WPT breaks all connections, Part 1: Page 4 of 12

March 16, 2015 //By Sanjaya Maniktala
WPT breaks all connections, Part 1
Sanjaya Maniktala offers the first part of a high-level review of the current state of wireless power transfer (WPT).
core sticking out of our khaki pockets. However, with some modifications, that very “transformer principle” did eventually get extended to charging our cell phones. And it is what constitutes WPT in the form we are most familiar with today, though with resonance principles thrown in. But that’s it, so far.  

One thing you couldn’t blame Tesla for, was not thinking big. In 1899, barely a few years after his first demo, he got cracking. He unleashed several spectacular public displays of “wireless power transmission”, a.k.a. giant bolts of lightning — from a metal globe perched on top of a 142-ft long mast constructed over his 80-ft high Colorado Springs lab. On one such occasion as Wikipedia reports:

“He produced artificial lightning (with discharges consisting of millions of volts and up to 135 feet long). Thunder from the released energy was heard 15 miles away in Cripple Creek, Colorado. People walking along the street observed sparks jumping between their feet and the ground. Sparks sprang from water line taps when touched. Light bulbs within 100 feet of the lab glowed even when turned off. Horses in a livery stable bolted from their stalls after receiving shocks through their metal shoes. Butterflies were electrified, swirling in circles with blue halos of St. Elmo's fire around their wings.”

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) would have remained thoroughly unimpressed were they around. Because, birds and bees be damned, this new demo actually involved gigantic atmospheric discharges driven by extremely high voltages generated by his now-infamous Tesla coils. Tesla also inadvertently knocked out the dynamo of the El Paso Electric Company, plunging the city into darkness for a week. He would definitely have been on the radar after that, had the radar been invented. The popular perception very soon was that Tesla was merging rapidly into the fast lane. To back that hypothesis, you could perhaps have smelled burning rubber if not cordite in the air

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