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Wireless power transfer using strongly coupled electromagnetic resonators is a recently explored technology. Although this technology is able to transmit electrical energy over a much longer distance than traditional near field methods, in some applications, its effective distance is still insufficient. In this paper, we investigate a relay effect to extend the energy transfer distance. Theoretical analysis is performed based on a set of coupled-mode equations. Experiments are conducted to confirm the theoretical results and demonstrate the effectiveness of the relay approach. Our results show that the efficiency of power transfer can be improved significantly using one or more relay resonators. This approach significantly improves the performance of the present two-resonator system and allows a curved path in space to be defined for wireless power transfer using smaller resonators.
Date of Publication: May 2011