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Wireless Qi: How the Ikeal lamp charges the iPhone

Saturday, September 16th, 2017 | Gadgets

With the iPhone 8, Apple has for the first time an opportunity to wireless phone charging integrated into one of its smartphones, which should bring more comfort. It is astonishing that Apple at the very least does not use proprietary solutions. In February 2017, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium, which had already presented the standard Wireless Qi in 2010. Probably Apple has waited with the introduction of the load without power cable, until a standard has prevailed.

According to the wireless power consortium, wireless Qi is currently used for 745 products, including LG, Motorola and Samsung smartphones. The process behind Wireless Qi offers the highest efficiency for wireless power transmission and works with simple principles that can easily implement electrical equipment manufacturers. But he does not offer the full freedom of loading devices. This prevents physics.
Depending on the design of the electronics, the device must be fixed in a charging tray or placed on a specific surface, preferably without interfering objects between this surface and the smartphone. In practice, Wireless Qi saves electrical contacts while charging, but not the physical connection between the device and the charging surface.

This is due to the technique used. In the Wireless Qi standard, electrical current is transmitted inductively, ie magnetic fields and conductor coils are used in both devices for energy transmission. In the simplest case, two circular conductors or printed conductors printed on a printed circuit board are sufficient. This is made possible by the same electromagnetic principles with which any electrical generator or transformer can work. However, for the wireless transmission of energy, the individual parts of these devices must be constructed separately from one another, which inevitably leads to losses.
Magnetic fields transmit the current
Magnetic fields are always generated when electrical current flows through a conductor. In the vicinity of the conductor, a magnetic force acts along the field lines of the magnetic field, which are formed circularly around the conductor. The further away from the conductor the force of the magnetic field is measured, the weaker it is. The construction of this magnetic field requires energy which the electrical current must supply. Therefore, when the current is turned on for a short time, an electrical resistance is created which counteracts the current flow. This is becoming weaker until the magnetic field reaches its full strength.
The magnetic field is then only retained as long as the current continues to flow. This way, the same effect also works the other way round. If a magnetic field is around an electrical conductor without a source of energy, the field acts as an energy source and generates an electrical current in the conductor. The energy comes from the magnetic field, which is becoming increasingly weaker, just like the generated current. The process is called induction and is the basis for energy transmission without cable connection. Only magnetic fields with the appropriate geometry have to be generated around a wire and the current flows nevertheless.
The only problem is that magnetic fields with the right geometry for a straight conductor can be produced badly. But inside a circular loop, the effects of each piece of the electrical conductor add up. When a meter inside the loop moves away from the wire, it also gets closer to the opposite side wire. As a result, a uniform magnetic field is formed during current flow within the loop. Conversely, a uniform magnetic field is also sufficient to induce a current in a conductor loop.
With two such conductor loops, energy can now be transmitted.


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