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Wireless energy transfer/able to power your own house?

  1. Sep 2, 2011 #1

    I am a new member to these forums, and although I have no engineering/physics studies under my belt, I am someone who really likes to discuss and read up on theories related to physics and engineering.

    Basicly I've been reading a bit on solar panels, and I was wondering if you guys had any thoughts on powering your whole house with wireless energy coming from solar panels. Would it be troublesome since the energy produced by solar panels is far from being perfected? Putting aside the fact that you would have to tweak all your appliances to have a receptor, is the thing doable?

    Secondly, taking into consideration that sun is not always at it's best, you would surely have to have a second energy supply backup system in case you'd run out of energy. So there would be some sort of problem since all your appliances would have been adjusted to receive wireless energy only unless you somehow kept the orignial wires. Any thoughts on how you could perfect that issue?

    And to finish, you'd have to have a meter to read the amount of energy stored from the panels/what are the ways to store that energy?

    Thanks, and sorry if this seems a question off-topic, I am fairly new although I have read alot of threads on these forums and do appreciate having other opinions from other people.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2011 #2


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    Whether it's originally derived from solar or otherwise, you'll find that trying to power your whole house wirelessly is very inefficient (energy wise) and possible dangerous to your health.

    There's nothing wrong with wires, they work real good for carrying electrical power. :tongue:
  4. Sep 2, 2011 #3
    Heh, the thought of all that being a hazard for my health actually came through my mind, but I decided to let it go since I wanted to know if it was possible on a technical point.

    What exactly would be the hazard to your health? All that wireless energy being shot from different places in your house i'm guessing...

    As for the innificiency, I'm sure it's just a matter of getting some more power out of the solar panels, they say by 2019 we should be achieving something around 30-40% energy capatur versus our 20ish percent that is now out on markets.

    I know that wires are fine and does the job just fine, but the idea came through so I thought i'd write up a post and see other peoples thoughts!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  5. Sep 2, 2011 #4
    Wireless as in RF? That will never fly, RF power is very hard to get for one, RF power components are so much more expensive. You are going to need over 1000W of power easily, getting 1000W of RF power is not something you want to pay for.

    RF interfere with all the mobile wireless devices people come to love, also your computers and other electronics.

    AND you might get cooked, Microwave is RF!!! You want to live inside a microwave oven?!!!

    There is no up side of this.
  6. Sep 2, 2011 #5
    I think he means inductive coupling....
  7. Sep 2, 2011 #6


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    I don't think the OP has any idea what he means!

    Freefolk, the technology you are looking for does not exist in a form that can be used in the way you describe.
  8. Sep 2, 2011 #7
    lol. Anyways, I believe it is actually possible, but just not in a practical way. Even if your roof was lined with solar panels, I don't think it would be enough energy to power your house. It really depends on how energy efficient your house is, how large it is, where you live, how often you use HVAC, and the types of appliances you would be using.
  9. Sep 2, 2011 #8


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    Plenty of people power their houses with solar panels. It's the wireless technology that doesn't exist.
  10. Sep 2, 2011 #9
    What about inductive coupling?
  11. Sep 2, 2011 #10


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    Well it works on my toothbrush, but what kind of range does it have? How big do the coils need to be? Do you have any examples of demonstrations of passing 1kw a distance of 40 feet?
  12. Sep 2, 2011 #11
    May I ask again after UART............What's wrong with good old copper wire running from the solar panel to the battery and power the house?

    Inductive power? Is that magnetic? Everything that contain magnetic materials would be stuck on the ceiling!!!!
  13. Sep 2, 2011 #12
    I thought what the OP meant was the energy being transmitted wirelessly from the sun. The solar panels are just the receivers.
  14. Sep 2, 2011 #13
    Oh I just remember. When I was working for Pemstar in 2003 which is a contractor company. I substitute one week for a friend of mine while he was out on a medical project. It was an implant device into the body, it has no battery. If you want to read the data, you use a device that send out magietic field through a big coil and inductively power up the circuits inside the body. I was working on the transmitter that consist of many power MOSFETs that drive many small coils. I can tell you, it was so inefficient. I don't know much because I sub for only one week and I never saw the beginning and the end of the project. This even have very specific placement, close to the body. And at that, we barely get enough power through. Good luck on the inductive wireless power!!!! You might need more than an acre of solar panel to boil a cup of water!!!!
  15. Sep 2, 2011 #14
    If it was an active device, it had a battery. I actually used to work at Medtronic, and most of the more power-hungry devices would be charged inductively through the skin. Most of the time the patient would have to wear some sort of belt which plugged into a wall, 2-3 times per week.

    The power transfer was very inefficient, even in our best models. There was a lot of talk about how if we could extend the range by 6 inches, we would totally consume the market and wipe out our competitors.
  16. Sep 3, 2011 #15
    I could be wrong on my description. As I said, I was just filling in for my friend. I got in when he had the MOSFET driving the loops, then we have nails sticking into some frozen spoiled ground beef and test something, I was totally involved in trouble shootingthe grounding problem he had the whole time before I handed back to him. I just know when I fired it up, not much coupled through!! After spending 3 years in Seimens back in 1985 designing phase array Ultra Sound scanner with color doppler medical device, I was totally turn off by Seimens towards Medical field and I really don't care to know more. I don't know what company the contract was for.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  17. Sep 3, 2011 #16


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    Wonder if the patients felt a "warm and fuzzy" feeling inside during the charging process...? :bugeye: (Presuming microwave frequencies)

    I remember hearing about an idea to cut down on heating costs by using microwave transmitters (2.4 GHz?) to keep people from freezing as they moved from room to room. Probably not so good for pointy metal things, or when touching / licking various surfaces.
  18. Sep 3, 2011 #17
    No no, it is only about DC to DC converter frequency. I honestly don't remember the number, but we were using power MOSFET to drive the wire loops.
  19. Sep 3, 2011 #18
    No, they didn't feel anything.
  20. Sep 6, 2011 #19
    I was thinking about placing the coils under a counter top or a desk (I want to try this with my laptop), not transmitting it 40 feet. That, at the moment, doesn't seem too likely.
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