Copper wires for electric power transmitting might be a thing in the past as New Zealand prepares to trial ‘Wireless Power transmission’ over long distances. Such a practice will be a world’s first. A startup company called, EMROD who developed the method is currently working on its implementation with New Zealand’s second-largest electricity distributor, Powerco.
EMROD’s wireless technology will transmit power in the form of electromagnetic waves over long distances with the help of its other technologies like the rectenna technology, beam shaping and metamaterials. These patented methods will ensure columnated beams will transmit power wirelessly over many kilometres. The unit will be built with a transmitting antenna, a series of relays and a receiving antenna which will convert incoming microwave energy to electricity.
The method is said to be safer as it uses ‘beams in the ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band with frequencies commonly used in WiFi, Bluetooth, and RfID’. This method has no radiation with the transmission is happening from point to point, unlike high voltage wired transmission. There is a ‘laser safety curtain’ to ensure that the main beam does not interfere with objects like birds, helicopters or drones. The power transmission will immediately shut off before anything reaches the main beam. Another obvious safety factor is this reduces the risk of being electrocuted.
Power outages are said to be minimum than the conventional wired method because physical interferences and weather-related obstructions are minimal. Cost of the infrastructure, maintenance and power outages will be significantly lower. According to Greg Kushnir, founder at EMROD, “The statistics are pretty compelling. We are talking about a potential 50 per cent increase in sustainable energy uptake, up to 85 per cent reduction in outages and up to 65 per cent reduction in electricity infrastructure costs due to the Emrod solution,”
This new wireless transmission will have a minimum carbon footprint and will bring electrical power transmission more sustainable. Being able to replace underwater power cables will benefit massively to reduce the adverse impact on the environment. And this will pave the way for remote communities in the world to access cheap, eco-friendly and sustainable power easily. Moreover, this will see some unsightly and expensive networks of pylon electricity wires be replaced.
The prototype has been co-funded by the New Zealand government. Still in prototype, EMROD plans to deliver this for trials in the field in coming months.