KAIST's wireless charging system can charge 40 smartphones simultaneously


May 1, 2014

KAIST's DCRS prototype turns a LED television on at a 5-meter distance (Photo: KAIST)

KAIST's DCRS prototype turns a LED television on at a 5-meter distance (Photo: KAIST)

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Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), have developed a wireless charging system that can charge around 40 smart phones at a time, from a distance of 5 meters (16 ft). While we've examined numerous wireless charging systems, even one that transmits power to up to 9 m (30 ft), KAIST's prototype can power multiple devices within its range. It can deliver enough electrical juice, the scientists claim, to power many larger devices like fans, TVs and computers, simultaneously.

Called the Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS), the technology uses magnetic fields to transfer energy and is based on the Coupled Magnetic Resonance System (CMRS) introduced by MIT researchers in 2007. The design of the DCRS however, addresses a number of fundamental issues that prevented the commercialization of the CMRS, such as a complex coil structure requiring four coils, a bulky size factor and low transfer efficiency.

The DCRS' coil structure consists of two magnetic dipole coils. The primary coil induces the magnetic field and the secondary coil receives electrical energy. Compact in size and scalable, the system is capable of delivering up to 209 W of power at 20 kHz.

"With DCRS," says Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering with KAIST, "a large LED TV as well as three 40 W-fans can be powered from a 5-meter distance."

The wireless system delivers more power at shorter distances – about 471 W at 4 m (13 ft) and 1403 W at a 3 m (10 ft) distance.

Earlier this year, Professor Rim's group successfully transferred 10 W of electricity wirelessly to control equipment within a nuclear power plant situated 7 m (23 ft) away from the power source. It was part of a research project with the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd, that aimed to offer a reliable power source in the event of emergencies such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdown.

The team published the results of their research in the March 2014 issue of IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics.

Check out a video of the technology below

Source: KAIST

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy. All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana

How long before such devices are ubiquitous (in shops, train stations, places of work, etc.) and deliberately charging one's mobile 'phone becomes a thing of the past - for city dwellers at least?

All it requires is for their to be a standard for the industry to work to. It is here that the progress prevention officers, a.k.a. marketing managers, will see an opportunity to squeeze some extra revenue by developing their own unique system to the cost of all. One has only to look at 'phone chargers for evidence.

Mel Tisdale

For 'their' read 'there' (proof reading is not my strongest suit!)

Mel Tisdale

for hotels, airports, resorts, college campus, Univs, labs, major business centers, seaports alone & Theme parks can use for guests. Then power up say 2K phones an hour based on audience, crowds in area. Must for Games IE Football alone.

Stephen Russell

This article does not talk about the losses. What is the efficiency of such a system? How much power is getting wasted?

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