Final Report: Reduce Carbon Emissions by Wireless Power Transfer

EPA Grant Number: SU836793
Title: Reduce Carbon Emissions by Wireless Power Transfer
Investigators: Lee, Hoseon
Institution: Kennesaw State University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017
Project Amount: $14,953
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality


The proposed research is a method of replacing power cables in aircraft with wireless power transfer systems that are much lighter and can reduce the weight of the plane. The current trend of commercial airlines is to eliminate the LCD screens in the back of the passenger seats and to provide WiFi and entertainment directly to portable wireless electronics such as smartphones and tablets due to their increased ubiquity. The number of power lines that lead to each passenger seat, from the head to the tail end of the plane is significant and adds to the overall weight of the plane. The weight of a small transmitter in intermittent locations down the plane, placed above the carry-on compartment can significantly reduce this weight. The width of the plane is narrow, and the distance from the transmitter to the receiver is between 1 to 3 meters. Not only is the distance short, but it is also static, which makes it an ideal environment for integrating a wireless power transfer system. The goal is to reduce the amount of fuel needed, due to the reduced weight, and eventually reduce carbon emission per flight. This reduction factor per plane multiplied by the total number of flights in the world, results in a substantial reduction in global carbon emission and a step towards a more sustainable environment.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

In Phase I, after having received the funding in February 2017, the undergraduate researchers focused on two different designs—a passive circuit and an active circuit. The passive circuit, based on a charge pump design, was simulated in ADS high frequency circuit simulation software and laid out using EagleCAD. The students went through different iterations to increase the efficiency of the receiver circuit, making the footprint of the layout smaller to reduce weight as well as transmission loss in the conductive traces in the circuit board. The students also used a buck boost converter circuit, to use feedback to increase the power transmission efficiency. Both designs resulted in a boost of the output voltage compared to the input voltage and can provide power at the load. The advantage of the passive charge pump design is that any antenna can be connected to the circuit, and the RF Schottky diodes in the charge pump will convert the RF signals to DC signals. The disadvantage of the buck boost converter circuit is that a rectenna (antenna plus rectifier) is necessary at the input, because the buck boost converter uses a DC input signal and boosts it to a higher level. The next step that the students plan to take in Phase II is to combine the charge pump with the buck boost converter circuit so that a high gain, directional antenna can be attached to the input side, rectified by the charge pump, and boosted by the buck boost converter.


The conclusion is that both the charge pump and the buck boost converter circuit operate as simulated. The system is able to receive wireless RF signals and boost the output voltage at the load. There are advantages and disadvantages to both circuit designs, and the next proposed step is to try a combined circuit design to evaluate its efficiency compared to the charge pump and buck boost converter design.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

wireless energy harvesting, wireless energy scavenging, far field wireless power transfer, charge pump, buck boost converter

Relevant Websites:

Dr. Gregory Durgin at Georgia Tech
Dr. Durgin Bio Exit

Dr. Gregory Durgin’s Lab
The Propogation Group Exit

Dr. Chris Valenta at GTRI
Dr. Valenta Bio Exit

Microwave Vision Group (U.S. branch located in Kennesaw, Georgia)
The Broadest Choice of EMC and Antenna Test Solutions Exit

P3 Phase II:

Reduce Carbon Emissions By Wireless Power Transfer  | 2018 Progress Report  | 2019 Progress Report  | 2020 Progress Report