Introduction: Wireless Power

Picture of Wireless Power
Quarter of a million views, thanks everyone!

The power cord, I know you hate it. Sometimes, you just want to cut it apart! Well say goodbye to your power cords, because with the power of inductive coupling your device will not need to be connected metal to metal. Seemlessly your device can be charged!

This instructable will show you the basics of creating your own cheap and easy wireless power mat, which you can use to power your device through the air!

New Update: complete list of components.

Check out my new project on sending a balloon into space!!

Step 1: What Is It? How Does It Work?

Picture of What Is It? How Does It Work?

A few years ago MIT created a system for transferring power wirelessly. They transmitted power over a two-meter distance, from the coil on the left to the coil on the right, where it powers a 60W light bulb. Back in 2006, this was a pretty cool thing. You can only imagine what the implications of something like this would be. Well, unlike most of us, we do not have the time or material goods like MIT has. So i have made this simple and easy to follow Instructable, so all of you good people can experience the joy of wireless power.

Inductive Coupling uses magnetic fields to transfer power. There is a primary coil, which generates a magnetic field. Then there is another secondary coil which is composed of a capacitor and a coil, the capacitor creates a resonant circuit with the primary and secondary coils. Seem easy? Well, before publishing this instructable I found many useful and a lot of non-useful info on the subject.

In my research I found, that to transfer power in very complicated. Once i did it I found that you do not need to go to MIT do do this sort of stuff. With a little electrical know how, this is easy.

It all starts with the transmitter. This transmitter needs to create 147.7 kHz square wave AC signal. Let me take a minute to explain this all. Level one on the frequency scale is Hertzs, then there is kHz, then MHz. MIT used a 10 mHz wave to drive there coils, but for this we will be using a 147.7 kHz signal so it does not get too complicated.

The secondary coil has a 0.02 uF capacitor. This will allow the two circuits to be coupled therefore, transferring power efficiently. The 0.02 uF capacitor is used only for this frequency, and the value of this capcitor will change depending on the frequency.

The primary coil creates a magnetic field, when another coil is placed near it, energy will be induced into it.

Be in mind that i could not get a hold of a 0.02uF capacitor so i used two 0.01uF capacitors connected together.

Step 2: Creating the Primary Coil

Picture of Creating the Primary Coil

The primary coil uses magnet wire, which is easy to get at RadioShack.
We will use magnet wire as the material for our coils.

Next we need something to create the 147.7 square wave AC signal. I saw videos on youtube like this one. Which uses a function generator. Sadly, these cost a lot of money, so i wanted to get a low cost one, that still did the same thing, just not as high of a frequency. This is great for what i needed. Cheap and simple.
This will be the main board to create the signal.

By using a pencil or nails on a 2 x4 and your magnet wire, you can make a pretty good coil. I did about 30-40 turns, depending on the thickness of your magnet wire. Magnet wire has a very thin coating on the top of it. To get this off you can light a match and put the magnet wire in the flame for a few seconds. Take the two ends of you coil and put it into the function generator on the top two screw terminals, one in each terminal. Polarity is not a problem right now because the signal will be AC. Now place your 0.02 uF film capacitor in parallel with the terminals you put the wire magnet ends into. Turn the function generator on and use your multimetter to get it to somewhere near 147-149 kHz by turning the potentiometers. Make sure the switch on the left of the board is set to square, and your good to go. The top to terminals will allow for an AC signal.

Step 3: The Secondary Coil

Picture of The Secondary Coil

This circuit is one of the simplest you can ever create. It is composed of magnet wire coil but smaller like the primary, a 0.02uF
capacitor also like the primary, and some leads you can attach things to. For LED's the circuit looks like that. Yet, for powering your iPod and other devices that use DC power you need a diode bridge, or rectifier which can turn AC into DC to power your portable device. Take a look for yourself that the secondary coil has an AC output which will only power LED's.

Step 4: Testing Wireless Power Through Different Materials

Picture of Testing Wireless Power Through Different Materials

Yes, I decided to go a little further because of the response that I received.

You were always told as a kid, water and electricity DO NOT MIX, and that may be true, but not with wireless power. I tested this in water. No, I did not get shocked, but you may. NO! You will not I promise. This Step shows that this type of wireless power can pass through almost anything, except metal, I know, I was sad when i found that out. I mean, for a practical use, many people have desks made of metal where the coil is. This is not good, but I digress, we must move on.

Water! I mean who would think that this kind of technology has this kind of potential! It works that same exact way as if it was not in water. It is in a plastic bag as you can see. Only to protect the electronics. Unlike WiFi which is can be weakend by walls and other things, Wireless Power is not!

Step 5: Circuits

Picture of Circuits

These three pictures I have posted are of the circuits that I used. I have also posted a third picture of a theoretical circuit (has not been tested so i am not sure if it works) which turns the received energy into DC so you can hook it up to your favorite electronic device, iPod, cell phone...

Primary Coil-The function generator is the Main circuit of the primary, but you can easily buy it from the link posted earlier. Alon with the magnet coil.

In the Secondary Coil Diagram, the only capacitor is a 0.02 uF as I explained why.

Step 6: Data

Picture of Data

The power coming directly from the function generator to the coil: 110.5 mW.

Maximum power efficiency achieved is 42.2%. This is a very respectable power efficiency considering a limited budget and short experimentation time period.

The following chart is a visual representation of the above data points.

The following graph represents how the power output of the secondary coil was effected by efficiency at certain distances from the primary. At three inches, the current technology outputs a value that is very minute and is not efficient enough to power much of anything. However, at zero inches, the power output is very capable of achieving the goal in the engineering objectives.

Step 7: Extra Hardware

Picture of Extra Hardware

I have now added a AC to DC diode bridge which converts AC to DC. Then i added a Joule Theif to the diode bridge, which is a very simple circuit that can amplify input power (the Dc voltage from the diode bridge).

This allows the LED to be lit when its father away from the coil, because the voltage going to the LED is higher. It is now able to power DC devices.

Step 8: Extra Information

Picture of Extra Information

I have shown you the basics of transmitting power wirelessly over short distance. Now it's your turn to make your own and comment on how your made your Mat and what you used it to power.

-If you have access to a larger function generator you can use that in the same way we used here.

-Then you can also use the 555 timer, which can create the same kind of signal, but is a bit more complicated.

-So for all of the comments, here's some more info about about how this system functions.
With my size coils as seen in these pictures, based on how well you can tune the frequency, your looking at an efficiency range of about 70 to 85%. The led in the secondary coil, starts to fade when it is about 2 inches away from the primary. At about five inches, it is pretty well dark, but at four inches it is still a bit lit. If the coil is turned vertical, the led is dark. Please comment if you know why it is not bright when the receiving coil is vertical.

-Here's some variables that may change the outcome:

Wire gauge - 22

Amount of Wire - 40 feet

Capacitor value in primary and secondary - 0.02 uF

input voltage - around six volts; hint; i used a irf520 mosfet to amplify the power input from the function generator, which increase the secondary voltage tremendously. I'l post some pics soon.

usage of secondary coil - a voltage meter should be used first to see if there is any voltage; then you can attach an LED. I've gotten 5v from the secondary with my circuit from a 6.3 input voltage to the primary

Step 9: List of Components

    Plastic Project Box
    Function Generator
    IRF510 or IRF520 MOSFET
    0.02µF capacitor x2
    Magnet Wire (Gold for Primary, Red for Secondary)
    Wall Power Converter 9-18VDC


StephenH174 (author)2017-02-04

Give credit, YES! History is often a mystery. Mr. Tesla paved the way and poo-poo the nay-sayers. Big money men backing Edison ate Nikola's lunch in a major way. Nowadays, many young brilliant minds going through the grinder-mill of U.S. paid education may or may-not have knowledge of the "Wizard of Menlo" or the "Master of Lightning"; especially in modern higher-tech institutions. Remember, If it's not 200yrs old, it's not common History. Discovery is personal. Maybe an ancient Egyptian scribe figured it all out; way-back when and all this was never written down, because he pissed-off the Pharaoh; does that mean some young Egyptian 200yrs later who figures out the same thing again was any less amazing? Truth? NO. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and should be extremely grateful. That doesn't mean we should stop trying; what it means, is that we have to add-on whatever we can to their contributions. That is how we honor our ancestors. They are watching from somewhere and hoping you will bring it. So, please honor the ancestor but don't denigrate the new brilliance; instead you should be rejoicing that the old knowledge is alive again and now we can find out what's next!

lobos182 (author)2016-12-13

Hi, very good project. I have a question here in my country I have 220v alternating, if I convert those 220v to continuous, how would calculate the turns of the coils to get a led on or would not be viable to do with 220v continuous? Thank you very much!!!

mgrenzoni (author)lobos1822016-12-15

Your AC is going into a function generator. So long as your function generator will accept a 220VAC, you will not need to make any other changes.

marlon.bell.5 (author)2015-01-12

MIT did't invent this its like 100 years old

jaded32 (author)marlon.bell.52015-01-19

Nicola tesla

Alex Sabri (author)jaded322016-12-14

Thanks to Nicola tesla bast man

damn right they dint invent this, it was Nikola Tesla, how can MIT claim to invent a device that was created 100 or so years earlier, Teslas main coil that would of supplied the world with free wireless energy was dismantled and sent to a dark room in A51, MIT are wrong to claim they invented this when they obviously didnt.....poor tesla ripped off by everyone he worked with including Thomas Edison, and Einstein, and now he's been ripped off again by a school

exagere (author)DJMunchBunch2016-02-02

Thanks for reminding people of the source of it all. Piggybacking on other people's invention and claiming it as their own. Electricity as generated today, Wi-Fii /Bluetooth to Electronic as we use it today without crediting Nikola Tesla

the same in space theoretical sciences with Immanuel Velikovsky assertive theorieson ...

MarioLizanaC (author)2016-08-30

The capacitors seem to be in series! (And then in parallel with the led). I think you have 0.005 uF

SteveJ73 (author)2016-03-18

Why did you select a specific frequency? Are you trying to match the wavelength to the length of the wire?

CyberKID (author)2016-01-18

I guess this is how a transformer works. Good instructable, BTW. Worth giving a try.

smmcsween (author)2016-01-16

Is it possible to use a sine wave instead of a square wave I found a cheap function generator on sparkfun but it only produces sine waves. Also if the wave was of higher freauency could it transport higher currents?

Putra Adriansyah (author)2015-12-03

I can't understand the schematic :(

Putra Adriansyah (author)2015-12-03

please help me i can't understand the schematic :(

Robert RayG (author)2015-11-18

That's true :V

Does it really work?

SANAtro (author)2015-10-12

Can we use this for charging a mobile??

_Boltz_ (author)SANAtro2015-10-16

no...... it doesn't have that much current output.........

SANAtro (author)_Boltz_2015-10-16

So can't we increase the input current and use higher current components.... I'm new to electronics

_Boltz_ (author)SANAtro2015-10-16

it's not my design brother.............. you need to ask the author ...... but what i think is....... that......yes..... you might need to upgrade the components ....

ZakW1 (author)2015-10-15

What grade of copper was used, like width/size of the copper coil used?

_Boltz_ (author)2015-09-20

A remix 2.0 ........ i've taken part in the contest with reference to this instructable ...... please support me friends..... thanks robotkid249 for the inspiration......

everyone please have a look to my instructable

_Boltz_ (author)2015-09-14

yes bro..... surely you can.... i wanted to share it with everyone out there..... so i made an instructable for that.... here you go .

_Boltz_ made it! (author)2015-09-13

So I made it..... I needed a function generator..... But it costs too much..... So I made it of my own..... And friends if you too need to make one of your own..... Check my instructable for "DIY Function Generator" Ain't advertising..... But just want to help all people out there........

aljabonetsky (author)2015-09-03

It was 1970 when we had a science fair in Olongapo city (philippines).i was in 1st yr.

Jackson high school when i saw this 120 volts AC 50-watt incandescent lamp hanging by a cotton string lit up about 6 inches away from a ferrite rod coil and circuit board.That got me hooked up in electronics.

danzman (author)2015-07-31

What do you think of this circuit - . I think this is the simplest and cheapest system I have seen. Can this work with your primary coil?

rikkebobbie007 (author)2015-06-05

can you get ahold of a hertz-uF ratio for me. I would like to tamper with this concept if you don't mind.

Elecstudent (author)2015-05-02

Would someone please provide a better schematic? I'm not sure if I'm building this wrong, but mine is not working, I did a lot of troubleshooting and etc but unsuccessful.. Any help would be appreciated..

PolaR1 (author)2015-04-16

i love this

ChemTrailsMN. (author)2015-04-09

Has anyone built a WIFI Power Harvesting circuit that will power an LED as yet? If So please let me know the scematic, thanks.

mario.oliveira.92505 (author)2015-02-23

Can i use wifi or bluetooth emission to power a led, if so could you explain...

gxb5443 (author)2009-05-12

Do the inductances have to match between the two coils have to be the same?

versos-tk (author)gxb54432015-02-19


no, however the number of coils on both sides along with the distance between them (called the mutually inducive element) and the load you use will affect the applied emf to the secondary circuit.

oh so this will transfer power no matter what. If the the base and reciever were tuned to one another though there would be way greater efficiency, right?

If the Circuit reached resonance, there would be voltage/current magnification, which you may have to consider when choosing your components. the advantage would be that energy would only be dispersed A, in the resistive element, and in the space between the coils. i looked it up, and every time the distance doubles, you lose magnetic power by a factor of 4.

the load will have effect? How do you take that into account? So this way is just two arbitrary coils that will couple together. If you tuned the base and receiver to be in resonance, wouldn't that transfer as close to 100% power transfer as you can get?

abhishek79shrivastava (author)2011-03-10

here two capacitor of value .01 uf are connected in parallel or series???????



quinnmiller1997 (author)2015-01-23

This is an amazing guide! Very informative. Thank you

evictor2 (author)2014-06-24

Aren't the exposed wires dangerous because AC is passing through them? How can this be insulated safely without affecting the resonant properties of transmitting and receiving coils?

jaded32 (author)evictor22015-01-19

Looks like low voltage to me

The power is so low that it won't hurt you.

Thanks for the reply. Would that still be the case if I were to build a unit capable of powering a 40W 120V light bulb wirelessly? Would the conductive socket of the bulb and other exposed wires need to be insulated then?

AliganyiraT (author)2015-01-16

Well done but my main target is " Transfer of electricity " completely without any single wire. As we join hands in that research, we should also focus our aims at long distance applications. Let's connect at,

john.hawes.96 (author)2014-11-14

I see a heck of a lot of wire for something supposedly 'wireless' .

rpotts2 (author)john.hawes.962014-12-05

wireless as in you are not physically hooking your device to a power source other than putting the receiver on it. make the receiver penang and you have wireless power.

nadkarsushant (author)2014-11-12

could you tell us the formulas required to calculate the values to prepare the primary and secondary coils and also the ratings of the components used to construct the required circuit to achieve the specific output(i.e voltage and amperes).

railgunfuzz (author)2009-09-29

Couldnt you use a crystal resonator on the secondary coil?

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm 17. I enjoy making cool stuff, and promoting the "maker" community. Vote for my space balloon in the hurricane laser contest and hands ... More »
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