The Cost of Power26 August 2019
According to the United States Energy Information Agency (link), the average cost of delivering 1-kilowatt hour of energy was 12.95 cents. 1-kilowatt per hour means delivering 1000 watts for an hour.
As of writing this, it costs $21.99 to buy 100 AA alkaline batteries on Amazon. That’s 22 cents per battery. The capacity of such 1.5V battery depends on the load, but let’s use a generous number of 2000 mAh or 3 wh. Thus, to deliver 1 kwh one would need at least 300 batteries for a total cost of $65.97. Battery power is often more convenient than getting power from the wall but it costs about 500 times more.
What does long-range wireless power cost? That depends on the efficiency – how the amount of usable power at the receiver side compares with the amount of power that went into the power transmitter.
If the long-range wireless power technology is very efficient – let’s assume a 10% end-to-end efficiency number, then a kwh delivered this way costs $1.295 (10 times more than the wired energy cost), about 50 times cheaper than batteries.
If the power technology is very inefficient – say 0.1%, the same kwh costs $129.5, so about twice what it would cost to deliver the same power with batteries.
The bottom line: high-efficiency long-range wireless power solutions not only are more convenient than batteries, have a much lower environmental impact and can deliver endless energy without manual recharge or replacement, they can also be much cheaper.