Ericsson demos a wireless powered base station

With partner PowerLight, Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has found a way to transfer power via photons.

Effectively we’re talking about power transmitted wirelessly via lasers, which isn’t a bad effort. The two companies conducted a proof-of-concept demonstration in Seattle, USA. One unit converts electricity into photons and beams it to another units which collects it and transfers it back. There’s even a mechanism that detects interruptions to the beam and automatically cuts it off to prevent things getting zapped by accident.

“The ability to safely transfer power across distances without having to be connected to the power grid eliminates one of the big obstacles we have when building new cell sites,” said Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks for Ericsson North America. “The time savings and flexibility gains will make this an attractive solution for our customers.”

“Most people are aware that wireless charging technology is available today for small electronic devices, such as cell phones and watches,” said Claes Olsson, Executive Chairman, PowerLight. “This breakthrough demonstration, which utilized the best innovative technology from PowerLight and Ericsson, underscores the major leaps we have made recently toward the commercialization of safe, wireless power transmission for larger-scale systems. PowerLight is developing systems today to transfer kilowatts of safe power over distances of kilometers that will be commercially available in the next few years.”

Apparently this demo only transferred hundreds of watts but you’ve got to start somewhere. They didn’t tell us how energy efficient the technology is – i.e. how much is lost in the process – but it’s a pretty cool concept. The fact that a safety system is required implies you don’t want to be in the path of one of these beams, so that will always be a matter that needs to be properly addressed. Ericsson put a video of the demo in its press release but provided no embed functionality so we can’t share it with you. Doh!

One comment

  1. Avatar Michael F McGuinness 07/10/2021 @ 3:13 am

    Time will tell. Wireless transmission of viable electron flow has been predicted but not proven for some time. The fact that the beam cannot be interrupted is consistent with early predictions. Good luck!

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