How Real Wireless Power Will Enable a More Sustainable Future

Green Construction Image

Building green. Leed certified. Alternative energy. What might have started as a movement to protect the environment has also become good business sense, especially as the average retail price of electricity continues to trend up.[1] We consider a “green” building one that is built with a smaller environmental impact and decreased energy needs.

 Real Wireless Power -- power delivered over a distance, without the need for wires or batteries -- plays an integral part of this movement. Wireless power, like Cota, helps protect the environment in three world-transforming ways:

  1. Minimize the need for new hardwiring of homes and businesses
  2. Decrease our current dependency on batteries
  3. Eliminate a potentially growing need for batteries in the future due to the increasing energy requirements of 5G and IoT

Let’s take a closer look at all three.

1. Minimize the Need for Wiring

Airports, coffee shops, offices, and even homes are adding more electrical outlets with every new build and remodel to make it more convenient for us to plug in and charge our devices or light our rooms.

With all these outlets comes miles and miles of copper wire that needs to be mined, developed, shipped, and installed.  The environmental costs of this process could be largely avoided if the majority of small devices used wireless power and didn’t need a conveniently close wall plug. The environmental impact shrinks even more when you consider the hardwiring we could avoid for lighting, switches, security, thermostats, and other in-home and in-building necessities.

 Consider this single use case: in the U.S., the average cost of wiring a 1,200-square-foot home is $10,400 according to Fixr, with a single outlet costing between $200 and $750.[2] Imagine new home prices dropping by thousands of dollars, because they don’t need as many plugs and hardwiring. And that’s just one house, and not an 800,000 square foot airport terminal.

 Not only is wireless power helping save the environment, it’s also helping increase the potential of home ownership. For more detail, check out The True Cost of Wireless Power.

2. Decrease Our Current Dependence on Batteries

With the growth in mobile technology and the interconnectedness of things comes the rise of the need for portable power.

All over the globe, we have been depending on batteries for a very long time, and although we know mining toxic materials for disposable batteries can be harmful to workers and communities and we know that the materials used in batteries is toxic and can leach into the groundwater when we don’t recycle or dispose of them properly, three billion batteries (single use and rechargables) end up in the landfill every year in the U.S.[3]

Wireless power is not likely to replace the need for the use of batteries in the near-term, yet it certainly will help us decrease our need for them, especially to power the thousands of inaccessible or hard-to-reach sensors in IoT. Not to mention power the devices that use those smaller, frequently used type AAs.

Ossia has taken many significant steps to reduce our need for batteries.  As one example, Ossia introduced technology for the Cota Forever Battery not too long ago. It’s not really a battery, but rather a wireless power receiver that’s shaped like a battery and can retrofit and enable our billions of small devices to receive wireless power. It won the 2018 CES Innovation award

Batteries are, by design, a flawed solution to our future of mobile, flexible, renewable energy. They have a limited shelf life, even when not in use, and are costly to make and recycle. Once we have wireless power receivers fitting into all our most frequently used small devices, the harmful environmental impact of creating and disposing of batteries will decrease dramatically.

Check out the Five Ways Wireless Power Decreases Our Reliance on the Disposable Battery.

3. Eliminate a Potentially Growing Need for Batteries in the Future

If you are familiar with 5G, you know that it’s faster, more responsive, and has a lower latency than its predecessor network, 4G. It’s enabling the growth of more innovative, useful IoT and other devices. 

With more IoT, we get even more sensors and devices that are always on and demand consistent, automatically delivered power.  The first response might be to make more batteries and install more wire, but batteries and hard-wiring just won’t keep up. Gartner predicts 25 billion IoT devices by 2021[4], and all of those devices have multiple sensors, while Ericsson predicts that 5G networks will cover 40% of the globe by 2024.[5]

Once again, it makes good business sense to invest in the environmentally friendly route and deliver power wirelessly. 

For more information about how 5G and wireless power will interact, read What Does Wireless Power Have to Do with 5G

The Greener Energy Solution: Cota

With a wireless power solution like Cota, you only need to plug in or hard-wire in one location: the main transmitter. Everything else, including additional linked transmitters for a greater range, can be connected and powered wirelessly.

With wireless power like Cota, you can: 

  • Have power delivered safely throughout your home or building, just like Wi-Fi.
  • Prioritize which devices get power (or default to lowest battery levels), view the basic power usage of the device, and set up and manage users remotely via the cloud.
  • Put an end to wasted energy; Cota goes into sleep mode when not needed.

We imagine a world where wireless power is also the solution for people who don’t have convenient access to electricity. People will be able to power ultra-efficient lights so they don’t have to inhale hazardous fumes from kerosene[6], a fuel used to light as many as 500 million off-grid households.

Cota Real Wireless Power is the next natural step for sustainable, green building and operations.