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I've heard it said that Tesla's wireless transmitter can be used to send electrical energy to a Tesla coil receiver with 100% efficiency.  If this is true, then why has no one yet demonstrated Tesla's method of "loss-less wireless transmission?"

Tesla himself never claimed that his wireless transmission system operated without any losses.  He did say that, when comparing the amount of usable power available at the receiver with the total amount of power needed to operate the system the inevitable losses could, under certain circumstances, be very much reduced.

I'll let Tesla himself explain it.

"Theoretically, it does not take much effort to maintain the earth in electrical vibration.  I have, in fact, worked out a plant of 10,000 horse-power [about 7.5 megawatts] which would operate with no bigger loss than 1 percent of the whole power applied; that is, with the exception of the frictional energy that is consumed in the rotation of the engines and the heating of the conductors, I would not lose more than 1 percent.  In other words, if I have a 10,000 horsepower plant, it would take only 100 horsepower [or about 75 kilowatts] to keep the earth vibrating so long as there is no energy taken out at any other place."

In referring to 99% efficiency Tesla was speaking about a system with a 7.5-megawatt transmitter.  When explaining World Wireless System efficiency, a general analogy can be made to the operation of an ordinary electrical transformer, such as might be used to power a portable DVD player from house current.  The DVD player consumes a certain amount of power and the transformer also consumes a certain amount of power.  The amount of power drawn from the electrical outlet is the power used by the DVD player plus the power consumed by the transformer.  The overall efficiency of the transformer is 'the amount of power drawn from the outlet' minus 'the amount of power consumed by the transformer' divided by 'the amount of power drawn from the outlet.'  In other words, divide the transformer's output by its input. Multiply the result by 100 and the efficiency is given as a percentage.

Now consider a system that is based upon a 75,750-watt Tesla wireless transmitter.  In the operation of this system, 75 kilowatts of power will be needed to compensate for the 75 kilowatts watts that for one reason or another is either absorbed by the environment or lost in the form of electromagnetic radiation.  In this case only 750 watts or about 1% of the energy available from the transmitter is available for consumption anywhere on the earth�s surface.  In other words, at an idle the transmitter will consume fully 75,000 watts simply to maintain earth resonance.  Add a receiver with a 750-watt load attached to it and the system will be maxed out, operating with an overall power-processing efficiency of only 1%.

With a smaller Tesla wireless system, such as might be assembled by the amateur scientist, the efficiency will be even less.  Furthermore, global propagation of the transmitted signal will not be possible.

Created April 22, 2008 

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