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Effective means of delivering wireless power to volumes of spaces will enable users the freedom and mobility to seamlessly power and recharge their devices in an unencumbered fashion. This has particular importance for consumer electronic, medical, and industrial applications, where usage models focus on unstructured and dynamic environments. However, existing wireless power technology falls short of this vision. Inductive charging solutions are limited to near-contact distances and require a docking station or precise placement for effective operation. Far-field wireless power techniques allow much greater range, but require complicated tracking systems to maintain a line-of-sight connection for high-efficiency power delivery to mobile applications. Recent work using magnetically coupled resonators (MCRs) for wireless power delivery has shown a promising intersection between range (on the order of a meter), efficiency (over 80%), and delivered power (up to tens of watts). However, unpredictable loads rapidly change system operating points, and changes in position disrupt system efficiency, which affects the ultimate usability of these systems. Dynamic adaptation to these changes in operating conditions and power transfer range is a critical capability in developing a fully functional and versatile wireless power solution. This paper provides an overview of methods used to adapt to variations in range, orientation, and load using both wideband and fixed-frequency techniques.
Date of Publication: June 2013