Powerco to trial wireless power transmission technology
New Zealand: Kiwi start-up Emrod claims to have developed the world’s first long-range, high-power, wireless power transmission technology.
Powerco, New Zealand’s second-largest electricity distribution company, will be testing the technology as an alternative to transmission via copper lines.
The Emrod technology works by utilising electromagnetic waves to safely and efficiently transmit energy wirelessly over vast distances. The prototype received some government funding and was designed and built in Auckland in cooperation with Callaghan Innovation.
Greg Kushnir, founder of Emrod, said he wanted to come up with a solution to move all the clean hydro, solar, and wind energy around from where it is abundant to where it is needed in a cost-effective, eco-friendly way, avoiding underwater cables which are expensive to install and maintain.
By significantly reducing infrastructure costs, Emrod’s technology has the capacity to support remote communities such as in Africa and the Pacific Islands by providing access to cheap, sustainable energy to power schools, hospitals, and economies.
“The statistics are pretty compelling. We are talking about a potential 50 % increase in sustainable energy uptake, up to 85 % reduction in outages and up to 65 % reduction in electricity infrastructure costs due to the Emrod solution,” said Kushnir.
Powerco has expressed its support for the technology, the distributor’s network transformation manager Nicolas Vessiot said, “We are committed to innovation, and finding new ways to deliver power safely and efficiently to our customers.
Emrod plans to deliver the next prototype to Powerco in October and will spend two to three months carrying out lab testing and training Powerco personnel before moving to a field trial.
The tech company has assured that safety of the prototype is their top priority, and they are using a non-ionizing industrial, scientific and medical frequency (ISM) band to transmit power.
“The rigorous process we are undertaking is aimed at proving the technology is safe with higher power levels on a larger scale. It also helps in creating maintenance guidelines for companies like Powerco that will be using our devices,” said Kushnir.
Source: ESI Africa