Wireless Energy & Power Conversion
Electric vehicles have the potential to more efficiently meet the nation’s transportation needs. They do so without relying on fossil fuels because they utilize the electric grid, a collection of diversified and controllable energy resources.
The way we currently use electricity to power electric vehicles is based upon the concept that the vehicle must be wired, and thereby tethered, to its source of power. Recent technological advancements in wireless power transfer have made it possible to break this constraint.
What Is Wireless Power Transfer?
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) is a method of delivering power to a device over an air gap—no physical contact is required.
How Does WPT Work?
A primary resonant power converter applies grid power resources to a wireless transmitter via a track. One or more secondary pickups are magnetically coupled to the track, and tuned for resonance at the track frequency. A switch mode controller and rectifier are used to regulate the output power.
Why use WPT?
- Reliability—No moving parts or cords
- Weatherproof—Unaffected by snow and rain
- Convenience—No more hassling with plugging in and charging
- Aesthetics—Eliminates wires
- Safe—No chance of electrocution
- Unaffected by dirt and chemicals
- Maintenance free
What are the Applications?
- Materials handling (Clean rooms)
- Biomedical implants (Artificial hearts)
- Consumer electronics (Cell phone charging pads)
- Electric vehicles
- Choose your own adventure
How Are We Advancing WPT?
A short time ago, a small but visionary team of researchers from EDL set out to apply modern advances in engineering and Tesla’s principles of induction to solve vexing problems in wireless power transfer, particularly in relation to electric vehicle (EV) charging. The result of their research was the development of a robust prototype system, which is capable of highly efficient power transfer. This system, known as High Capacity Wireless Power Transfer (HCWPT), is capable of transferring five kilowatts of power from a power supply to a receiving device up to 10.5 inches away.