How Does Wireless Charging Work?

Short battery life is the Achilles heel of modern tech, and charging cables, which break quickly after a few months of use, can be annoying.

Wireless charging can be a game-changer – you set and forget. But how exactly does it work?

The Science Behind Wireless Charging Work

In the late 1800s, Nikola Tesla successfully transmitted electricity without any conductor. Instead, he used a process called resonant-inductive coupling, which works by creating a magnetic field between a transmitter and a receiver to power light bulbs in his laboratory.

The same principle of electromagnetic induction applies to smartphone wireless charging.

A base electromagnetic coil induces a magnetic field and is an antenna to transmit an electromagnetic field. A second coil in the phone works as a receiver and harvests the magnetic field and converts it back to usable energy for the battery.

Besides phones, wireless technology is used in other devices; heart implants like pacemakers also make use of wireless electricity.

How to Choose a Wireless Charger?

Before picking out a wireless charger for your mobile phone, You have to make sure of your mobile specifications;

  1. Not all smartphone devices support wireless charging so you have to check whether your smartphone can be charged or not.
  2. Search for a wireless charger that supports the Qi charging standard for maximum efficiency and compatibility with your smartphone.
  3. The most important thing is “Wattage”. Every smartphone uses different wattage. Not all chargers will support up to 10W for fast charging.
  4. Must confirm before buying a wireless charger that offers 10W charging.
  5. Check the power connector plug, does it come with a wall adaptor, or use micro-USB or USB-C
  6. Consider only reliable brands. Please avoid unknown brands with low review ratings.

There are many options for wireless chargers on the market at different prices and levels of quality. Here are the top 3 wireless chargers you can consider while buying.

wireless charging work
  1. Moshi Otto Q

We think Moshi Otto Q ($39.95) is the best overall charger on the market. The charger has a sleek design that looks elegant on a countertop or side table and charges at top speeds. 

There’s also a rubber pad on the bottom that keeps it from slipping and falling if accidentally tugged. The device also has foreign-object detection and will turn itself off if a piece of the conductor is put between it and your device – this protects your device from damage.

  1. RAVPower Fast

The RAVPower Fast Wireless Charging Pad ($16.98) is a fantastic budget option. While it’s not as stylish as the Moshi Otto Q, it still delivers fast charging speeds, foreign-object detection, and an anti-slip rubber pad to prevent slipping. But if you have a heavy case or PopSocket, this charger may not be strong enough for your phone.

  1. Bezalel Altair

In the end, the most luxurious option isn’t a charging pad but the Bezalel Altair ($64.98) upright charging stand. 

Heavy-duty and carved from industrial-grade aluminium, the stand will charge your phone in portrait or landscape mode. 

The Bezalel Altair can also charge through cases up to 5mm thick but unfortunately does not have a foreign-object-detection feature while charging.

Drawbacks of Wireless Charging

Wireless charging has some significant drawbacks. Wired charging is just a lot faster and more efficient; the further away the receiver is from the transmitter, the less energy it’ll receive from a magnetic field.

According to the law of electromagnetism and electricity, the more significant the coil, the more energy it can send out, but that wouldn’t be very efficient. The magnetic field is strongest at its centre.

While this makes wireless charging challenging for phones that use much power, it isn’t as challenging for more miniature energy-intense devices like Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that use way less power. The difference in energy between the two, if you think about them in terms of mass, is like an Eiffel tower and a spoon.

Wireless charging and the energy efficiency of computation are both escalating rapidly, so scientists are taking advantage of those two things at the same time. Scientists managed for the same amount of energy 20 years ago; they can do way more now, so we don’t need as large a battery life.

In other words, although wireless chargers are relatively weak now, they’ll get better with every passing year.

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