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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles 'on-the-move' within 2-3 Years

A German company is working on technology to fit roads with embedded induction-loops that can recharge EVs on the move, without the need for connectors or cords. The technology is similar to that being developed by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) for the (OLEV), and is an extension of the wireless parking space recharging technology we have previously reported on. It is already being used in production plants and large warehouse facilities to both power and remotely direct robotic floor conveyor vehicles.

The company, Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV), claims that with their system transmission efficiency is around 90%. The system is sensitive to the distance between the road and the vehicle mounted antenna, so IAV suggest that the electric vehicles could employ active suspension and opto-electronic measurement techniques to automatically maintain the optimum distance. Perhaps having the antenna mounted on an inverted pentagram under the vehicle is the answer.

Because of high transmission efficiency only limited segments of road would need the network as EVs can receive a recharge on a main road, for example, then continue on their way on non-electrified roads powered by the now recharged vehicle battery.

IAV is confident that its electromagnetic induction technology will be developed to production-ready status in the next few years. A 1/28 scale model of the system is already “functioning perfectly” the company says, and construction of a demonstration section of “charging road,” and a full-scale test track, are in the planning stages in the German state of Lower Saxony.

A question remains regarding how to charge drivers for using the system. Burying the induction antenna under 'priority' lanes such as bus lanes or clearways and using the now familiar road tolling methods such as radio toll tag or license plate camera ID could be one solution matching vehicle identification with data recorded of how much current each vehicle draws off the grid.

As the induction system uses a simple insulated cable installed on the ground compared to the suspended overhead line system currently used on sections of electrified railway, we also see potential for this technology to provide a cheaper way to electrify rural and freight railways lines, eliminating the need for diesel locomotives.

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1 comment:

waidy said...

This is something I have been thinking about and talking about ever since the wireless network was born. It is now becoming a reality. Yeahhh !!


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