The Extraordinary Wireless Charging and how it works
The very word wireless charging brings to the mind a picture of charging devices functioning without wires or cables. Be it a phone kept on a charging pad or a phone kept on another phone, wireless type of charging can come in many forms and is used in many technical fields. In this article, we shall briefly skim through the usage of this technology in the smartphone sector. Inductive charging has been registered in the history of science for over a century. It became the buzz word in the technological world with its use in smartphones as Wireless Charging.
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What is wireless charging?
Charging is the process of providing energy to a reusable battery by passing an electric current through it. Charging smartphones employs a mobile charger consisting of an adaptor and a cord, power supply and the device to be charged. This is the classic way most devices are charged. But the newer trend is that of Wireless charging.
Much like the word says, wireless chargers are flat pads or stands consisting of electromagnetic coils within the structure, and no external cables or cords. The smartphone has similar setup inbuilt, and the transfer of charge from the wireless charger to the smartphone takes place through electromagnetic induction and without wires, given that the wireless charger and the smartphone are kept in contact. Qi wireless charging standard is the most used in wireless charging phones, and functions at a low power of 5 to 15 watts. Metal backs on smartphones hinder the charge share; hence, phones with this feature often have glass backs.
Principle and working
The principle used in wireless chargers is that of Electromagnetic induction. An electric current flowing through a coil produces a magnetic field that impacts the second coil and generates electric flow into it. The charging pads contain the primary coil; while the smartphones contain the secondary coil.
The charging pad and the smartphone have specific coils mounted in them. The AC flowing through the charging pad creates a magnetic field. The smartphone needs to be placed on the wireless charging pad to be in the magnetic field of the primary coil. The secondary coil situated in the phone when exposed to the magnetic field of the primary coil inducts the flow of AC in the secondary coil. This AC is converted to DC through rectifiers and further used to charge the battery. Note that the charging pad needs to be connected to the electricity source.
Apple iPhones and wireless charging
Apple in its devices like iPhone 8, 8+, XR, XS series, 11 series and some others have used wireless charging based on Qi standards. Of late, Apple has overtaken a new Zealand company by name PowerByproxi. Apple gives a strict set of guidelines that include
- Not to place anything in between the iPhone and the charging pad
- To remove metal phone cases.
- Turning off vibration mode as it can shift position and stop the charge.
- When plugged to a USB, wireless charging halts.
These guidelines are valid for all forms of wireless charging based on Qi standards irrespective of the brands.
Much like Apple, Samsung also employs wireless chargers in the form of wireless charging pads and wireless charging stands. Moreover, they also have wireless power banks making charge transfer truly wireless in all aspects. Apart from these, Samsung is popular for its feature of PowerShare available in its flagship models.
PowerShare, also known as reverse charging functions pretty much the same as wireless charging. It is the wireless charge provided by one smartphone with a charge above 30 to another smartphone powered by Qi. This feature is available in the S20 series, Fold, Flip, S10 series, and Note10, 10+. All the devices which can be charged via Qi can benefit from the PowerShare, but not all can Power-share.
Pros and Cons of Wireless Charging
- Absence of cords means no wear and tear of cords or breaking of them. So also for the charging of ports. In most cases, aggressive plug-in and plug-off can damage the charge sockets, but in wireless charging, there is no damage and hence no need for socket repairs.
- No cords = no entanglement; you won’t have to spend time straightening the wires!
- All Qi powered devices from all brands can use the same Qi-standard wireless charger. This is quite reliable and convenient unlike the many types of charging cables that vary with each brand.
- Closed, protected, corrosion-free, and fast. Yes, fast. Although wireless charging was once considered inefficient and slow, it is the exact opposite with them being fast and efficient in the transfer of charges.
- Can affect call reception and data services based on the network coverage in the area you are located at.
- The scope of movement and use of smartphones during wireless charging is very limited, unlike wire charging. Some wireless charging stands still let you use the phone while charging, but when a charging pad is in use, this isn’t possible.
A major concern regarding this technology is the radiation risk associated with it. Well, the field of electromagnetic induction in these devices is not strong enough and isn’t widespread enough to cause harm. But, it won’t cost you much to keep it at a distance if you’re still in doubt!
This technology of wireless charging that can be seen right from electric toothbrushes to smartphones can soon overtake into the TVs, Laptops and any technological gadget that can benefit most from it.