Boeing, no doubt, is one of the most innovative companies in the world. Time and again, they come with innovations that use to be out of the box and leave you in a state of awe – a method to harness noise in an airport into electricity, for example.
While the whole world is using inductive energy transfer as a method to transfer electricity contactless-ly – Movitrans by SEWEurodrive, for example – Boeing decide to move further by using a Photovoltaic module and a light source for contactless energy transfer.
Boeing again, thus, decided to draw out of the line here. A recent patent application by Boeing titled System and Method for Contactless Energy Transfer to a Moving Platform discloses this invention.
From the title, you can easily infer that the patent is specifically for moving platforms. One example of which is a train that requires continuous electrical energy. A train collects current from an overhead wire via a trolley pole which remains in constant touch with overhead wire.
The major drawback of such a system is that it get subjected to wear and tear which decreases the overall life of such an equipment – trolley pole and wire in case of an electric train.
And the present invention by Boeing solves this problem. The solution this patent proposes is awesome. It doesn’t talk about any new discovery. It’s a pure masterpiece of creativity at play. What the patent does is it makes use of high-intensity lights and photovoltaic module.
The high-intensity light sources are going to be static here – they will play the role of the overhead wire, for example (just an example to make you understand the concept, I’m not saying that this will be used in this manner) – while photovoltaic module will play the role of a trolley pole here.
The patent mentions that static high-intensity lights will sense when a moving object is approaching – train in our case – and will get switched on. The photovoltaic module at the top of the moving object will receive the falling photons which it will convert into electricity to move the train.
I don’t know how feasible this solution is when it comes implementing it for electric trains. However, if it gets implemented, the electric trains are going to be faster than they are at this moment.
What are your critical views on this? Which one hurdle you think this solution is going to face the most? Do you think this is future of transportation?