Japanese Researchers Show Off Wireless EV Charging Through Car Tires
July 11, 2012 9:38 AM
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Researchers show off EV charging through the tires
Several notable issues are preventing electric vehicles from entering the mainstream consumer market today. Perhaps the biggest issue that is keeping the average consumer from buying an electric vehicle is range anxiety. Another major issue for many car shoppers that might otherwise consider an EV is a much higher cost of entry compared to a traditional automobile.
Another more pressing concern is one of recharging an EV and finding a power receptacle when away from home. A team of researchers from the Toyohashi University of Technology has unveiled a very novel and much more interesting way to recharge an electric vehicle wirelessly. The team from the University is led by Takashi Ohira and has recently been showing off a wireless electric field coupling system that can charge an EVs batteries through the tires. The big benefits of this system are four points of charging, rather than one point that we typically see in other wireless charging systems. That opens the door to the possibility of transferring more power to the vehicle at one time resulting in faster recharging.
The researchers have been showing a demo where a metal charge plate is placed under a four-inch layer of concrete to represent road surface. The team was able to transmit between 50 and 60 W of power through actual automobile tires and make a light bulb attached between the two tires turn on. The University researchers call the project EVER (Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway).
Another interesting possibility with wireless charging through the tires is that the team has been able to demonstrate the ability to transmit that power through a concrete block and into the tires of the vehicle to charge the batteries. That means with the right infrastructure an electric vehicle could be charged as it drives down the road.
There is no indication of when or if this project might be commercialized.
The U.S. Energy Department recognizes that charging is a challenge facing EVs and in April of 2012
offered up to $4 million
to companies willing to develop wireless chargers for EVs. So far, most of the wireless chargers we've seen consist of some sort of charger on the surface of the driveway or road and a receiver mounted to the underside of the vehicle.
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RE: Don't really get it.
7/12/2012 1:19:01 PM
The analogies aren't irrelevant at all.
You can wash dishes by hand (without filling the sink with water). You can hang clothes on a line instead of using the dryer. You can use the AC in your house less, or live in a smaller one to reduce energy demands. We can do a million things to save energy but we don't because they're inconvenient or compromise luxury, often only in a minor way.
Plugging in a car is similarly inconvenient, especially when you simply forget, at best forcing you to use fossil fuels in a PHEV the next day and at worst forcing you to call a cab because your pure EV can't be used until it's recharged.
It's a free world. If people want to pay for wasted electricity, let them. Electric cars will mostly be charged at night when electricity demands are low anyway.
RE: Don't really get it.
7/12/2012 4:08:16 PM
They are irrelevant, but I can make them relevant by tweaking all of them thusly:
You can wash dishes by hand...and spill 5% more water than needed and 5% more soap than needed onto the floor, just because you can afford to waste it.
You can hang clothes on a line...if you just throw 5% of them on the ground, such that the effort/resources you spent washing them is wasted, and they need to be washed again.
...the point isn't that one thing is necessarily more or less "efficient" than another. It's PURPOSEFULLY being wasteful when a no-waste option is easily at hand (for the same process...not saying don't use a dishwasher because hand washing is cheaper...I'm saying don't run the dishwasher one more time when it's empty just because you can afford the soap, water, and electricity to do so).
We simply don't need to introduce new ways to waste energy.
Especially electricity, and especially when we can't generate enough to meet demand in many places already, and especially when the grid as a whole is ready to teeter over in many places already.
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