History and Innovation of Wireless Power Transfer via Microwaves

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  • Author: Naoki Shinohara

Wireless power transfer (WPT) has a long history of over 100 years since the first experiment conducted by Nicola Tesla. However, the most interesting innovation of WPT was born in the 21 st century. In this decade, near-field WPT commercialization was advanced, and we now use many near-field WPT products, such as wireless chargers for mobile phones and electric vehicles. In the next decade, we can expect the development of far-field WPT via microwaves, through which we can drive Internet of Things (IoT) sensors without batteries based on transmitted or ambient microwave power. We can charge mobile phones with microwave power.

When we focus microwave power on a target by beam forming technology, we can transmit higher wireless power to fly drones or from space to the earth. In conjunction with the research & development of microwave-based WPT, radio regulations suitable for each country need to be discussed. In this paper, I review the history, innovation, and status of the radio regulations of WPT via microwaves with the classification of wide-beam WPT, including harvesting, and narrow-beam WPT.

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