New Zealand’s Emrod has unveiled the first long-range, high-power, wireless power transmission in the world.
Seen as an alternative to existing copper line technology, the Kiwi startup’s technology works by utilizing electromagnetic waves to safely and efficiently transmit energy ‘wirelessly’ over vast distances.
Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution company, will be the first to test this wireless tech that was designed and built in collaboration with Callaghan Innovation.
According to Emrod founder Greg Kushnir, energy transmission has remained virtually unchanged since Edison, Siemens, and Westinghouse first introduced electric networks based on copper wires 150 years ago.
Hoping to fix this, Kushnir approached distinguished NZ scientist Dr Ray Simpkin of Callaghan Innovation who lead a feasibility study and worked on the wireless prototype.
The startup’s technology is no doubt path-breaking as it significantly reduces infrastructure costs.
It could especially be a boon to remote communities such as in Africa and the Pacific Islands where access to cheap, sustainable energy to power schools, hospitals, and economies has remained more or less an anomaly till date.
“The statistics are pretty compelling,” notes Kushnir.
“We are talking about a potential 50% increase in sustainable energy uptake, up to 85% reduction in outages and up to 65% reduction in electricity infrastructure costs due to the Emrod solution.”
Safety remains paramount and the startup is using a non-ionizing Industrial, Scientific and Medical frequency (ISM) band to transmit power.
Point-to-Point transmission ensures that power is beamed directly between two points; there is no radiation around the beam, as there is with high voltage wire transmission.
Moreover, a low power laser safety curtain ensures that the transmission beam immediately shuts down before any transient object – say a bird or helicopter – can reach the main beam ensuring it never touches anything except clean air.
This also reduces electrocution risk associated with wires.
Another plus is that the new technology is not affected by weather or atmospheric conditions such as rain, fog or dust.
There are no other physical interference related outages and this ensures fewer failure points.
Image and content: Emrod