The Cost of Power

26 August 2019

Electrical energy and power supply source concept, background with batteries and accumulator battery with blue charging level closeup viewAccording 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.

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