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June 22, 2010 AT 3:48 pm

Why Do We Still Use Powercords?

An interesting piece from Wired:

It’s a good thing Nikola Tesla never figured out how to time travel, because that cord jungle behind your entertainment center would break his heart—again. It’s been more than a century since he lit incandescent bulbs wirelessly in his lab, and yet you’re still plugging into the wall.

Even your three-pronged socket looks surprised.

My three-pronged socket looks more shocked than surprised, what with all that smoke and all… oh dear. Excuse me.


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4 Comments

  1. Tesla’s wireless power transmission was a cool dream, and Wired approaches the idea with its typical lack of journalistic rigor.

  2. Yeah, the issue isn’t that we aren’t adopting it. The issue is, his method blows out anything connected to a ground. We’d have to remove the ground from everything, including and ground outs at power plants, to avoid them receiving feedback, power, whatever it’s called, through the ground, and destroying that equipment.

    So, yeah, wireless power is really cool, but the amount of redesign required is prohibitive, at least with Tesla’s methods. Maybe if we had gone that route to begin with… but you know, it wasn’t profitable long term for power companies to build that infrastructure and essentially give the power away to everyone. The wires captured the audience and kept them with the companies.

  3. :thumbup:

  4. While powering devices wirelessly has a gee-whiz cool factor, it’s not as efficient as doing so with a cable. With a general transmitter, power that can be received drops by the cube of the distance from the receiving device to the transmitting device.

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