What if you didn’t have to remove the battery from your cordless drill to charge it — instead, you could simply put it back in the case and it would be ready to go the next time you needed it? Or imagine that your cordless circular saw is always ready when you pull it out of your truck because it charges while you drive to the job site. This isn’t just wishful thinking: Bosch Tools is working with inductive power to make wireless tool charging a reality.
The details of how inductive power works are over my head, but in a nutshell, it’s wireless power. Instead of channeling the current flow through a cable, the flow of current is induced between two unconnected coiled cables that are within a shared electromagnetic field (see illustration). A primary coil acts as the source, and a secondary coil acts as the power receptor. The technology goes back to famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla’s theories of electromagnetic induction. The most recent breakthroughs have been related to the ability of the primary and secondary coils to communicate and regulate power demands.
Bosch has partnered with eCoupled Technology (developed by Fulton Innovation) and with engineered-component manufacturer Leggett & Platt to develop induction-power battery-charger systems and components that could greatly enhance the convenience and efficiency of home shops and job sites (no more late starts waiting for tools to charge up in the morning).
In addition to its applications with power tools, the potential of induction power brings to mind Jetson-esque possibilities. Small electronic devices such as cell phones and toothbrushes already use induction power. One day you could have a primary source mounted underneath your kitchen counter so that your toaster and blender are powered by simply placing them on the countertop – no cords or batteries. Imagine hanging a flat-panel television over a primary source on a wall and not having to route the television power cord to an outlet. This is exciting new technology that will lead to cool innovations in both home and commercial electronics.