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New Electrical Energy Transmission System Makes Distance Wireless Charging a Reality

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A system developed by researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, with input from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, uses metamaterials to efficiently transfer electricity between two separated circuits.


It may soon be possible to charge mobile devices without even taking them out of one's pocket. Researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) have developed a system to efficiently transfer electrical energy between two separated circuits, thanks to the use of metamaterials.

The researchers say the experimental system can be adapted to mobile devices to charge them wirelessly and at a longer distance than currently possible.

Earlier experiments seeking to concentrate static magnetic fields required the use of superconductor metamaterials, unfeasible for everyday use with mobile devices. "In contrast, low-frequency electromagnetic waves--the ones used to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to the other--only need conventional conductors and magnets," says UAB's Carles Navau.

The research was conducted by Navau and UAB's Alvar Sanchez with the collaboration of Jordi Prat at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The system is comprised of metamaterials that combine layers of ferromagnetic materials, such as magnets, and conductor materials such as copper. The researchers say the metamaterials envelop the emitter and receptor and enable the transfer of electrical energy between the two at a distance and with unprecedented efficiency.

From Autonomous University of Barcelona
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