What does wireless power mean for industrial applications?

Industrial application designers are just beginning to see the value of wireless power for their systems. Consider an electronic point-of-sale (ePOS) terminal. The flexibility of not being tethered to a system (by cables or wires) and not having to worry about corrosion on the charge leads opens up a lot of possibilities for improved customer satisfaction, as speed and accuracy are key. Just think of all the places you’ve seen this type of terminal – restaurants, grocery stores, big-box stores, home improvement stores, even car rental locations.

One thing we all agree on is that portability makes life easier. Having no wires to break or get in the way improves the user experience significantly. And don’t get me started on connecting cables – which type of USB connector will you need, which DC adapter will connect, is it the right voltage and current rating, and so on. If you’re like me, you have a drawer somewhere in your home (and maybe in the office as well) full of old (useless) adapters from electronics you don’t have any more. Wireless power solves a lot of these problems.

Once you remove the wires, you move on to longer battery life. How can you get longer run times with portable equipment? The obvious answer is more capacity in the battery and faster charging times. But then you’re back to the cable and DC jack issues. Certainly you don’t want to wait longer for your accessory to charge. Wireless power, specifically 15W, is a huge step in the right direction. Figure 1 shows the time savings in a typical charging scenario comparing 5W charging (3.8 hours) to 10W charging (2.8 hours) – a 35% time savings.

 Figure 1: Charge times vs. charge power levels

The newly released bq501210 Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) v1.2 (Qi-certified) transmitter manager is capable of delivering 15W at the output of a compatible 15W receiver, which enables faster charging times compared to standard 5W wired or wireless charging platforms. The bq501210 is compatible with 5W WPC v1.1 and v1.2 receivers and enables two-way communication with compatible receivers.

The input-voltage flexibility of the bq501210 system incorporates the ability to work with a wide supply range (12V to 19V – and even down to 5V with reduced power) and will work with high-voltage dedicated charger port (HVDCP) supplies to negotiate for higher voltage over USB connections.

Enabling 15W in wireless power solutions goes a long way toward improving the user experience with portable industrial equipment. For faster charging and longer battery life in your next industrial design, consider TI’s bq501210 wireless power transmitter manager.

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