Large scale free-positioning wireless power transfer system for indoor applications. Self-funded PhD in Engineering Ref: 3074

About the award

Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Academic Supervisors:
Dr Dibin Zhu

Project Description:
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT), as a method to power electronic device, has attracted increasing attention over the last few years. It is regarded as one of the most promising methods to power wireless devices on the Internet of Things which is a global research hotspot.

Near field WPT operates based on the near-field electromagnetic coupling of coils. It has been widely used in charging portable devices and electric cars. However, applications of traditional WPT largely depend on the position of transmitter coils. The receiver has to be placed near the transmitter in order to receive useful amount of power. Free-positioning WPT solutions and systems are available on the market which allows the receiver to be placed in a random position. However, existing systems only target areas smaller than 10×10cm2. Previous research showed that both horizontal and vertical transmission distances of WPT systems can be increased using relay resonators. This provides the opportunity to scale up the free-positioning WPT systems.

This project aims at developing a large scale free-positioning wireless power transfer system for indoor applications. The system uses relay resonators to extend power transmission distance both horizontally and vertically. It can detect positions of receiver coils and select optimal power transfer routes automatically to realise free-positioning wireless power transfer.
Such a system can potentially be used to power floor lamps, functional chairs or even desktop equipment using vertical relay resonators. It enables the possibility of minimising cable usage and flexibility of room retrofit. The main tasks in this project include:
1. Optimise arrangement of relay coils
2. Design mechanism to detect positions of multiple receiver coils
3. Develop algorithm to automatically select optimal relay route and configure relay coils

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor: Dr Dibin Zhu

Information about current fees can be found here:
Information about possible funding sources can be found here:


Application deadline:10th June 2018
Value:This project is self-funded
Duration of award:Not applicable
Contact: EMPS Postgraduate Research

How to apply

 You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and two academic references. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project. You may also be asked to upload verified transcripts of your most academic qualification.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email

Please quote reference 3074 on your application and in any correspondence about this research project.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this research project must have obtained a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Experience in Engineering is desirable.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.