippos at this point!

That’s why charging technology is all the rage now, and the new big thing is wireless Charging. It’s just too convenient not to be.

Even though we’re just now seeing this technology take off, the basics of how it works were discovered not long after we started to understand what electricity is.

wireless charging technology
Samsung Wireless Charging

History of Wireless Charging Technology

Near the end of the 19th century, engineering mastermind Nikola Tesla showed that two powerful magnetic fields can slightly transfer energy between their sources when they interfere with each other.

At that time, the scientific world found nothing more in it than perhaps just a cool party trick, even if it showed some newly discovered things about electricity.

But what do you know – this trick found its use more than a hundred years later!

Electromagnetic force is one of the fundamental forces in physics.

Just break down the word, and you’ll have an idea: electricity and magnetism!

Basically, every object with enough power is a potential source of an electromagnetic field.

When you switch on a lightbulb, it shines – you can see that! But what you can’t see is the electromagnetic field that emerges around it!

It appears because the current starts to flow through the wiring and bulb. Magnetism and electricity are two sides of one coin.

When electricity flows, it creates an electromagnetic field.

Working of Wireless Chargers

working of wireless cgarger
source: infineon.com

Just like that, when we talk about wireless energy transfer, we talk about electric current running through coils of copper wire and creating that magnetic field.

The more wire – the more powerful the field will be. Simple, right?

To make a strong electromagnetic field with copper wire, you need a lot of it. Still, it’s one of the most fitting materials.

Copper is an unbeatable conductor of electricity, meaning it helps it flow instead of blocking it.

It’s a lousy conductor of a symphony orchestra, but that’s something entirely different.

Copper also shields electric tech from excessive electromagnetic waves, like radio frequencies.

Finally, it’s incredibly resilient to corrosion and can withstand any kind of power provided there’s enough wire.

In short, this stuff’s durable and effective!

The biggest surprise here is that the technology behind wireless charging hasn’t drastically changed since Tesla. It’s just that no one could find a decent use for it.

But today, most new mobile devices come with an electromagnetic coil wired into their hardware. A similar coil, but bigger and more powerful, is inside the charger, which is plugged into the socket.

Electricity comes to the charger and powers up the coil, which becomes the source for an electromagnetic field.

When the charger’s field meets with the one that’s in your phone, they start to interfere with each other, (much like little and big brothers) and the bigger field gives charge to the smaller one.

This connection provides a safe way for the power to go from one coil to another.

Problem #1

The main problem engineers struggled with for a long time is that coils weren’t effective. The power of the field depends on the number of coils you can fit in the device.

Until you can effectively and cheaply fit a reasonable amount of wire into the coil, you can’t make anything useful out of it.

Problem #2

Another problem is that electromagnetic fields need to be close to each other to keep a strong Connection.

That’s why wireless chargers today come in the form of mats – you need to put your phone right on it to get any juice at all.

You can’t just hold it up or even lay it down nearby – they need to touch!

Fortunately, fitting wire in a charger or a smartphone isn’t a huge challenge anymore, so we’re finally seeing the mass production of such devices.

This new tech isn’t huge yet because let’s face it – wires are still faster than an electromagnetic field.

Wireless charging takes around double the time to charge a smartphone from 0% to 100%. Plus, it’s called wireless, but it’s not really. You still have to plug in the charger itself.

wireless charging technology explained

What about the convenience factor?

Yes, no more tangled cables lying around your house, but what if you want to charge your phone somewhere else? It’s still much easier to take a cord with you.

Some people are afraid that wireless charging can be harmful to their devices or even to their health, but every new and unfamiliar technology has its skeptics.

There’s no way a short-range electromagnetic field can cause any harm to you.

After all, every device goes through innumerable tests before being launched to the public.

And as for your smartphone – it might even be better because it eliminates the possibility of harmful electric discharges.

First made possible a century before, it isn’t without its flaws now, but futurologists (people who study future possibilities) say that sooner or later, we may forget about wires together.

You can already see how this future is unfolding right now. Some companies have started producing furniture with built-in wireless chargers.

Sure, it’s a little strange to plug in your table, but who wouldn’t be happy to charge a smartphone just by laying it down?

And not just a smartphone; the list goes on: laptops without power cables and even road lines that charge your electric car on the go. The possibilities are endless!

What object would you like to be able to charge your phone with?

As you can imagine, the whole method of electromagnetic charging won’t stay the same. As with anything, it’ll only get better in the upcoming years.

New prototypes allow charging within 15 feet of the charger, and it’s able to charge multiple devices at once!

Eventually, devices could be as effective as a Wi-Fi router. Then, you won’t need any wires in your home at all.

And a newly discovered kind of interference with the electromagnetic field means improved power and faster charging!

But electromagnetic charging may want to speed up its development; other competitors are coming in fast, and some of them are on the rise.

Alternative Technologies

1. Resonance Charging Technology

Like resonance charging, it’s not entirely different, still uses electromagnetic waves, but on a particular frequency.

The charger and receiver are both on the same frequency, and that provides better results. This way, the energy transmitted isn’t lost but focused only on the charging device.

Resonance charging will be good for devices with a high level of power usage, like cars, laptops, or even some robots. It’ll work within a 15-foot radius while providing plenty of power.

It’s also safe to use; it’ll cause absolutely no negative effects on devices, people, or Pets.

And batteries may not even be needed in some devices you use at home because the resonance charger will provide a constant power supply.

2. Laser Charging Technology

Another idea researchers are considering is laser charging.

It may be extremely powerful and focused, but it has big bugs to work out first. A laser will work at any distance but needs a clear line of sight to the device. If interrupted, it won’t work at all.

The most problematic thing here is that lasers aren’t that safe. But the possibility of laser charging isn’t ruled out yet, scientists might make a discovery to fix these issues.

3. Other Technologies

Some other fresh research is aimed at the use of infrared light-waves, radio signals, or even ultrasound waves to charge phones and other devices.

The results are quite surprising: looks like it’d be possible to charge a phone with any sounds, like background noise or the sound of your own voice.

For a talkative person that lives in a big noisy city, that’ll be a must-have feature!

Xiaomi recently announced their new mobile charging technology named Air Charge Technology.

Xiaomi air charge technology
Xiaomi Air Charge Technology

Add to this the fact that batteries too will change in upcoming years, and you may feel dizzy from all the possibilities the future holds for us.

Moving away from lithium-ion-based batteries will not only make them safer but also more effective.

For example, one idea suggests using safe and non-flammable organic materials to make batteries.

These batteries will be used in smaller electric vehicles, and they’re supposed to be charged in 2 minutes.

They’ll also have enough capacity to power a car on a 300-mile run. Combine that with wireless charging and HELLO’s future!

We are seeing wireless charging support in every flagship smartphone from every smartphone vendor.

This technology also developed very well and it improves to providing the 50 Watt wireless charging supporting smartphones in the present market.

All the companies also focused on fast charging technology as well as fast charging in wireless charging!

A new trend is started by Apple in 2020 i.e., Not providing the charger in the box (power adaptor). This trend is followed by some other companies like Samsung and Xiaomi.

It seems that they are focussing on wireless charging instead of wired charging.

I hope you will get some knowledge on wireless charging technology and the working of wireless chargers by reading this article.

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