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Wireless transmission of electricity

  1. Apr 1, 2005 #1
    Is there any possible way to transmit electric energy efficiently from one point to another without wires?

    What would likely be the best way in the distant future for wireless transmission of electricity?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2005 #2
    if you want to look this topic up, its been tried and tested by Nukola Tasla. He spent his last 20 years of his lifet rying to transmit electrical power wierlessly without succeeding. It may be donr one day, but technology today will not allow it, unless you want to strap on a huge step down transformer on every single appliance.

    Regards,

    Nenad
     
  4. Apr 3, 2005 #3

    Integral

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    The only problem I know of which prevents widespread use of this method is that it is very inefficient and that power companies have no way metering and charging for use.

    Contrary to the first post this would not be hard to do. Consider that a radio station is doing exactly that. Also consider that radio stations broadcast Megawatts and you get milliwatts on your antenna, this an example of the inefficiency.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

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    It sounds like your thinking the electricity would just be spread out integral in an uncontrolled fashion. You'd be killing things left and right and destroying electrical equipment like crazy if you transmitted like a radio station. Just as you said, if you only get millliwatts for a radio transmission, think of what kind of power you would need to wirelessly send energy to power an air conditioner or a washing machine (and radio stations dont transmit with that kind of power, more along the lines of a few hundred thousand watts). You'd need a nuclear reactor in a 100,000 population city to do that (plus you'd kill everything). I think its hardly a power company revenue issue, more likely an engineering impossibility (although, nothings impossible!).
     
  6. Apr 3, 2005 #5
    I don't think ozone is very good for anyone at low altitudes.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2005 #6
    Hey, I don't mean transmitting electric power everywhere wirelessly. Just among the power stations from where electric power will be distributed to homes with wire. Is it even possible directed wireless transmission of electric power?
     
  8. Apr 4, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Oh yah... like Nenad said, Tesla worked on that idea for a long time but wasnt successful.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2005 #8

    Integral

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    I am not sure why some of you seem to think that we do not have the ability to do this. As I said earlier, we have, and we commonly use this technology. It is not feasible to broadcast power, as I said above, primarily because it is inefficient and secondarily because use cannot be metered. And if you think that lack of profit is not a demotivating factor, well, get out of high school then think about it some more.

    We can and do beam power, What do you think those microwave dishes on hilltops do.. They beam microwave power. There are several troubles with beaming lots of power. The high energy microwave beams can be fatal to living organisms. Birds frequently die when they fly to close to high power Radar transmitters. If we attempted to beam power across country you would have to have strict no fly zones near the beams. High energy density beams could/would knock an airplane out of the sky. So it is much more then technology, yes, Tesla pioneered the technology but if he failed, are you sure he did? It, very possibility was for the reasons I mentioned, inefficiency and lack of profit motive.

    I have heard that some unscrupulous people have but up antennas near high voltage transmissions lines to steal power, it should be possible, but also possibly very hazardous and very illegal.

    Transmitting power is no big deal, it is just not economical.
     
  10. Apr 4, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Well the whole broadcasting power like a radio station was the big no-no in my books. If you go wirelessly from say, the main power station to substations but have wires running from the substatiosn to neighborhoods, then thats great. You can direct power with dishes to a few spots (which is inevitably, substations), but beyond that itd have to go wired to individual houses. but really, why couldnt you meter it? Put meters in at every substation just like normal. The only way you couldnt meter it is if substation -> individual homes were wireless which is impossible (or at least highly impractical). I mean look at how homes are setup now. They have a meter after the wire splits off to individual homes that tracks how much electricity comes through. You'd obviously have to have a collection dish/whatever to colelct the wireless energy... so you'd just throw the meter after that and before teh house.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2005 #10

    Integral

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    The metering problem comes with true broadcast of power, anybody that wanted power could just put up an antenna. The power company would have no control over who gets power or how much they use. In a beamed system as you describe you are correct. Of course high energy density beams would still be hazardous to any life form which enters them.
     
  12. Apr 4, 2005 #11

    FredGarvin

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    As a side note, somewhat related, I have seen a few articles recently how that same issue is becoming a headache for wireless network providers for large companies.
     
  13. Apr 4, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    You can get free wireless internet at wireless hotspots if you can compromise the administrative security.
     
  14. Apr 4, 2005 #13

    Pengwuino

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    Do you mean they would throw up an antenna between main station -> substation transmission? Wouldn't that probably destroy your average antenna though? hehe
     
  15. Apr 4, 2005 #14
    Integral said broadcast, not beam.


    --
    broadcast

    1 : cast or scattered in all directions


    beam

    1 : to send out, radiate, or project in beams or as a beam
    --
     
  16. Apr 4, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    I was replying to the beamed part where you would throw up an antenna between the 2 beamed points obstructing the path in a way.
     
  17. Apr 4, 2005 #16
    Cooking people gently with microwaves

    Integral contrasted a broadcast situation with your beam idea. He mentioned stealing power with antennas in regards to the broadcast system and not in regards to your beam idea.

    If power is being beamed from a generating station to a substation, such a scheme might use towers hundreds of feet high to minimize the cooking of persons in between. This height factor might make it difficult to put an antenna into the beam to steal power.
     
  18. Apr 4, 2005 #17

    Integral

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    So the obvious answer, yes, if you but up an antenna in the path of a beam you would intercept the signal. I am not sure how this relates to anything I said.
     
  19. Apr 4, 2005 #18

    Pengwuino

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    Well i assumed when you talked about stealing the power, you meant stealing from the beams because broadcasting would be difficult to regulate so i just assumed where i shouldnt have. If you put the towers hundreds of feet high though... what if a lil single prop airplane strayed into the beam lol. Guess this idea should be put on hold to corrospond with my dreams fo flying my own airplane some day :D
     
  20. Apr 11, 2005 #19
    Actually, the idea was promoted several (over twenty) years ago. The idea was to put giant solar collector arrays in synchronous orbit where they would supposedly be a lot more efficient, and use very large microwave links to beam the energy to off-shore collector stations. The idea never apparently gained many adherents.

    KM
     
  21. Apr 11, 2005 #20

    Pengwuino

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    That sounds like solar power capture though and not the generation plant -> substation -> home link we're talken about... but that seems like the same deal anyways :D
     
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