While there have been major breakthroughs in the field of Electric Power Generation, the concepts that drive the electric transmission & distribution sector remain the same. The world is still yet to turn a new leaf to a more contactless technology for electric transmission, and the case is made all the stronger with the rising complexity of industrial requirements.
Contactless energy transmission is commonly known to the consumer end as wireless electricity. Appliances have already started surfacing that allow people to wirelessly charge their smartphones. Charging batteries is a major motivator for research in this field, as it could greatly assist automation. Robotics of the future will be very small & mobile. In order to make sure their mobility remains uncompromised a contactless charging solution would have to be implementable. This would make them highly autonomous, and ensure maximum usability. Still, there are several constraints & issues that R&D faces when it comes to producing contactless energy transmission mechanism.
Systems for non-contact energy transfer have started entering the market, one being Weidmüller FreeCon Contactless. The technology has been alive at the consumer end, mainly because it involves dealing with low levels of power. Progress has been made with industrial initiators and proximity switches. The real challenge begins when the appliance rating exceeds 10 watts, and goes all the way to 100 or 1000. Keeping the efficiency in check is extremely important, however guaranteeing 100% efficiency is not possible, making it difficult to retain IP65/67-degree protection.
Contactless power transmission works on a principle known as “inductive resonant coupling”. This coupling effect can only be achieved at short distance, greatly limiting the range for contactless transmission. Furthermore, it must also be noted that the efficiency of the entire process rests upon the distance between the source and the device. As the air gap increases, the efficiency decreases.
Wiedmuller Freecon Contactless
Burnt, bent and dirty contacts often lead to downtimes that can quickly run up to five figures. Applications that are most commonly affected include those that require frequent plugging cycles, e.g. tool changes for robots, or any other that have a tendency to undergo great wear & tear. Freecon Contactless can help with such systems and can be installed within production lines. Designed with high energy density as well as a high level of efficiency, Freecon Contactless is a product of choice for industrial customers in the fields of machine construction & production lines.
The conventional constraints of distance & ratings are present, but the use of transmission principles for specific applications where these constraints become irrelevant have allowed companies to reap the benefits of higher uptime & greater economic benefit. The greatest benefit comes as a result of complete lack of maintenance that allows managers to divert resources to more pressing issues. The wireless transmission technology is definitely new, but it’s one that’s being poked around from all directions. Companies even wish to include data transmission on top of power, which would open up new avenues of production, and align perfectly for the ongoing struggle of greater automation efficiency.
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