Biologically-Inspired Wireless Power Transmission System: A Review

Biologically-Inspired Wireless Power Transmission System: A Review

Agnes Ruey Chyi Cheah (UTAR, Malaysia), Kim Ho Yeap (UTAR, Malaysia), Kee Choon Yeong (UTAR, Malaysia) and Kazuhiro Hirasawa (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9792-8.ch002
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This chapter gives an overview on Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems and the existing biologically-inspired architectures which could be used to optimize the efficiency of the systems. In general, wireless power transmission could be categorized into near-field and far-field mechanisms. At present, one of the most immediate issues to be solved is the relatively low efficiency in a WPT system. The system's efficiency decreases gradually as the distance increases. To ensure highest efficiency, the path with the shortest distance and the lowest interference is to be selected. In this case, a few of the most popular biologically-inspired algorithms, i.e. Firefly Algorithm(FA), Simulated Annealing (SA), the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Genetic Algorithms (GAs) could be employed for efficiently solving different optimization problems. In short, these algorithms mentioned involve the emulation of fireflies flash signals for mating, exploitation of the metallurgy process, nature of ants leaving pheromones along the trails traveled and also the mimic of gradual evolution of organisms.
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Of all the current emerging technologies, wireless signals transmission has turned out to be one of the most prominent on-going development leaders. It acts as a catalyst to promote the growth of technology in the society. Wireless technology is ubiquitous, providing great contribution to the society, particularly, in health care, education, and community empowerment. Its remote capability allows anyone to connect or interact with each others at anywhere anytime. Such convenience has, therefore, encouraged a vast accessibility of information, allowing it to be provided and collected anywhere. Transparency in the information flow has also, in many ways, helped to foster socially positive impact. Take for instance the situation where one is required to travel to an unfamiliar or completely foreign destination. In the past, cumbersome homework has to be done before the start of the journey – one may have to refer to maps, writing down the signboards or landmarks that one might encounter en route, and memorizing the path shown in the map. With the advent of the wireless technology, however, all these have become very much redundant. With a simple click on the Global Positioning System (GPS), the user would then be guided easily to the destination he or she wishes to arrive at. In fact, besides its route-guiding capability, some Global Positioning Systems may even be equipped with additional features – such as, updating the drivers on the conditions of road blocks or traffic jams in real time. Also, with the application of wireless technology in health care environment, patients are ensured to be better connected to the medical personnel (Shobha, Chittal & Kumar, 2007). Medical experts could be alerted of emergency cases via wireless communication. This allows almost immediate treatment to be provided. Some of the hospitals in the United States have implanted Radio Frequency Identification or RFID tags into the patients for identification purposes. Since the tags make use of the propagation of electromagnetic fields for data transfer, doctors and medical experts are able to track the location or to obtain the physiological status of the patients on spot, during emergency cases.

There is no doubt that the portable cordless convenience found in wireless systems has remarkably enhanced the living standards of mankind. Despite the prevailing advancement in wireless technology, however, it seems that there still comes a time where most, if not all, of these devices are to be plugged to the power grid for batteries re-charging. As a result of this, the need for physical wire connections, at a certain instant of time, is still inevitable in wireless devices. Hence, wireless systems are, strictly speaking, not completely wireless after all. Indeed, the literal meaning of “wireless”, in most cases, is referring to telecommunicating wirelessly; and not necessarily the device or system has to be functioning wirelessly at all time (Chen, Kawasaki, & Carvalho, 2013). The hope to realize a truly wireless device, i.e. to eliminate the very last wire which is necessary for recharge-ability, has prompted the scientific community to devote vigorous research in the field of wireless power transmission (WPT). With the availability of wireless power transfer, energy can be collected without the physical need of connecting a load to a power source. Such technology certainly provides great convenience, particularly, to the residents in desolated areas, where electricity is a scarce luxury to them (Kurs et al., 2007; Buonanno, D'Urso, & Pavone, 2011; Khripkov, Hong, & Pavlov, 2012).

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