IoT and Wireless Charging from Ericsson and Powerlight

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IoT and Wireless Charging from Ericsson and Powerlight

‘Optical beaming’ is a laser-based technology that converts electricity into high-intensity light, which is then captured and transformed to electricity at the radio base station. In a proof-of-concept (PoC) demo in Seattle, Ericsson and Powerlight achieved a milestone.IoT and Wireless Charging

The base station site was wirelessly powered over the air. Wireless power was distributed to an Ericsson Streetmacro 6701 – a 5G millimeter wave radio base station. It was achieved using PowerLight’s laser technology to transmit hundreds of watts over hundreds of meters through the air.

IoT and Wireless Charging from Ericsson and Powerlight

Through their partnership the companies want to explore and develop innovative 5G solutions aimed at enhancing the speed and flexibility of network deployment in diverse environments. They view this milestone as a major step toward a goal — for subsequent generations of the solution to transmit kilowatts of energy over longer distances.
Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks for Ericsson North America, says:

Both PowerLight and Ericsson are focused on innovation. This opens new possibilities for Ericsson and our customers. 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. The time savings and flexibility gains will make this an attractive solution for our customers.

Claes Olsson, Executive Chairman, PowerLight Technologies, says:

Most people are aware that wireless charging technology is available today for small electronic devices, such as cell phones and watches. 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.

For safety-reasons, the laser beam has a virtual shield that automatically shuts down power transmission temporarily before any living or inanimate object crosses its path. When the safety ring is activated, the site’s back-up battery takes over until the beam is cleared. Vital base stations use batteries for local energy provisioning to ensure highly reliable mobile services. Wireless power could support use cases such as provisional deployments in case of emergency or time-specific densification demands, for example, during music festivals and sport events. It could also support power-cable-free machines such as automated guided vehicles and drones, as well as devices like IoT-sensors and lamps. It can give communications service providers the flexibility to position a base station without compromising communication needs in relation to where a power wire is located.

Author: Rainer Claaßen
Image Credit: PowerLight

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