Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging – It helped researchers demonstrate a more controllable system for wireless charging for electric vehicles, which could one day help enable on-the-go charging.
One of the main issues slowing down the adoption of electric vehicles is the fear of being stuck with a dead battery and no charging stations nearby. In addition to the recent push by the Biden administration to install more charging stations across the country, technology developers are also addressing this “range anxiety” by seeing wireless charging ubiquitous and built-in in straightforward ways. Advances made by an international team of researchers, led by engineers at the university, could help make this type of integrated wireless charging a reality.
- 1 Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging
- 2 Wireless Charging Roads Images, Stock Photos & Vectors
- 3 Charging Electric Cars Is About To Get A Lot Easier
Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging
Their discovery, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, offers a solution to one of the fundamental physical challenges facing all wireless charging technologies: misalignment.
Wireless Car Charging Images, Stock Photos & Vectors
Although wireless charging has eliminated the tangle of cables and frustration over incompatible or faulty plugs, anyone who’s ever accidentally placed their phone on a charging pad a short distance away—and then returned to find it uncharged—can attest that they’re not so brave yet.
Getting an electric vehicle to line up perfectly over a wireless charger can be a more difficult task—misalignment leads to similarly unpleasant surprises. “In practice, mismatch between receiver and transmitter is inevitable,” the team admits in its report. But current wireless charging technology for electric vehicles cannot accommodate even the smallest displacement without its functionality or efficiency being affected.
One of the main issues slowing down the adoption of electric vehicles is the fear of being stuck with a dead battery and no charging stations nearby. In addition to the recent push by the Biden administration to install more charging stations across the country, technology developers are also addressing this “range anxiety” by seeing ubiquitous wireless charging built right into the roads. Advances made by an international team of researchers, led by engineers at the university, could help make this type of integrated wireless charging a reality.
While wireless charging has eliminated the tangle of cables and the frustration of incompatible or faulty plugs, as anyone who has carelessly placed their phone on a charging pad can attest, it’s still not foolproof.
Wireless Charging Roads Images, Stock Photos & Vectors
The researchers, from Shanghai Jiao Tong College of Engineering and University, Zhejiang University and Northwestern Polytechnic University, in China, have developed a charging system that is versatile enough to adapt to the way inductive charging is provided, so that misalignment and different levels of battery charge can be involved.
“Creating a more forgiving system that can accommodate the realities of electric vehicle charging is an important step toward widespread adoption of wireless charging,” said Fei Lu, Ph.D., an assistant professor at UCLA and one of the lead researchers. “Wireless charging has great potential to support dynamic charging of vehicles as they move on the road, but it is essential that we first overcome the alignment challenge.”
Inductive charging works by using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy, similar to the way wind or water drives turbines to generate electricity. The induction coil receives the electromagnetic “boost” from the charger and converts this vibration into energy that charges the device or vehicle’s battery.
But, like a misaligned turbine that misses the full force of wind or water, improperly coupled inductive charging coils will not charge the battery efficiently and – with enough misalignment – may fail to initiate the charging process at all.
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However, what researchers have discovered is that with inductive charging, it is possible to have more control over the current that transmits energy.
The team’s strategy differs from current wireless chargers, which can only make adjustments to the voltage (amount of charge) being pushed through the system. Their hybrid approach shows that adjusting the field frequency — how fast or slow the voltage is transmitted — produces a greater range to adjust for misalignment or the amount of charge in the battery.
“Think of our wireless charging challenge as trying to fill a small cup with water under a running faucet. “It can be very difficult, because if you don’t put it directly under the faucet, a lot of water will seep into the cup,” Lu said. “And once it’s full.” Roughly speaking, the force of the current will push the water out of the cup without it filling to the brim. “The key to our system is that it provides more control over the tap — or charging power, so to speak — so it’s easier to direct more flow into the cup and slow it down when the cup gets full.”
To test their theory, the researchers produced a prototype of their system, designed according to standards for wireless chargers for electric vehicles set by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It features an adjustable resistor, to simulate different levels of battery charge, and a moving platform that allows the transmitting coil and charging coil to be pushed up to 100mm out of alignment – roughly half the width of the charging surface.
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They tested the system on relatively charged and uncharged battery states, under well-aligned and misaligned conditions. By tuning both frequencies
Following the voltage of the charging process, the prototype was able to provide a constant power input from 0 to 3.3 kW, which is the standard charging range for charging plug-in electric vehicles. Under all four conditions, the team was able to achieve approximately 96% efficiency – on par with commercial wireless chargers and only slightly lower than electric chargers.
“The ability to vary the voltage while maintaining the power of the charging system means that this process can be used to efficiently charge batteries that are nearing their end and those that just need to be recharged,” Lu said. “It also allows adjustments to be made to the charging station when multiple cars are using it simultaneously, so that the charging power remains constant for all of them. We see this as a crucial step in making inductive charging more flexible in the face of real-world conditions.”
This discovery could also enable electric vehicles to eliminate some of the power conversion hardware currently required to manage DC wireless charging. This would reduce some of the weight and cost of the vehicle. The team plans to continue its efforts to improve wireless charging technology by adapting the system to other types of wireless charging circuits, to ensure compatibility with all electric vehicles.
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In addition to Lu, Hua Zhang, Ph.D., assistant research professor at; Yao Wang and Amr Mostafa, PhD students in; Zhong Zhou, Ph.D., assistant professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Ningfei Jiao, Ph.D., research associate at Northwestern Polytechnic University; Weiying Mei, a doctoral student at Zhejiang University
This paper will be published in the October 2022 issue of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, and is available online here: https://ieeeexplore.ieee.org/document/9583844 Fear of scale remains a barrier to widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Two things that can overcome resistance to new technologies are common sense and technical improvements. Patrick Kalbermatten, Senior Director of the MSABG (Magnetic, Sensor and Actuator) Division at Kemet, discusses the importance of wireless charging in his article published and edited by elektroniknet.de
In terms of common sense, proponents of electric mobility point out that typical daily miles, which include commuting and shopping, are very low on average. Regular daily trips are easy to manage with most electric cars currently on the market. This may convince potential buyers who are already interested in switching to an electric car. However, with other engines, more convincing work is needed, and this can best be done through further technical developments.
On days when you need to run extra errands, drive longer, or prepare for an emergency, it makes sense to have a few spare kilometers. Faster loading can help. All electric cars can be charged using a simple Level 1 charger that plugs into a regular socket and provides up to 1 kW of power. However, if you want to achieve an additional range of 150 km, this may take about 20 hours (table).
Charging Electric Cars Is About To Get A Lot Easier
Level 2 charging stations with a capacity of up to 20 kilowatts are installed on the side of the road, in city center car parks, and optionally also by private users at home, and can usually transfer similar power in a quarter of the time or less. Level 3 Charging Stations Level 3 or DC fast chargers (DCFC, DC Fast Chargers) are the most powerful and therefore fastest type of charging. However, it is not available at all public charging stations and is not suitable for all electric cars.
In order for drivers to charge their car’s battery using one of these types of chargers, they must find a suitable charging location, take the charging cable out of the car, plug it in and wait.
As part of the charging mix, wireless charging can make charging more convenient and help overcome potential customers’ range concerns. Wireless charging from
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