Pioneering CityU wireless technology research gains international recognition

Irene Lau

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A green technology pioneered by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) that has the potential of reducing demand for electronic chargers has been given a vote of confidence by the world’s leading professional association.

The paper “Optimal Design of a Hybrid Winding Structure for Planar Contactless Battery Charging Platform”, co-authored by Chair Professor Ron Hui Shu-yuen, Department of Electronics Engineering of CityU, and PhD graduate of the same department, Dr Ken Liu Xun, has been selected for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society (PELS) Transactions Prize Paper Award 2009, in recognition of their contribution to the research on wireless charging platform. It is one of the three papers selected from 323 published last year on Power Electronics in IEEE Transactions.

Professor Hui has been at the forefront of the research on wireless charging platforms, a technology that could prove both convenient and address the environmental issue of millions of battery chargers being discarded as electronic waste. The universal platform that he has developed is expected to revolutionalise recharging, allowing users to charge their portable consumer electronic devices all at once.

His recent research has further increased the overall efficiency of this groundbreaking technology by improving the electromagnetic field’s distribution throughout the platform.

"I am particularly pleased with the worldwide recognition within the profession, approving of our work turning an innovative technology into a wider application," Professor Hui said.

Currently, an estimated 1.6 billion battery chargers are produced every year, many of which turn into toxic, non-biodegradable and non-reusable electronic waste. Professor Hui said this is a big environmental problem and the wireless charging platform could help reduce this by half.

"With two or more portable devices sharing the same charging platform, it will be more environmentally friendly and energy-saving compared to the traditional charger. Total power consumption, charger production and transportation and energy use for treatment of electronic waste and toxic elements can all be significantly reduced," Professor Hui added.

IEEE is the world’s largest professional association advancing innovation and technological excellence and is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics, among others.

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