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9, SEPTEMBER 2012 2125

A Power Link Study of Wireless

Non-Radiative Power Transfer Systems
Using Resonant Shielded Loops
Erin M. Thomas, Member, IEEE, Jason D. Heebl, Member, IEEE, Carl Pfeiffer, Student Member, IEEE, and
Anthony Grbic, Member, IEEE

Abstract—This paper discusses the use of magnetically coupled benefit of only weakly interacting with surrounding non-reso-
resonators for midrange wireless non-radiative power transfer nant objects, as most everyday materials are non-magnetic.
(WNPT). A quasi-static (circuit) model is developed to establish The transfer of RF power through magnetic coupling has been
key measures of performance and to aid in design. The use of
directly fed, resonant shielded loops for WNPT is also proposed studied for some time; a sampling of earlier work can be found
for the first time. Two experimental WNPT systems employing in [3]–[10]. However, these earlier works considered small sep-
shielded loops are reported. A comprehensive experimental study aration distances (distances less than one loop radius), that is,
is performed, and the performance of the WNPT systems shows close range instead of midrange power transfer. Additionally,
close agreement with analytical predictions and developed circuit this work utilizes the natural resonance of the coils along with
models. With a single-turn system of loop radius 10.7 cm, power
transfer efficiency of 41.8% is achieved at a loop separation of conjugate matching on both the source and receiver, whereas
35 cm (3.3 loop radii). When the number of turns is increased earlier works increased efficiency by solely loading the loops
to ten, a power transfer efficiency of 36.5% is achieved at a loop with a capacitor to achieve resonance.
separation of 56 cm (5.3 loop radii). Measured magnetic field WNPT has seen interest from research institutions [1], [2],
levels in the vicinity of the WNPT systems are shown to closely [11]–[13] and industry [14], [15]. Numerous applications of
agree with analytical field values.
WNPT have been proposed, such as charging electric vehi-
Index Terms—Mutual inductance, non-radiative power transfer, cles, personal electronics and providing power for robots in
resonant magnetic coupling, shielded loops, wireless power.
a manufacturing environment. For each of these applications,
improving the efficiency, practicality and range of WNPT
systems are critical. The range can be defined as the maximum
I. INTRODUCTION distance at which a certain efficiency can be achieved, where
the target efficiency may vary with application. The efficiency

M ID-RANGE wireless non-radiative power transfer is most realistically quoted as the ratio of the power dissipated
(WNPT) was introduced in 2007 with a theoretical in the load to the power available from the source
overview and an experimental demonstration [1]. WNPT relies .
on coupling between two or more resonant objects through their In this paper, a detailed explanation of magnetically coupled
evanescent (non-radiating) fields. Therefore, it is necessary resonators for midrange WNPT is presented from a circuit per-
for the resonators to be within each other’s reactive near field. spective. Using a coupled RLC representation of the system,
Although theoretical work suggests that any electromagnetic performance metrics and design equations are derived. A thor-
resonators can be used for WNPT [2], the initial demonstration ough analysis of impedance matching is also reported. The pre-
utilized magnetic resonance. Magnetic resonators have the added sented circuit model is shown to accurately predict the perfor-
mance of two experimental WNPT systems over a wide range
of operating distances. Dramatic improvements in efficiency are
Manuscript received May 14, 2011; revised September 23, 2011; accepted
December 23, 2011. Date of publication February 07, 2012; date of current demonstrated with the use of matching networks that provide a
version August 24, 2012. This work was supported by the U.S. Air Force simultaneous conjugate match to both the source and load.
(FA8650-05-D-5807, FA8650-090-D-5037) through Universal Technology
In addition, the use of open-circuited, shielded loops for
Corporation and UES Inc. subcontract agreements. This paper was recom-
mended by Associate Editor E. Alarcon. WNPT is proposed for the first time. Shielded loops have been
E. M. Thomas was with the Radiation Laboratory, Department of Electrical extensively studied and previously used for magnetic field
Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
probes and imaging [16]–[22]. The open-circuit termination
48109 USA. She is now with SRI International in the Communications, Radar
and Sensing Lab, Menlo Park, CA 84025 USA (e-mail: of the loops creates a capacitance which allows the loops to
A. Grbic and C. Pfeiffer are with the Radiation Laboratory, Department of resonate. These shielded loops are simple to construct and offer
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann
several advantages. They are balanced structures (baluns are
Arbor, MI 48109 USA (e-mail:;
J. D. Heebl was with the Air Force Research Labs, Materials and Manufac- not required) which can be directly fed through coaxial RF
turing Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH 45433 USA. connectors. Baluns are undesirable because they add fabrica-
He is now with Space and Missiles Systems Center, Satellite Control Network,
tion complexity and cost, and introduce losses which degrade
Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, CA 90245 USA (e-mail: Jason.Heebl. efficiency. Alternatively, a signal source with a balanced trans-
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TCSI.2012.2185295 mission-line output such as twin-wire lines could be used.

1549-8328/$31.00 © 2012 IEEE


the next section, all the circuit parameters are found analytically
(in closed form).
From this circuit model, the input and output impedances of
the system can be calculated

Fig. 1. Equivalent circuit for two magnetically coupled resonant loops. Expres-
sions for and are given by (1) and (2). Optimal expressions for (1)
and are given by (5) and (6).

However, balanced transmission lines are problematic since

they are not shielded from the environment, thereby making (2)
them more susceptible to background noise and parasitic
coupling to nearby objects. Driver and load loops used in The loops resonate when or becomes purely real. If the
earlier WNPT systems [1], [11], [23], [24] are not needed in loops are identical
the proposed designs. Additionally, since shielded loops have
a predominantly magnetic response [18], they eliminate the (3)
electric dipole moment of earlier open-circuited helical struc-
tures used for WNPT [1]. Finally, the shielded loop systems are resonance occurs at . At resonance, the effi-
geometrically simple and can be characterized analytically. The ciency of the coupled loop system depicted in Fig. 1 is
elements of their circuit models can be derived in closed form.
Utilizing the theory and design methods outlined in this
paper, two WNPT systems were fabricated: one with single-turn
loops and the other with ten-turn coils. The single-turn system
had a lower profile, while the ten-turn system provided an
increased range. Both systems were designed to have a loop
radius of approximately 10 cm. A comprehensive experi- where is the reflection coeffi-
mental study of the fabricated WNPT systems is reported. The cient at the source.
single-turn system exhibited an efficiency of 41.8% at 3.3 times The efficiency, , has been defined as the ratio of power de-
the loop radius and the ten-turn system exhibited an efficiency livered to the load to power available from the source. The ef-
of 36.5% at 5.3 times the loop radius. It is shown that the ficiency can be maximized, or equivalently the power transfer
system performances were predicted accurately by their circuit maximized, if both input and output are simultaneously conju-
models. gately matched: and (see Fig. 1) [33].
Experimental WNPT systems have been demonstrated in the It should be noted that the WNPT systems reported to date [1],
past [23]–[28], and circuit models of such systems have been [2], [11], [23]–[28] have not been simultaneously conjugately
reported [29]–[31]. Though optimal load values have been de- matched. A conjugate match leads to the following expressions
rived [27], [29], optimal source values have not. In addition, for the optimal source, , and load, , impedances
previous experimental WNPT systems have not been rigorously
tested under these optimal conditions to demonstrate maximum
achievable efficiencies. In this paper, maximum power transfer (5)
efficiencies for a WNPT system under optimal conditions at var-
ious separation distances are demonstrated.
Additionally, the magnetic field strength surrounding the (6)
single-turn system was predicted using exact expressions for
the time-harmonic fields from a thin wire loop with uniform At resonance, the impedances given by (5) and (6) simplify to
current [32]. The experimental magnetic field was measured
using an electrically-small non-resonant circular probe and
agreed with theoretical predictions. (7)


A WNPT system consisting of two magnetically coupled, res-
onant loops can be modeled by the circuit shown in Fig. 1. The Equation (8) is simply the maximum efficiency condition given
capacitances and inductances model the resonant nature of the in [1], which by itself neglects reflections at the source. Substi-
loops, and the resistors model both the radiation (which is quite tuting both (7) and (8) into the efficiency expression yields the
small) and ohmic loss. The loops are coupled through their mu- maximum possible efficiency for a system of coupled magnetic
tual inductance . For the case of shielded loops described in resonators. Therefore, to ensure maximum power transfer, not

Fig. 3. Circuit model of magnetically-coupled, resonant, shielded loops. This

is an extension of the general model in Fig. 1 that includes the feed line present
in shielded loops.

Fig. 2. Cross sectional view of proposed shielded loop structure. The arrows present in the shielded loop and predicts its behavior over a
represent the current flow. The portion of the line from the input port to the slit wider range of frequencies. Each circuit component in Fig. 3 is
in the outer conductor acts as a feed line. The portion of the line from the slit
to the open circuit end is the open-circuited stub that generates the capacitance. realized by a specific portion of the shielded loop. The outside
The entire outside of the outer conductor acts as an inductor. of the loop is responsible for the inductance. The capacitance is
generated by the open-circuited stub: the section of line from the
slit to the open circuit. The rest of the line can be denoted as the
only does (8) reported in [1] need to be satisfied, but so does (7) feed line. This feed line introduces an impedance translation and
in order to eliminate reflections at the source. some additional loss. Since the capacitance is shielded by the
From (1), an expression for the resonant frequency splitting, loop’s outer shell, there is no significant electric dipole moment
, predicted by coupled mode theory [1] can be derived. This observed outside of the loop. To an outside observer, this loop
splitting can be obtained by setting the imaginary part of appears to be made of a solid wire. This allows the self and
equal to zero and solving for . Under the assumption that mutual inductances to be approximated as those for solid loops.
, the frequency splitting for identical loops (3) be-
comes The circuit parameters in Fig. 3 can be estimated using ana-
lytic expressions. The inductance is equivalent to the inductance
(9) of a solid loop. For a single-turn loop, this can be approximated
as [34]
This expression is in agreement with the frequency splitting (10)
expression stated in [1]. From (9), different coupling regimes
can be defined. At critical coupling, there is only one resonance. where is the loop radius and is the wire radius (in the case
Hence, and therefore . This of the shielded loop, this is the outer conductor’s radius). The
is the threshold between strong and mutual inductance is that of two current loops, and can be found
weak coupling . In the strong coupling using elliptic integrals [34]
regime, there are two resonant frequencies (separated by ) in
addition to . If , the coupling is weak (11)
and there is one resonant frequency.
The model in Fig. 1 is for general magnetic resonators. One (12)
realization of such a resonator is the open-circuited shielded
loop shown in Fig. 2, which offers a number of advantages for
WNPT. Shielded loops are balanced structures and can be easily and is the number of turns, and are the radii of the
fed. Their simple geometry allows the elements of their circuit loops, is the separation of the loops and and are
model to be derived analytically. They also exhibit a predom- the complete elliptic integrals of the first and second kind. The
inantly magnetic response [18], which eliminates the electric capacitance is generated by an open-circuited transmission line
dipole effect observed in the initial demonstration of WNPT [1]. of length . It is found using standard transmission-line theory
The loops are open-circuited (see Fig. 2) in order to create a [33]
capacitance that allows them to resonate even though they are
electrically small . The arrows in Fig. 2 show the cur-
rent flow on a shielded loop. The signal enters the input port of
where is the characteristic admittance of the coaxial cable,
the shielded loop and propagates down the interior of the coaxial
is the propagation constant within the coaxial cable, and is
cable to the slit in the outer conductor. It then traverses the exte-
the length of the open-circuited stub. The resistance can be split
rior of the loop to the opposite side of the slit and finally enters
into a radiation resistance and an ohmic resistance. The radiation
the open-circuited stub. Therefore, the loop and the open-cir-
resistance is that of a magnetic dipole
cuited stub can be viewed as being in series.
The circuit in Fig. 1 correctly models the coupled shielded
loops when their feed lines are de-embedded. A more accurate
model is given in Fig. 3. This model accounts for the feed line

Due to the skin effect, the ohmic resistance can also be separated
into two [19]: the resistance associated with the outside of the
outer coaxial conductor (pertaining to the inductor ) and the
resistance associated with the inside of the coaxial cable (per-
taining to the feed line and open-circuited stub). The resistance
associated with is given by


where is the outer radius of the outer conductor, is the

conductivity of the conductor, is the radial frequency, and
, with N being the number of turns. The per-unit-length
resistance of a coaxial cable is: Fig. 4. Experimental setup for the single-turn WNPT system. Matching net-
works are shown connecting the cables to the loops. The cables run from the
matching networks to the source or load. The separation distance shown is
(16) 20 cm.

where is the radius of the inner conductor and is the radius TABLE I
of the insulator (or equivalently the inner radius of the outer con- COMPARISON OF RESONANT FREQUENCIES FOR SINGLE-TURN SYSTEM
ductor). The per-unit-length conductance is very large at MHz
frequencies, so it does not contribute significantly to the loss.
Therefore, the resistance associated with the open-circuited stub
(C) is and the loss associated with the
feed line is . In order to obtain the model in
Fig. 1, the effects of the feed line can be de-embedded. Once the experimental resonant frequencies were determined from ex-
parameters are de-embedded, the true resonance point of each perimental S-parameters. They were found by de-embedding
loop can be identified. This is the frequency at which the si- the feed lines in both simulation and experiment. De-embed-
multaneous conjugate match is made in order to maximize effi- ding was not necessary for the analytic expressions, as they
ciency. neglect the presence of the feed line. The resonant frequencies
were all within 3% of each other. The measured resonant
IV. SIMULATION AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS frequencies of the two experimental loops were within 0.25%
of each other. The percentage difference between theory and
Two systems utilizing shielded loops were investigated: a experiment could be decreased if the manufacturing of the
single-turn loop system and a multi-turn coil system. Both coils was optimized. The loops were not perfectly circular,
systems consisted of two magnetically-coupled, resonant, therefore the overall radius used to determine the theoretical
shielded loops. The single-turn system has a lower profile, and simulated frequencies was approximate. The matching
while the multi-turn system has a larger working range. In circuits that will be used to conjugately match the loops to
the experiments, scattering parameters (S-parameters) were source and load impedances can also be used to compensate
measured using a vector network analyzer (Hewlett Packard for slight differences in the resonant frequencies of the two
3753D). Power measurements for the single-turn system were loops. To simplify the fabrication of the open-circuited shielded
performed using an analog signal generator (Agilent N5183A) loops presented here and tighten tolerances, one may also
and a power meter (Agilent E4416A) with a power sensor use strip-line based, planar shielded loops compatible with
(Agilent N8485A). The field measurements were performed printed-circuit fabrication methods [35].
using a power meter (Agilent E4416A) with a power sensor The values for the model in Fig. 3 were initially set to the
(Agilent N8485A). analytically derived values. The model S-parameters were then
compared against the experimental S-parameters. With minor
A. Single Turn System
tuning of L, C, R and the length of the feed line, the indi-
A single-turn shielded loop was designed and simulated vidual isolated loop parameters were determined (with
using a commercial full-wave finite-element solver (Ansoft ). The analytic values and tuned (experimental) model values
HFSS). Two loops with the same dimensions were then built are stated in Table II. The model in Fig. 3 can be treated with
and tested. The loop radius was 10.7 cm and constructed from lossless or lossy lines. If the feed line is modeled as lossless, the
coaxial cable with a teflon dielectric. To test the system, resistance, R, in the model should be the combined resistance of
one loop was held up by a styrofoam structure above a table the resonator and the feed. If the feed line is modeled as lossy,
top, while the other loop was attached to a movable arm using then the resistance, R is simply the resonator resistance. The the-
styrofoam, as shown in Fig. 4. oretical mutual inductance given by (11) was used in the model.
A comparison between the analytic, simulated and exper- From the values in Tables I and II, a -factor can be computed
imental loop resonant frequencies is shown in Table I. The for each loop. If we consider , with R being the


Fig. 6. This Smith chart shows matching considerations for various distances
at 37.95 MHz. The values shown are (squares, ) and (triangles, )
from the model shown in Fig. 3, which accounts for the feed lines.

Fig. 5. This Smith chart shows the theoretical efficiency for different load
values, as predicted by (4), given the “Resonator R” values from Table II, a
separation distance of 20 cm and source impedance from (5).
Fig. 7. Schematic of the matching networks. The parallel capacitance, ,
is split into two equal-valued capacitors to balance the currents. The lines inter-
connecting the capacitors, source and loop are grounded co-planar waveguide
sum of all losses (i.e., the feed line and the resonator losses) transmission lines with and length, width, and gap width given in
then loop 1 has a -factor of approximately 280 and loop 2 has Table III.
a -factor of approximately 290. If only the resonator losses
are considered, then the Q-factors for loop 1 and loop 2 are TABLE III
approximately 610 and 680, respectively. MATCHING NETWORK PARAMETERS FOR AND THE
The parameters in Table II and (4) can be used to determine DESIRED . THE MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AT EACH DISTANCE IS ALSO
the efficiency of the system for different load values. Fig. 5 SYSTEM ARE: MM, MM, MM, MM
shows the results of load pull simulations for a 20 cm separa-
tion. The source impedance is held constant at the value given
by (5) and the load impedance is varied.
The model in Fig. 3, with circuit parameters stipulated in
Table II, was used to design matching networks at three sep-
arate distances (20 cm, 35 cm, 50 cm). The center distance (35
cm) was determined by finding the greatest distance at which a
efficiency of approximately 40% is achieved networks were implemented in grounded coplanar waveguide
using practical (lossy) matching networks. The other two dis- technology (CPWG).
tances were chosen with equal separation from this center value. Fig. 8 shows the difference between experimental efficien-
The input and output impedances at all three distances were such cies for the system with and without optimized matching net-
that a purely capacitive L-section matching network achieved works at a loop separation of 35 cm. The experimental curve
a conjugate match to the 50 source and load, as shown in was found by placing the experimental scattering parameters of
Fig. 6. Using purely capacitive matching networks is advanta- the entire system (taken with and without matching networks for
geous since the Q-factors of commercial capacitors are much the respective curves) into a circuit simulator and sweeping the
higher than those of commercial inductors. frequency to find the efficiency versus frequency. A dramatic
Fig. 7 shows the L-section matching network used, and increase in transferred power is observed. All three matching
Table III lists the component values for the three distances. networks significantly increased the efficiency of the system.
Since the loops were close to identical, the same matching Fig. 9 shows plots of efficiency versus distance for the WNPT
networks were used for both source and the load. The matching system with matching networks designed for 20 cm, 35 cm

Fig. 9. Efficiency of the single-turn system utilizing matching networks opti-

Fig. 8. Efficiency of the single-turn system at 35 cm. The experimental peak mized for different distances. The analytic maximum efficiency curve was ob-
value with matching (using 50 source and load) is 40.58% at 37.83 MHz, the tained by substituting (8) into (4). This gives an expression for the maximum
model peak value with matching is 40.66% at 37.83 MHz and the experimental efficiency when and are conjugately matched to and . The cir-
peak value without matching is 0.1929% at 37.71 MHz. The difference in per- cles indicate the efficiencies at the distances for which the matching networks
formance between the system with matching networks and without matching were designed.
networks demonstrates the importance of impedance matching.

and 50 cm separations. The figure demonstrates that efficiencies EFFICIENCIES. (*) A FREQUENCY TUNED SOURCE IS USED TO INCREASE
very close to the theoretical maximum efficiency (given by sub- EFFICIENCY WITHIN THE STRONGLY COUPLED REGIME OF THE RESONATORS.
stituting (8) into (4)) can be achieved with impedance matching
networks. The experimental curves were found by powering the
source loop with a signal generator and measuring the power de-
livered to a power meter connected to the load loop. The load
loop was placed on a translation stage, as shown in Fig. 4. As can
be seen, the circuit model predicted the efficiency versus dis-
tance behavior accurately. The distances for which the matching
networks were designed are circled on the graph. The experi-
mental efficiencies at the design distances are: 76.9% at 20 cm
(1.87 loop radii), 41.8% at 35 cm (3.27 loop radii) and 12.9%
at 50 cm (4.67 loop radii). The 20 cm and 50 cm measurement
curves were taken at 37.94 MHz, while the 35 cm curve was
taken at 37.83 MHz. The slight frequency difference can be at- described in [1] is not considered in this summary for the reason
tributed to fabrication and component tolerances. Additionally, cited above.
the efficiency of the WNPT system impedance matched for 35 The scattering parameter at fixed distances is shown in
cm measured at a separation distance of 35 cm is slightly higher Fig. 10. Again, the circuit model accurately predicts the system
in Fig. 9 than it is in Fig. 8. This slight difference is due to the behavior. The loops strongly couple at their resonance (and di-
impedance difference between the actual source and load used rectly around it due to the finite Q-factor). The maximum effi-
to generate Fig. 9, and the ideal 50 source and load assumed ciency is achieved at the resonant frequency.
in Fig. 8. In Fig. 10, a wider bandwidth is seen at smaller separation
Fig. 9 shows that the peak efficiency is not at the distance distances. This bandwidth can be attributed to increased fre-
that the matching network was designed for. The peak efficiency quency splitting. Frequency splitting is defined as the differ-
denotes the distance at which critical coupling occurs. ence between the two points where the imaginary part of the
The efficiencies quoted here are ratios of the power available input impedance goes to zero. This splitting is predicted by (9).
from the source to the power dissipated in the load. This is in To verify this equation, de-embedded experimental S-parame-
contrast to the efficiencies quoted in [1], which were defined as ters of the system were used, given that (9) was based on the
the ratios of the currents in the self-resonant source (S) and de- basic model without feed lines. The experimental S-parameters
vice (D) coils. As a result, the efficiencies reported in [1] did of the coupled loops (with no matching networks) at a separa-
not take into account coupling to source and load. In addition, tion of 13.5 cm were de-embedded and placed in a circuit sim-
the efficiencies quoted here are significantly higher than those ulator. One port was terminated in a short circuit and the input
reported in [11], where an efficiency just above 50% was quoted impedance at the other end was observed. The imaginary part
at a separation distance of 17 cm (1.12 loop radii). A full com- of the input impedance is shown in Fig. 11.
parison of recently reported experimental data with results re- From Fig. 11, the experimentally determined frequency split-
ported in this study can be seen in Table IV. The WNPT system ting is 2.37 MHz. To determine the analytic splitting, (9) was

Fig. 12. Single-turn system wirelessly powering a 7.5 W light bulb at a distance
of 35 cm. Matching networks connect the load loop to the light bulb, and the
source loop to the cable attached to the power source. The loops are separated
from the table by foam cone platforms.
Fig. 10. S-parameter of the single-turn system utilizing matching networks
optimized for different distances. The experimental peak values are: dB
at 37.84 MHz for a separation of 20 cm, dB at 37.83 MHz for a separation
of 35 cm, and dB at 37.97 MHz for a separation of 50 cm. The model nents from Mini-Circuits [36]: a voltage controlled oscillator
peak values are: dB at 37.84 MHz for a separation of 20 cm, (ZOS- ), an amplifier (ZHL-ED12128A/1) and an attenu-
dB at 37.85 MHz for a separation of 35 cm, and dB at 37.97 MHz for ator (ZX73- ) to limit the oscillator input power to the
a separation of 50 cm.
amplifier. The input power to the source loop was approxi-
mately 42.8 dBm (19 W) at approximately 37.8 MHz. Fig. 12
shows the setup. A special matching network (as in Fig. 7) was
designed for the light bulb. The light bulb had an impedance
of , which resulted in values of pF
and pF for the load matching network. The matching
network designed earlier for a 35 cm separation was used as
the source matching network.
The focus of this work has been on the power transfer effi-
ciency of the matched resonant link. Therefore, losses within
the power stage were not considered up to this point. The am-
plifier (ZHL-ED12128A/1) used in the light bulb experiment
was a class A amplifier, which is inherently inefficient. A prac-
tical WNPT system would use a switched-mode, high efficiency
amplifier such as a class E amplifier. A class E amplifier oper-
ates efficiently by driving an active switch such that the cur-
Fig. 11. Imaginary part of the input impedance computed using the experi- rent-voltage product across it remains close to zero, thereby
mental de-embedded S-parameters with a short circuit load. The splitting fre- minimizing power dissipation. In this section, we design a class
quency shown is predicted well by (9).
E amplifier for use with the shielded loop WNPT system. The
basic configuration of a class E amplifier is shown in Fig. 13
used. Since (9) assumes identical loops, the parameters of only [37], [38].
one loop should be used for comparison. Using the model pa- The component values for the designed amplifier were com-
rameters for loop 1 (from Table II), the splitting was predicted puted using expressions from [38] for a and a sepa-
to be 2.311 MHz. If instead the model parameters for loop 2 are ration distance of cm. At this separation distance, the
used, the predicted splitting is 2.368 MHz. The percent differ- input impedance of the coupled loops is (see
ence between the experimentally determined splitting and the Table III), resulting in an amplifier load resistance of
analytic splitting is 2.5% and 0.08% when the values of loop 1 . The component values were then fine-tuned
and loop 2 are used, respectively. The higher resonant frequency using the methods described in [38] to minimize power dissipa-
represents the odd mode, while the lower frequency represents tion. The final component values for the class E amplifier were:
the even mode. pF, pF, H, and H.
Using a supply voltage of V, the simulated amplifier
B. WNPT in Practice delivered 7.63 W to the load with a power added effi-
To demonstrate the practicality of the single-turn WNPT ciency (PAE) of 95.9%. The amplifier was then connected to the
system, the loops were used to wirelessly power a 7.5 W equivalent circuit for the shielded loop WNPT system and sim-
light bulb. The experiment was performed using compo- ulated for distances ranging from cm to cm. The

Fig. 13. Basic configuration of a class E amplifier. is an active switch (tran-

sistor). is a RF choke. The components , and define the of the
amplifier. is the impedance of the amplifier load: the input impedance of
the shielded loops.

Fig. 15. Theoretical magnetic field for two loops carrying constant currents
separated by 35 cm. The field is measured transverse to the loop axis. The input
source power was assumed to be 17 dBm (0.05 W). The power into the second
loop was assumed to be 42% of the source input power.

To measure the strength of the magnetic field between the

experimental loops, a small loop antenna with a 27 mm diam-
eter was used. This loop antenna was constructed as a short-cir-
cuited, shielded loop. Unlike the open-circuited, shielded loops
used for WNPT, this loop does not resonate. To find the mag-
netic field, Faraday’s law was used. For a small loop, the field is
nearly constant, so the magnetic field intensity can be found as
Fig. 14. Simulated efficiency of the single turn shielded loop system driven by
the class E amplifier. The circles denote the PAE of the amplifier and the solid
line plots the efficiency of the shielded loop system matched for a 20 cm loop
separation. The dash dot line shows the total efficiency: the product of these two
efficiencies. The dashed line denotes the analytical maximum efficiency.
with S being the area of the loop: . However, the quan-
tity measured was power using a power sensor and power meter.
The probe, sensor and power meter can be modeled as a series
PAE and the efficiency of the coupled loops was recorded. The
circuit. Then the found in (17) is given by
product of these two values is the total efficiency of the system.
The simulated efficiency results are shown in Fig. 14. The ide-
alized class E amplifier presented here demonstrates that power (18)
can be efficiently delivered to a shielded loop WNPT system.
The simulation results are qualitatively similar to those in [39], where R is the 50 sensor input resistance, P is the measured
which explored the use of class E amplifiers in WNPT systems. power in Watts, and and are the measured induc-
tance and resistance of the isolated probe.
C. Magnetic Field Measurements The magnetic field along the axis of the loops is shown in
The single-turn shielded loops have a circumference of . Fig. 16 and closely agrees with analytical predictions.
Since they are electrically small, the current can be approxi-
D. Enhanced Performance With the Ten-Turn Coil System
mated as constant. Additionally, to an outside observer they ap-
pear as thin wire loops. The theoretical magnetic fields of a thin One way to increase the useable range of the shielded loop
loop with constant current can be calculated exactly using the system is to introduce multiple turns. As shown by (11), the
expressions given in [32]. Fig. 15 shows the theoretical mag- mutual inductance increases quadratically with N, the number
netic field versus distance transverse to the loop axis. It is shown of turns. However, the losses also increase with conductor
for two loops separated by 35 cm, with an input power of 17 length: . This added loss prevents dramatic increases in
dBm (0.05 W). The magnetic field is shown at three separate the working range.
distances from the source loop: at the source (0 cm axial dis- Two ten-turn coils were designed, built and tested. The av-
tance), midpoint between the two loops (17.5 cm axial distance) erage loop radius was 10.5 cm and each loop was constructed
and at the load loop (35 cm axial distance). The currents on the from coaxial cable with teflon as the dielectric. The av-
loops were determined using the circuit model and circuit pa- erage distance between turns was 1.285 cm. The slit was placed
rameters given in Table II. At the source and load, the field is on the last turn, so that the open-circuited transmission line was
strongest at the wire. At the midpoint between the two loops, again of length . To test the system, each loop was hung in
the field is strongest in the center. the air from a rod using plastic string, as shown in Fig. 17. This



Fig. 16. Theoretical and experimental magnetic field strength between the
single-turn shielded loops along their axis. The theoretical curve was generated and N is the number of turns, r is the radius of the loop, a is
using (1a) in [32] and the experimental field was calculated from power the wire radius and K(k) and E(k) are the complete elliptic inte-
measurements using (17) and (18). The input power was 17 dBm (0.05 W) and grals of the first and second kind. The analytic and experimental
the received power was approximately 13 dBm (0.02 W).
resonant frequencies are listed in Table V. As in the single-turn
system, the experimental resonant frequencies were found by
de-embedding the experimental S-parameters. The measured
resonant frequencies of the two experimental loops were within
3.3% of each other. The analytic and experimental frequencies
differed by 4.3%.
Using the analytic expressions, the maximum distance at
which 40% efficiency could be achieved was determined. Ex-
perimental S-parameters were then recorded for distances close
to this maximum distance. The separation was measured as the
distance between the closest points on each coil. From these
S-parameters, conjugate matching networks were designed.
Since the resonant frequencies were farther apart than those for
the single-turn case, the matching networks were different for
the source and load. The input impedance around resonance
Fig. 17. Experimental setup for the ten-turn coil WNPT system. The separa- for the ten-turn coils changes rapidly, so operating slightly off
tion between the coils is 56 cm, measured from the closest points. Each turn is resonance can cause dramatic changes in the input impedance.
separated by strips of ROHACELL foam to prevent electrical contact between
turns. The loops are connected to cables through matching networks. The cables
This caused the matching networks to be notably different, even
attach to source or load. The loops are suspended from a plastic rod to ensure though the loops themselves were very similar. The desired
they are on axis. impedances for the source and load, and , are given in
Table VI. The schematic in Fig. 7 was used for the matching
network, and the circuit parameters are stated in Table VI.
allowed the two loops to be on axis with one another as the sep- The matching networks significantly increased power
aration distance was changed. The turns of each loop were sep- transfer. With matching networks, an efficiency of 36.5% was
arated using strips of Rohacell foam. This ensured there was no reached at a 56 cm (5.33 loop radii) separation. Fig. 18 shows
electrical contact between turns. the experimental results with and without matching. Again,
The analytic values for the capacitance, losses and mutual in- the experimental curve was found by placing the experimental
ductance are computed as in the case of the single-turn loops, scattering parameters of the entire system (taken with and
and are given by (11)–(16). The self-inductance can be calcu- without matching networks for the respective curves) into
lated as a special case of the mutual inductance [34]. Utilizing a circuit simulator and sweeping the frequency to find the
(11), the self-inductance is found to be efficiency versus frequency.
The model in Fig. 3 can also be used for this ten-turn system.
The values of the model parameters were initially set to the
values obtained analytically. The model was then compared to
the experimental S-parameters of the system and the values of
each isolated loop were tuned to obtain closer agree-
where ment. The analytic and tuned model parameter values can be
found in Table VII. The resistance quoted is the total resistance
(20) (including feed line and resonator loss). Again, the theoretical
mutual inductance given by (19) ( H at 56 cm)

Fig. 18. Efficiency of the ten-turn system at a separation of 56 cm. The dif- Fig. 19. Efficiency of the ten-turn system utilizing matching networks opti-
ference in efficiencies with and without matching demonstrates the importance mized for different distances. The results are based on the circuit model in Fig. 3.
of impedance matching. The experimental peak efficiency with matching was The circles indicate the efficiencies at the distances for which the matching net-
36.59% at 5.256 MHz, the model peak efficiency with matching was 35.49% at works were designed.
5.255 MHz, and the experimental peak efficiency without matching was 1.813%
at 5.247 MHz. The efficiency without matching is better than it was for the
single-turn system shown in Fig. 8. This is due to an increase in mutual induc-


was used in the model, and verified by comparing S of the

model to S of the experimental data.
As with the single turn system, the circuit model of the ten-
Fig. 20. S-parameter S of the circuit model and experimental ten-turn system
turn system can be used to predict the efficiency for various with loop separation of 56 cm. The peak experimental value is dB at
matching distances. Fig. 19 shows the simulated efficiency of 5.256 MHz and the peak model value is dB at 5.255 MHz.
the ten-turn system with matching networks designed for 20 cm,
35 cm, 56 cm, and 80 cm separations. The experimental result
at 56 cm is also plotted on the graph. As expected, Fig. 19 is a mutual inductance. From this model, expressions for the
similar to Fig. 9 except for the higher efficiencies due to the input impedance, resonant frequency, frequency splitting and
increased mutual inductance. efficiency of the system were determined. Additionally, con-
Although the S-parameters were used to design the matching ditions for maximum efficiency/power transfer were derived.
networks for the ten-turn system, it is still useful to compare It was shown that a simultaneous conjugate match results in
the performance of the circuit model to the experimental per- maximum efficiency for a given set of loop parameters. From
formance. Fig. 20 shows the experimental data (with matching) this analysis, expressions for the source and load impedances
versus the circuit model (with matching) at a separation of 56 needed to achieve this conjugate match were found.
cm. The agreement indicates that the performance of the system Next, a WNPT system employing resonant shielded loops
can be predicted at multiple distances without taking measure- was considered for the first time. A refined circuit model for
ments at each distance. Hence, the model could be used to de- this specific realization of WNPT was determined. The model
sign matching networks for systems with multiple turns as it was consisted of the basic coupled RLC circuit model with the ad-
used for the single-turn system. dition of transmission lines that accounted for the length of the
physical feed lines. The simple geometry of the shielded loops
allowed the circuit parameters to be determined analytically.
Two WNPT systems were built and tested: one single-turn
To summarize, a quasi-static circuit model for wireless loop system and one ten-turn coil system. They were character-
non-radiative power transfer (WNPT) was described. The ized analytically and experimentally. This allowed the exper-
model consisted of two series RLC circuits coupled through imental systems to be conjugately matched at both input and

output, in contrast to earlier WNPT systems which were not si- [14] Fulton Innovation, eCoupled Wireless Power Technology [Online].
multaneously matched to load and source. The resonant shielded Available:
[15] WirelessPowerConsortium [Online]. Available: http://www.wire-
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same parameters, although due to fabrication tolerances they [16] H. Whiteside and R. King, “The loop antenna as a probe,” IEEE Trans.
were not identical. The loops in the single-turn system each Antennas Propag., vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 291–297, 1964.
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ment with analytic expressions and their circuit models. Effi- [20] A. Stensgaard, “Planar quadrature coil design using shielded-loop res-
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Proc. IET Int. Commun. Conf. Wireless Mobile Computing (CCWMC
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results, and range adaptation of magnetically coupled resonators for
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lical antennas of wireless power transfer for electric vehicles by using
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Erin M. Thomas (S’09–M’10) received the B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in elec- Mr. Pfeiffer received the IEEE MTT-S Undergraduate/Pre-Graduate Schol-
trical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2008 and arship, and the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship in
2010, respectively. 2009.
Currently, she is a Research Engineer at SRI International in the Engineering
R&D Division within the Engineering and Systems Group. Her research inter-
ests include wireless power transfer, RF circuits and antenna design and analyt-
ical electromagnetics. Anthony Grbic (S’00–M’06) received the B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees
in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, ON, Canada, in 1998,
2000, and 2005, respectively.
In January 2006, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and
Jason D. Heebl (S’04–M’10) received the B.S. degree from the University of Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is currently
Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 2007, and the M.S. degree from the University of an Associate Professor. His research interests include engineered electromag-
Dayton, Dayton, OH, in 2011 both in electrical engineering. netic structures (metamaterials, electromagnetic bandgap materials, frequency
Currently, he is a Systems Engineer working in the Air Force Satellite Con- selective surfaces), printed antennas, microwave circuits, wireless power trans-
trol Network program office, Space and Missiles Command, Los Angeles Air mission systems and analytical electromagnetics.
Force Base, El Segundo, CA. His research interests include wireless power Dr. Grbic received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2000 Antenna Tech-
transfer, metamaterial theory and design, novel antenna design, and optimiza- nology and Applied Electromagnetics Symposium and an IEEE Microwave
tion methods. Theory and Techniques Society Graduate Fellowship in 2001. In 2008, he was
the recipient of an AFOSR Young Investigator Award as well as an NSF Faculty
Early Career Development Award. In January 2010, he was awarded a Presi-
dential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2011, he was the
Carl Pfeiffer (S’08) received the B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in electrical engi- recipient of an Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the IEEE Microwave
neering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2009 and 2011, respec- Theory and Techniques Society, a Henry Russel Award from the University of
tively, where he is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree. Michigan, and a Booker Fellowship from the United States National Committee
His research interests include electrically small antennas, printed antennas, of the International Union of Radio Science (USNC/URSI).
metamaterials, metasurfaces, and transformation optics.