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Circuit Analysis of Wireless Power Transfer by Coupled

Magnetic Resonance
F.Z. Shen1, W.Z. Cui2, W. Ma2, J.T. Huangfu1*, L.X. Ran1

Department of Information and Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
Xian Institute of Space Radio Technology, Xian 710000, China

Keywords: Power transfer, Wireless, Magnetic resonance,


Wireless energy transfer by coupled magnetic resonances is a
popular technology in which energy can be transferred via
coupled magnetic resonances in the non-radiative near-field.
In this paper, we use coupled inductance model in circuit
theory to analyze the power transfer efficiency of this
technology, instead of using coupled mode theory (CMT).
The analysis result is verified by some simulations and

1 Introduction
Recently, the wireless power transfer technology is becoming
peoples interest and has many applications, such as RFID
and so on. Paper [1] and [2] proved the feasibility of
wireless power transfer via strongly coupled magnetic
resonances theoretically and experimentally. They used the
coupled mode theory (CMT), and got the relation between
transfer efficiency and system parameters (loss, coupling
coefficient and so on). They proposed the strong coupling
regime, in which efficient wireless non-radiative mid-range
energy transfer could be implemented. We feel in
mathematical essence, the coupled inductance model in
circuit theory is identical with CMT. So instead of using
CMT, we do circuit analysis using coupled inductance model,
and get the same relationship between transfer efficiency and
system parameters, giving an easier understanding of
strongly magnetic resonance. In fact, similar circuit
analysis existed in many papers [3,4], but the analysis results
were not related to the concept of strong coupling regime.
In this paper, we consider the wireless power transfer
technology from the familiar electric equipment: the
transformer. Transformers also utilize the coupling of two
inductances, realizing the effect of voltage transformation. If
the primary and secondary coils are not on the same iron core
or even without iron cores, the transformer becomes a simple
device for wireless power transfer. But the energy transfer by
this device is restricted to very close-range. Adding capacitor
(or utilizing the coils parasitic capacitor) to make the primary
and secondary circuit loop resonant, could improve the
performance greatly. In section 2, we analyze the nonresonant coupling situation, and give the reason why it is only

suitable for close-range wireless power transfer. In section 3,

we analyze the resonant coupling situation, and give the
relationship between power transfer performance (power
transfer efficiency and power transfer rate) and system
parameters. In section 4, we describe a simple experiment to
verify our analysis result.

2 Non-resonant coupling
Consider such a device: one coil connected to a sinusoidal
source, another coil connected to the load. Suppose the
parasitic capacitor is negligible. The equivalent circuit is as
shown in Figure 1. In the figure, r represents the source
internal resistance. R1 and R2 represent the loss resistances of
the two coils. Rload is the load, and represents the coupling
coefficient of the two coils, which is defined by

N L1 L2

, in which M represents the mutual

inductance between L1 and L2.

Figure 1 The circuit model

Using the circuit model of two coupled inductance [5], one
can get the equivalent impedance Z (as marked in Figure 1):

R1  jZL1 

N 2Z 2 L1 L2
jZL2  R2  Rload


Figure 1 can also represent the equivalent circuit of a

transformer. For ideal transformer, L1 and L2 are infinite, R1
and R2 are zeros, and is 1. Thus the above equation becomes




This is our familiar impedance transformation effect of a

transformer. Note that there is no imaginary part because of
the assumption of infinite L1 and L2 and = 1. If any one of
the assumed conditions fails, a large imaginary part will
emerge. The non-zero imaginary part brings a non-zero
reactive power, which means the decrease of the obtained
power on the load. And with the decrease of , loss
resistances R1 and R2 will take up more and more percentage
in the real part, which means the decrease of power transfer
efficiency. The power transfer rate and efficiency will
decrease quickly since decreases quickly with the increase
of the distance of the two coils.
Figure 3 Relation curves between and system parameters

3 Resonant coupling
To reduce the reactive power, the imaginary part should be
eliminated in the equivalent impedance. As an example, we
connect capacitances in primary and secondary circuit loops
as shown in Figure 2. (We choose series resonance because
current in series resonance is very large and is beneficial to
magnetic induction.)

It is seen that the key of high efficiency is that 22L1L2/R1R2

must be large enough, which means the Q factor of the coil
should be large, so in paper [1, 2], it is called strongcoupling regime when 22L1L2/R1R2 is much larger than 1.
It should be noted that, for a given 22L1L2/R1R2, there is an
optimum Rload/R2 to reach the highest value of .
In the system of Figure 2, the obtained power on the load is


Figure 2 The circuit model within capacitors

Make the primary and secondary circuit loops resonate at the
same frequency, then at this frequency, the equivalent
impedance is


N 2Z 2 L1 L2

Z  r 2
Psource 1 
Z  r


K (5)
r  Z 2

In which, the expressions of Z and are Equation (3) and

Equation (4). In equation (5), the first two terms represents
the variation of the sources output power which is caused by
the resistance mismatch to the source, and is the percentage
of the output power going onto the load. So the product of the
two is the received power on the load. When assuming R1 =
R2 = 2 , r = Rload = 50 and Psource= -10 dBm (these are the
parameter values in the experiment we described below), the
relationship between Pload and is as shown in Figure 4.


R2  Rload

From Equation (3), one can obtain the expression of


N 2Z 2 L1 L2

R2  Rload
2 2
N Z L1 L2 R2  Rload
R2  Rload
Rload N 2Z 2 L1 L2
R1 R2

N 2Z 2 L1 L2 Rload


R1 R2

Figure 4 The calculated relationship between received power

Pload and


4 Experiment

It is consistent with the expression of in paper [2]. Figure 3

shows this relation intuitively.

We made two twin coils with diameters of 7 cm and helices

of 6 turns. As the way in Figure 2, we connected them with
two capacitors of 47 pF, and then connected them to a signal
generator and a spectrum analyzer respectively, as shown in
Figure 5.


Figure 5 Photo of experiment system

Figure 7 The estimated relation between and distances

The signal generator was set -10 dBm power level. Putting
the two coaxially aligned coils under different separation, we
got the result as Figure 5. From this figure, one can observe a
phenomenon which is a little beyond our intuition. That is, the
received power is not greatest when the two coils are put most
closely to each other. The received power reaches its
maximum value when the two coils are 3 centimeters away.
This is because when distance is 3cm, the equivalent
impedance (Equation (3)) is most close to the source internal
resistance; the output power of the signal generator is largest.
This phenomenon is consistent with our analysis result in
Figure 4.

Put the data in Figure 7 into Equation (4), we get the relation
between and distance, as shown in Figure 8. The quality
factor Q of the coil we used is only about 180. If we used an
optimized coil with a high quality factor Q, the efficiency will
still be high when distance is a few times of the coil size.

Figure 8 The estimated relation between and distances

5 Conclusion
Figure 6 Received power vs. Distance
We have tested the resonant frequencies of the primary and
secondary circuit loop. They are all 9.45 MHz, so the coil
inductance is about 6nH. When testing the resonant frequency
of the primary (or secondary) circuit loop, we found that the
output voltage of the signal generator at resonant frequency is
about 1/30 of the maximum output voltage at other
frequencies. So from this point of view, we deduced that R1
(R2) is about 50/30=1.7 . From another point of view, when
assuming =-0.4 dB (the data at distance=3 cm from Figure
5), 22L1L2 = 2500 2 and R1=R2, using Equation (4), we
get R1=R2=2.4 . So we can estimate the loss resistances R1
and R2 are no more than 2.4 .
To estimate at different distances, using the data in Figure 5
and the relation curve in Figure 4 (where R1=R2=2 is
assumed), we can get the relation between and distance in
our experiment, as shown in Figure 7.

In this paper, we analyzed how to get the maximum power on

the load, if using resonant coils to implement wireless power
transfer. We presented how the transfer efficiency and the
obtained power on the load related to the system parameters.
In summarize, the key of high efficiency the Q factor of the
coil should be large, and as shown in Figure 3, there is an
optimum value of Rload to reach the highest value of . From
another point of view, to extract the maximum power from
the source, the equivalent impedance Z should be equal to the
source internal resistance. So there is a compromise of
selecting the value of Rload.
Further studies can be done by considering more than two
coils to implement wireless power transfer. The middle coil
can work as relay, making the equivalent impedance quite
different the present one, and the expression of will change
a lot. Then, longer work range and better performance may be


This work is sponsored by NSFC (Nos. 60531020, 60671003
and 60701007), 863 Project (No. 2009AA01Z227), NCET07-0750, ZJNSF (No.Y1080715), ZJSTP(No.2009C31141),
Ph.D. Programs Foundation of MEC (No. 20070335120) and
the National Key Laboratory Foundation (Nos.
9140C5304020901 and 9140C5304020704).

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