New Zealand to trial long range wireless power transmission

New Zealand is to publicly trial the world's first long range wireless power transmission as an alternative to existing copper line technology. The Emrod technology works by using electromagnetic waves to safely and efficiently transmit energy wirelessly over vast distance.

The prototype received some government funding and was designed and built in Auckland in cooperation with Callaghan Innovation.

New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution company, Powerco, will be the first to test Emrod technology.

The company was founded by tech entrepreneur Greg Kushnir; “We have an abundance of clean hydro, solar, and wind energy available around the world but there are costly challenges that come with delivering that energy using traditional methods, for example, offshore wind farms or the Cook Strait here in New Zealand requiring underwater cables which are expensive to install and maintain.

"I wanted to come up with a solution to move all that clean energy around from where it’s abundant to where it’s needed in a cost-effective, eco-friendly way.

“Energy generation and storage methods have progressed tremendously over the last century but energy transmission has remained virtually unchanged since Edison, Siemens, and Westinghouse first introduced electric networks based on copper wires 150 years ago.”

Kushnir approached NZ scientist Dr Ray Simpkin of Callaghan Innovation who lead a feasibility study and worked on the prototype. Callaghan Innovation backed Emrod with a research and development grant and seconded their lead scientist to work on the game changing prototype.

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 per cent increase in sustainable energy uptake, up to 85 per cent reduction in outages and up to 65 per cent reduction in electricity infrastructure costs due to the Emrod solution,” said Kushnir.

Emrod will 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.

Safety of the prototype is at the forefront for Emrod, who is using a non-ionizing Industrial, Scientific and Medical frequency (ISM) band to transmit power.

The company has been communicating with the regulator Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) continuously from the get go and maintaining the highest safety standards.

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