Resonant Coupling

Eberhard Waffenschmidt, Philips Research

From the beginning of inductive power transmission, resonant circuits are used to enhance the inductive power transmission. Already Nicola Tesla used resonances in his first experiments about inductive power transmission more than hundred years ago. Especially for systems with a low coupling factor, a resonant receiver can improve the power transfer. Resonant power transmission is a special, but widely used method of inductive power transmission and is limited by the same constraints of magnetic fields emissions and efficiency.
To understand the effect, it can be compared to mechanical resonances. Consider a string tuned to a certain tone as mechanical resonator. Even a far away and low level sound generator can excite the string to vibration, if the tone pitch is matched.
Here, the resonator in the receiver consists of the receiver inductance and a capacitor. Also the transmitter can have a resonator. The general arrangement is illustrated in Figure 6a. The transmitter and receiver coils LTx and LRx can be considered as weakly coupled transformer. For this, an equivalent circuit diagram consisting of magnetizing and stray inductance can be derived, as shown in 6b. In this diagram, also the resistances of the windings are shown. The diagram shows clearly, that the resonant capacitors cancel out the stray inductance in the receiver and the magnetizing inductance in the transmitter. Now, the only remaining limit for the power transmission is the winding resistances of the coils, which impedance is one or two orders of magnitude lower than that of the inductances. Therefore, for a given generator source, much more power can be received.


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