Oak Ridge National Lab Unveils 120-Kilowatt Wireless EV Charging System



Picture Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless electric car charging system. The machine is six times stronger than 1 developed from ORNL researchers just a couple of decades ago.

At a lab demo, the system transferred power in exactly the identical rate as a wired Tesla Supercharger and also at two or more times the rate of the wired 50-kilowatt DC fast-chargers normally installed by non-Tesla EV charging network operators.

The wireless charging platform introduced by ORNL at March 2016 transferred 20 kilowatts in 90% efficiency. The brand new 120-kilowatt system supplied six times the electricity with 97 percent efficiency. That efficiency rate, according to ORNL, is comparable to existing wired EV fast-chargers.

Researchers achieved the power delivery and efficiency jumps while maintaining the identical footprint as the 20-kilowatt system.

“We went in power, however, the footprint remained the same and the power electronics actually shrunk,” project direct Veda Galigekere informed Greentech Media in a interview. Galigekere is a writer with both ORNL’s Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group.

Boosting power delivery, exploring partnerships with OEMs

For your 120-kilowatt system, scientists used computer simulations to create new designs for the coils which create the magnetic field that wirelessly transfers power. And, subsequently, “utilizing silicon carbide-based power electronic equipment, we co-optimized the entire system,” stated Galigekere.

The machine draws power from the grid and converts it to high-frequency switching current, which creates a magnetic field throughout a huge gap of atmosphere. Following the power is transferred to another coil, it’s transformed back to direct current and saved in the car battery package.

The following steps for Galigekere’s team comprise research into bi-directional wireless power transfer — from grid to both vehicle and back — and continuing improvement in the machine ’s power shipping rate.

But on making the leap from 20-kilowatts to a 120-kilowatt wireless EV charging platform, Galigekere stated: ldquo;We are kind of ahead of the curve. But we would like to keep ahead of the curve. By the time 120-kilowatt becomes a fact, we’ll be ahead of the curve again. ”

The ORNL project team’s long-term purpose is to create a wireless charging platform able to deliver 350 kilowatts.

The researchers are still open to working together with private industry partners to advance the technologies.

&ldquoWe are talking, and we don’t speak, with different OEMs,” stated Galigekere. He explained it’s too premature to comment on what potential partnerships might look like.

“We are open to, and we are awaiting, partners to focus on this,” he included.

Private sector contest

The ORNL team has private industry competitors in commercializing wireless EV charging technologies.

After completing 10 pilot projects in several countries, the Brooklyn-based wireless charging startup Hevo Inc.. Is transitioning to manufacturing. As shown by a current profile of the firm with a team of reporters in Bloomberg, Hevo intends to create tens of thousands of units over the next 18 weeks to meet supply agreements signed by automakers and utilities.

WiTricity, a wireless charging firm based in Watertown, Massachusetts, meanwhile, signed an IP licensing arrangement last month with Anjie Wireless, a China-based auto supplier. Anjie will use WiTricity’s engineering to create wireless charging procedures for Chinese automakers. In accordance with WiTricity, its DRIVE 11 program can produce up to 11 kilowatts of power at 93 percent efficiency.

Dynamic roadway charging

The ORNL research staff is also committed to creating on-road lively wireless charging. Such a system would allow automated charging of EVs through wireless charging pads embedded in the road.

Galigekere said the pursuit of greater power delivery for inactive wireless charging of fleets and massive trucks will complement efforts to use the technologies for on-road applications.

“We believe higher power of power transmission with static charging may empower dynamic charging, too, since in the event that you have dynamic charging in reduced power, you may call for a bigger part of the roadway network to be embedded together with coil,” he clarified.

He went , “But, as you go up in power, smaller sections of the roadway can have spiral. ”

Time and money spent on infrastructure build-out ought to go down, he stated, as the power transfer amount of the wireless system increases.


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