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Universal wireless charger eliminates compatibility issue

16 Oct 2015

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To address this problem, Mercier and his team built a charging platform capable of simultaneously operating across the frequencies supported by all three wireless power standards. The prototype that they built is a thin, rectangular box that contains two transmitter coils: an inner coil optimised to operate at a frequency of 200kHz, and an outer coil optimized to operate at 6.78MHz. One of the features of this design is that the coils lie in the same plane, allowing for a compact size. The platform is just big enough to fit two smartphones side by side. Another important feature of the prototype is a filtering circuit that the researchers designed to prevent the coils from interacting with each other and causing efficiency losses.

The researchers then tested the charging platform using two receiver coils, which served as models for two different smartphones. Engineers demonstrated that the charging platform was able to deliver power to both receiver coils at the same time at efficiencies ranging from 70-80 per cent. The receiver coils were also able to receive power regardless of where they were placed on the charging platform.

"This means that multi-device and multi-standard wireless charging don't have to come at a significant efficiency penalty," said Mercier.

The researchers have filed patents on this technology and are looking for commercial partners to help bring the universal wireless charger into the market.

The work was supported by gift funds from Korean Electronics Technology Institute (KETI). The team acknowledges collaboration with H-Technology Inc.


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