CEMPS funded PhD Studentship in Electronic Engineering: Large scale free-positioning wireless power transfer system for indoor applications

University of Exeter - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Primary Supervisor: Dr Dibin Zhu 

Secondary Supervisor: Prof Meiling Zhu

Project Description: Wireless Power Transfer (WPT), as a method to power electronic device, has attracted increasing attention over the last few years. It is regarded as one of the most promising methods to power wireless devices on the Internet of Things which is a global research hotspot.

Near field WPT operates based on the near-field electromagnetic coupling of coils. It has been widely used in charging portable devices and electric cars. However, applications of traditional WPT largely depend on the position of transmitter coils. The receiver has to be placed near the transmitter in order to receive useful amount of power. Free-positioning WPT solutions and systems are available on the market which allows the receiver to be placed in a random position. However, existing systems only target areas smaller than 10×10cm2. Previous research showed that both horizontal and vertical transmission distances of WPT systems can be increased using relay resonators. This provides the opportunity to scale up the free-positioning WPT systems.

This project aims at developing a large scale free-positioning wireless power transfer system for indoor applications. The system uses relay resonators to extend power transmission distance both horizontally and vertically. It can detect positions of receiver coils and select optimal power transfer routes automatically to realise free-positioning wireless power transfer.

Such a system can potentially be used to power floor lamps, functional chairs or even desktop equipment using vertical relay resonators. It enables the possibility of minimising cable usage and flexibility of room retrofit. The main tasks in this project include:

  1. Optimise arrangement of relay coils
  2. Design mechanism to detect positions of multiple receiver coils
  3. Develop algorithm to automatically select optimal relay route and configure relay coils

Contact for informal enquiries: For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact Dr Dibin Zhu (d.zhu@exeter.ac.uk)

Funding Minimum
Tuition fees UK/EU/International and £14,296 an annual maintenance allowance at current research council rate

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South West England