Wireless charging has come a long way since its first usable inception, and even the very first notable thoughts that Nikola Tesla had about inventing wireless power. Wireless chargers today aren’t on the same level that he was thinking of, but wireless charging is still a technical marvel.
So how exactly does wireless charging work? The thought that you can charge a battery just by putting the battery near a charging station instead of plugging into it is still crazy to me. To explain that, let’s go over what’s inside of that little charging station, and all of the technology behind it that makes the magic happen.
What’s Inside of a Wireless Charger That Lets it Charge?
Contrary to the name, a wireless charger actually has plenty of copper wires, they’re just all coiled tightly inside of them.
If your phone has wireless charging capability, or you have a case that lets you charge wirelessly, the same copper coils that are bundled up inside of your charger are also inside of your phone or case.
With all of these different wires involved it’s a lot easier to just call a wireless charger an inductive charger, not just because of the name, but because of how these coils manage to charge your battery.
There’s a little more inside than just a bunch of copper wires, but those wires are the most important part to carry the electrical current going through the charger to where it needs to go.
What Does Inductive Charging Mean?
Induction itself is all about storing electricity, or at the very least building it, so inductive charging is about building up that energy and passing it to somewhere else. Instead of just sending that energy out into the world freely, it goes straight into those copper coils inside of the charger.
I may have said it was a lot easier to call a wireless charger an inductive charger earlier, but calling it wireless charging (even with all the copper wiring) rolls off the tongue much easier.
How a Wireless Charger’s Components Charge Your Phone
I touched on it briefly before, but because of the way wireless chargers use copper coils of wire, they only charge devices with the same coils to transfer the built up electrical current. Thankfully, even if your phone isn’t built with this feature in mind, cases exist for most popular phones to let you charge wirelessly.
Depending on the model, they’re unfortunately on the heftier side, so they aren’t the most fashionable phone accessory, but their functionality makes up for it.
So how does all of this translate to your phone getting a full charge? The coils in both your phone and the charger don’t just pass electricity between each other, but what happens instead is an electrical current passes through the coils, making an electromagnetic field.
Now without the coils made to receive the electrical current stored inside of the electromagnetic field, your battery won’t get any extra juice. When you do have the receiving coils in your phone, or a special case, it’s pretty much like putting your phone in a bubble that’s constantly sending out energy, waiting to be picked up.
The electromagnetic field coming out of your charger isn’t enough to power the world like Tesla wanted, but it’s a great start, and still an amazing feat in its own right.
Is There Any Extra Setup With Wireless Charging?
While what goes on inside of a wireless charger sounds complex, getting them to work isn’t, unless you run into a few problems along the way. All you need to do is plug your charger into an outlet, or another acceptable power source, and you’re already set to put your phone on top of it to charge.
Just make sure your phone is compatible with wireless charging first before you buy one for yourself, or try to use one. You won’t damage your phone by putting it on a wireless charger when it doesn’t have the receiver coil required, but you aren’t doing it any favors either.
Is Wireless Charging Faster than Wired Charging?
In most cases, wireless charging is either going to be slower, or around the same speed of wired charging. As far as I see it, wireless charging is better for convenience’s sake, but if you want to quickly boost your phone’s battery you’re better off plugging it into a fast charger.
Are there Any Downsides to Wireless Charging?
With as many benefits as there are to wireless charging, the technology isn’t flawless yet, so it still has some downsides. Other than just being less effective than wired charging, wireless chargers, and the coils inside of them, generate much more heat than traditional charging.
This is why it isn’t a great idea to leave your phone on top of a wireless charger while it’s fully charged. While some chargers will stop emitting the electromagnetic field (and stop generating all that heat) when it sense your phone is fully charged, this isn’t the case for all of them.
I think wireless chargers are great for when you pick up your phone a lot during the day and need a good place to set it down to charge in between times with it. If you want to charge your phone overnight however, I think a wired charger is better to get the job done.
Wireless charging has already come a long way since its inception, and the technology for it is still getting better. It still has its problems, but as time goes on, we’ll iron them all out to the point where we couldn’t remember what the issues were in the first place.
Please let us know down below if you have any problems, or just anything you want to share about wireless charging and chargers.