tech

New technology might realize wireless power supply from solar plants

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By Shinichi Kato

Minna-Denryoku Inc is making efforts to realize a service that enables to wirelessly transmit and receive electricity.

Such a service requires a technology that accurately supports multiple transmissions and receptions and has a high enough security. Minna-Denryoku started research and development to test the technology concept in collaboration with Kyoto University and they have already jointly applied for related patents.

In the case of mobile communication, it is possible to continue communication even when a mobile device is moved, by changing base stations. The technology that mobile devices use to change access points can be one of the core technologies for wireless transmission of electricity, according to Minna-Denryoku.

For example, in the case of a power transmitter/receiver that moves around such as mobile device, electric vehicle (EV) and drone, it will be possible to realize appropriate power supply by changing power receivers and transmitters.

Solar power plants whose FIT-based purchasing periods have ended are expected to be used for self-consumption, supply electricity to local PPSes (power producer and supplier), etc. In addition, if the new technology is commercialized, it will be possible to supply electricity to EVs, drones and mobile devices that are passing nearby, meaning new power purchasers.

If EVs and drones can use solar power plants scattered across Japan as charging stations, they can be used without limits of drive range, flight distance, time, etc. Dispersed power sources can contribute to spreading the use of such mobile electric devices.

Minna-Denryoku is engaged in the joint research with Ken Umeno, professor at the Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University. Umeno has been engaged in the development of "Chaos CDMA," which is related to multiple transmissions and receptions and security among multiple users.

Based on Umeno's technology, codes are added to power to be wirelessly transmitted and received between multiple transmitters and multiple receivers. The codes have data such as of power supplier, power receiver, amount of power, source of power, transaction price, priority of power source, etc in addition to cipher. As a result, it realizes the transaction of wireless power supply and payment.

The codes added to power can be decoded only by a designated power supplier so that "interference" caused by multiple power transmissions in the air and security problems can be prevented, according to Minna-Denryoku. And the cipher enables to identify the source of power.

Minna-Denryoku and Umeno call the technology concept "Electricity 5G."

© Nikkei Technology Online

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I wonder how efficient this can be. What percentage of the energy consumed by the transmitter will arrive in the receiver? Particularly if the two aren’t within inches of each other.

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