Wireless transmission of power

The study examined the state of art in wireless power transmission, transfer of electrical power, as seen from the perspective of the protection of radio communications services for Ofcom.  It considered the scientific background behind the different proposals, the technological developments, possibilities and limitations, and examined the consumer and economic aspects.  Particular attention was given to the likelihood of interference from such devices to users of the radio spectrum.

The range of applications identified was diverse, and included applications providing milliwatts to low power sensors and megawatts to vehicles.  At the time it seemed likely that, owing to the standardisation activities being carried out by the Wireless Power Consortium, small inductive mats would soon be widely used for the charging of consumer devices such a smartphones and media players.

It was considered that while there were a number of proposals currently receiving attention for higher power, or longer range systems, these had some obstacles to overcome in terms of efficiency (currently often less than 20%) or geometry (devices either need to be aligned, or have line-of-sight between terminals).

The majority of devices  proposed at the time offered no significant risk of widespread interference, although there appeared to be some risk of interference to HF services from some of the ‘resonant magnetic’ mid-range systems.