Print 29 comment(s) - last by Dan Banana.. on Mar 5 at 9:01 PM

Wireless charging technology uses magnetic induction

Several things need to happen before the electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid becomes common on the mainstream auto market. These vehicles need a longer driving range, the technology needs to come down in price, and changes in how the vehicles charge are needed. Namely, the charging would ideally be done without wires so the driver wouldn’t have to remember to plug in when they get home.
Audi is working on wireless charging technology using WiTricity technology. Audi is rather mum on the details of its wireless charging initiative, so we only have a general overview of what it has in mind. With the system, power is transferred from an inductive charging point to the vehicle using a magnetic field when the vehicle is in the proper charging position.
This technology would allow the driver to simply pull into their garage or driveway and charging would automatically start. The system uses two WiTricity coils with one in the parking lot (or driveway/garage) and another integrated into the car’s charging system. Power would be transferred between those two coils to charge the vehicle batteries.

Audi e-tron Spyder Concept
Project Leader Dr. Björn Elias says, "We aim to offer our customers a premium-standard recharging method – easy to use and fully automatic, with no mechanical contacts. It uses the induction principle, which is already well known from various products, from the electric toothbrush through the induction cooker hotplate. We are now using it to recharge cars."
The primary coil would be located in the garage or in the driveway, and could be placed beneath a surface like concrete or asphalt. It would not be affected by rain, ice, or snow and there's no risk of shock to humans or animals.
Audi envisions a future where the charging coils are integrated into surfaces such as home driveways or parking spots in parking garages.
Dr. Elias outlines a medium-term scenario, "Imagine you drive to work in your Audi e-tron, and on the way home you stop off at the store. Wherever you park the car, its battery will be recharged – perhaps even at traffic signals. These short recharging cycles are ideal for the battery: the smaller the difference between the values before and after recharging, the longer the battery's potential operating life."

Source: Autoblog Green

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By Motoman on 3/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Uh-huh.
By mrwassman on 3/1/2012 7:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
What a complete waste of time, effort, and money; Just so we don't have to plug the dam thing in.

"oh no so you can charge the car while driving... THE FUTURE..."

Sure man, keep dreaming.

RE: Uh-huh.
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Uh-huh.
By sprockkets on 3/1/2012 8:51:37 PM , Rating: 4
...and what's the loss on that kind of no-contact field charging system?

10% at 18 cm.

RE: Uh-huh.
By Zo0noUno on 3/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: Uh-huh.
By sprockkets on 3/1/2012 9:54:33 PM , Rating: 5
He asked for the loss, so if 90% efficient, it loses 10%.

RE: Uh-huh.
By quiksilvr on 3/2/2012 12:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's actually pretty damn high. What's the efficiency from direct plug?

RE: Uh-huh.
By Motoman on 3/2/2012 9:07:47 PM , Rating: 3
Unless there's something wrong with the socket/plug, there is essentially no loss at such a connection.

RE: Uh-huh.
By Samus on 3/2/2012 9:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Is that 10% lost as heat? Could be a problem for some garages, but I'd actually prefer it here in Chicago.

RE: Uh-huh.
By jithvk on 3/2/2012 2:30:07 AM , Rating: 2
Wireless charging doesnt mean huge loss while charging. On the contrary, electromagnetic induction is one of the most efficient methods to transfer power wirelessly.

RE: Uh-huh.
By testerguy on 3/2/2012 7:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, that's why induction cooking hobs are so efficient.

Which is why I use one! :-)

RE: Uh-huh.
By Motoman on 3/2/2012 10:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
See above. 10% is pretty huge, especially when taking into account the apparent size of the target population.

And especially granted the state of our power grid, which already loses a lot to the environment, and is already overtaxed...adding additional waste is a really stupid idea.

Let's make up some numbers.

There's ~8 million people in NYC. Let's say that, on average, they live 2 people to a household. Then let's say that half of those households have cars. Then let's say half of those would have an electric vehicle such as this. That's 1 million electric cars if you've managed to follow the arithmetic.

Let's say that it costs $50 a month to charge said vehicle. That's $50 million dollars a month spent just in NYC on electricity for these cars.

...and at a loss rate of 10%, that means that 5 million dollars' worth of electricity was just flushed down the toilet in a month. $60 million a year - wasted. Generated, transported, delivered...and thrown away.

Just in one city.

That seem like a good idea to you?

Saying "electromagnetic induction is one of the most efficient methods to transfer power wirelessly" is akin to saying "getting punched in the gut is one of the least painful places in which to get punched." You're still getting punched. Better to not get in the fight in the first place. Plug your damn car in.

RE: Uh-huh.
By Solandri on 3/2/2012 12:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not saying you're wrong; you certainly bring up valid points. However, charging efficiency tends to go down with faster charge rate. Basically you're trying to shove electrical power into the battery's chemistry so quickly that some of it "spill over" and heats up the battery. The few graphs I've seen show charging efficiency dropping from close to 90% to around 70% for a quick-charge.

So a 10% loss in a slow "always on when parked" charger will probably be better than the charging losses from a rapid "OMG I forgot to plug it in and I need to go in 30 min" quick-charge. Which is more efficient overall will really depend on the actual battery charging specs and performance, as well as the charging habits of the population overall (how frequently do they use quick charges).

By FastEddieLB on 3/3/2012 4:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone else think of Protoss when they hear about wireless electrical charging?

By Dan Banana on 3/3/2012 4:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea what "Protoss" is but it brings to mind Nicola Tesla's wireless 1931 Pierce-Arrow electric car that ran on "dark matter".

By FastEddieLB on 3/3/2012 7:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Protoss are a race from StarCraft that use pylons to generate energy fields to wirelessly power their buildings.

By Dan Banana on 3/3/2012 7:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, OK. Kinda like Tesla's work on wireless power transmission.

Not likely in this lifetime
By Beenthere on 3/1/2012 10:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
This would require a huge electromagnetic field to charge the battery overnight.

Since most governments are not dumb enough to pay for magnetic chargers at every traffic light, store, post office, etc. to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars, don't expect this idea to fly.

This is a political balloon launched to see how much support there is by clueless politicians. This idea will die a quiet death.

RE: Not likely in this lifetime
By Icebain on 3/1/2012 11:31:00 PM , Rating: 1
Define "huge". You only need it large enough to oscillate completely across a set of windings.

RE: Not likely in this lifetime
By Beenthere on 3/2/2012 12:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
...and those winding had better be "4/0" copper windings, <LOL>. Do you understand how much current is required to charge these EV battery packs in a 12 hour overnight charging situation? This is why 240/220v units are used for mechanical charging of EVs.

If you had weeks to charge the batteries you could use a small trickle type charging system, but not for the battery packs in EVs.

By Dan Banana on 3/5/2012 9:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Mechanical charging of EVs"?

How does one accomplish "mechanical charging" in an electrical process?

road full of magnets?
By meball on 3/2/2012 6:25:55 AM , Rating: 1
wireless charging is good, but not for cars. Because u would need a long road made of magnets to charge on the go which I think better used for bullet trains

RE: road full of magnets?
By testerguy on 3/2/2012 7:10:03 AM , Rating: 2
Dude - it's not designed to charge your car up while you drive along.

It's intended to work when you park, or pull into a garage. It means you wont have to plug your car in every night, it'll just charge in the driveway.

RE: road full of magnets?
By Strunf on 3/2/2012 7:19:47 AM , Rating: 1
I see this being quite useful in some conditions, you could install it at your working place or at the mall, if your car has some kind of tracking device it would be a children's play to make a pay per use system.

Who pays for the electricity?
By DiscoWade on 3/2/2012 9:01:03 AM , Rating: 2
Dr. Elias outlines a medium-term scenario, "Imagine you drive to work in your Audi e-tron, and on the way home you stop off at the store. Wherever you park the car, its battery will be recharged – perhaps even at traffic signals."

Let us assume that it is feasible to recharge the car while at a stop light, while at a store, and so on. At home, you would pay for the electricity to recharge the batteries. But what about away from home? Electric companies aren't going to keep the induction chargers going because they like you. Plus, unless electric cars are the majority of vehicles on the road, there is a lot of waste.

In my mind, the one thing that will keep this idea shelved is figuring out how to make those who use this technology pay for the electricity they use.

My only idea is to fit each EV with a RFID. When a vehicle is over a charging pad, it reads the RFID. Then the charging pad communicates with a central network that holds the information where a bill can be sent. The charging pad will also work on authenticating the vehicle to make sure the RFID isn't forged. After all checks have passed, the vehicle begins to charge until the charging pad detects the vehicle has moved. This idea will require each charging pad to be connected to the internet. All that will be expensive. Who is going to pay?

By mosu on 3/2/2012 9:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
Let's compare the Kilowatts needed to charge an EV in hours, not minutes and the amount of electromagnetic field it creates to the few miliwatts generated by a mobile phone and then talk safety, regardless the carrier frequencies involved in the process. I bet nobody wants his ass fried while charging his car, so I consider this is not a solution for the public.

Some of you guys
By tayb on 3/2/2012 10:22:40 AM , Rating: 2
Have absolutely no imagination.

Range? Stop lights?
By danjw1 on 3/2/2012 10:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, what have you been smoking? :-)

Tesla Motor's cars can get up to 300 miles range, check. Most people plugin their phones when they get home after being out, so why would a car be hard? Check.

I could see a time when building code would require charging facilities for every some many parking spaces. But no one is going to put charging into the streets, anytime in the foreseeable future. Who pays for that electricity?

And wireless charging is going to be very inefficient. It just can't see that making sense in a high amperage device like a vehicle, any time in the near future.

Sure, in an ideal world, EVs don't even need batteries and just get it beamed to them or get it from connecting to element on the road. That cuts down on weight, but this isn't going to be happening anytime real soon.

Another example of
By FITCamaro on 3/2/2012 8:05:00 AM , Rating: 1
Trying to replace one rare resource (oil) with a string of equally or even more rare resources.

The future is in biodiesel. Can "grow" fuel indefinitely.

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