How Wireless Charging Works

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Wireless Charging is becoming less uncommon day by day as many Brands are implementing it to their Smartphones. Even wireless earphones can now be charged wirelessly (Apple AirPods).

The new age of technology is amazing. 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. This technology feels futuristic but, the basics of how it works were discovered not long after we started to understand what electricity is. 

History of Wireless Energy

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. 

What is Electromagnetic Force

But, this trick found its use more than a hundred years later! The electromagnetic force is one of the fundamental forces in physics. Just break down the word, and you’ll have an idea: electricity and magnetism. Magnetism and electricity are two sides of one coin. When electricity flows, it creates an electromagnetic field. 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. 

How it charges our devices

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. The industrial standard for wireless charging is called “Qi”. Qi is an open interface standard that defines wireless power transfer using inductive charging over distances of up to 4 cm, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium. The system uses a charging pad and a compatible device, which is placed on top of the pad, charging via resonant inductive coupling.

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. 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. 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. 

Myths about Wireless Charging nowadays

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. But, there is only one damage that a wireless charger can damage is your Credit or Debit Card magnetic stick. So, don’t put your wallet on your wireless charger or you will be going to your bank the next day.

Wireless Charging and it’s Future

First made possible a century before, it isn’t without its flaws now, but futurologists say that sooner or later, we may forget about wires altogether. 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? I’m gonna say my computer table, I spend a lot of time there. Feel free to share down in the comments! 

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! Crazy, huh? 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 go to a speedup in its development, but other competitors are coming in fast, and some of them are on the rise. Like resonance charging.

Resonance Charging

Resonance Charging is 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. 

Overall, Wireless transfer of energy is not a modern concept as it was discovered years ago but found its implementation now. Wireless Charging is going to improve in the near future and could become the primary source of charging our devices. What do you think about wireless charging, is it a cool Technology? Tell us in the comments below.


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