USU Researchers Trial Wireless Charging of Electric Bus
December 4, 2012 4:27 AM
comment(s) - last by
Charging system is quite forgiving of air gap, misalignment with charging pad
Utah State University
's Wireless Power Transfer team has applied "a mix of modern advances in engineering and
Nikola Tesla's principles of induction
" to create a unique mass transport electric vehicle, the Aggie Bus.
While the Aggie Bus at first blush is just a battery-electric conversion of a standard passenger bus, it has a pretty unique trick.
Professor Hunter Wu
's team of faculty and student researchers, along with engineers at the
Utah Science Technology and Research
(USTAR) initiative's Advanced Transportation Institute at USU, created wireless power transfer (WPT) pads that charge the bus as it reaches stops.
The pads can deliver up to 5 kilowatts at 90-percent electrical transfer efficiency, over a 10-inch airgap. The charger also maintains that efficiency even if the bus is "off" (misaligned) with the charging pad by up to six inches. This helps, by making it far easier for the driver to hit the charging zone. The system can deliver a peak power of 25 kilowatts, albeit at lower efficiency.
The inductive charging transformer (bottom) take power from the grid (top) and transfer it to a detached electrical device, e.g. the Aggie Bus via a magnetic field. [Image Source: WAVE Inc.]
, will deploy the electric bus next year in the real world. The first commercial demonstration will be placed on the campus of Utah State University, located in the city of Logan in the northern Utah panhandle. The bus, which will be launched in collaboration with the Utah Transit Authority, will be forty-feet long and will ferry students around campus, powering up from a next-generation 50 kilowatt variant of the WPT pads.
The Aggie Bus, an EV bus with inductive charging [Image Source: USU]
The bus is being paid for by USU and a $2.7M USD grant from the
U.S. Federal Transit Administration
(FTA), a subagency of the
U.S. Department of Transportation
WAVE CEO Wesley Smith comments, "Current battery limitations prevent an all-electric transit bus from operating all day from an overnight charge. WAVE solves that problem by charging the bus wirelessly during its daily operations when the bus stops to load and off-load passengers. This technology makes electric buses competitive with their
diesel hybrid and CNG counterparts
Robert T. Behunin, Ph.D., USU vice president of commercialization and regional development praised the upcoming Aggie Bus and current prototype, commenting, "The unveiling of the Aggie Bus today is a historic achievement and a great leap forward in the science and engineering related to electric vehicles. As a result of the work done by Utah State engineers, scientists and partners, EV owners and operators will now be able to simply drive over a pad in the ground to recharge their batteries, the benefits of which reach far beyond convenience."
Given the increasing popularity of inductive charging
for cell phones
, it's not surprising to see an urban EV inductive charging scheme floated. In fact inductive chargers are already be cooked up elsewhere
. Such a concept could see substantial traction in "green minded" cities like New York City or San Francisco.
However, it could also face some opposition from the
in such regions, who are
already railing against the dangers of
more isolated cell phone broadcasting towers.
Utah State on PRNewswire
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/4/2012 11:47:44 AM
We're fine on lithium, rare earth metals are another story.
I think the best part of this system is it's synergy with automation. If you combined Google's driverless car system into a bus that automatically recharges itself you could have a bus that runs a route 24/7/365 minus quick battery swaps.
12/5/2012 4:22:09 PM
Probably wouldn't be too difficult to automate the battery swaps as well.
I, for one, welcome our new automated bus overlords.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
Valve Aims to Fill "Void" in PC Hardware Market, Calls Out Enthusiast Vendors
September 4, 2012, 2:49 PM
Intel and IDT: Your Laptop Will Wirelessly Charge Your Smartphone by 2014
August 29, 2012, 12:49 PM
Tesla Museum is Almost Here Thanks to The Oatmeal and $945K in Donations
August 22, 2012, 9:10 PM
Audi Working on Wireless Charging for EVs Using WiTricity Technology
March 1, 2012, 6:53 PM
RIM Q2 Earnings Are Bleak, Q3 Expectations are Higher
September 15, 2011, 5:34 PM
Chevrolet Prices Spark EV at $27,495 Before $7,500 Tax Credit
May 23, 2013, 9:08 AM
Ford Expects Four-Cylinder Engines to Significantly Increase in Popularity
May 21, 2013, 8:56 AM
Toyota Wants to Increase Lithium-Ion Battery Production to 20,000/Year
May 20, 2013, 9:30 PM
Mercedes Aims for 45 MPG Highway on New E250 Bluetec 4Matic Diesel Sedan
May 20, 2013, 8:20 AM
Tesla to Issue More Stock, Pay Off Energy Loans with Proceeds
May 16, 2013, 1:58 PM
NC Becomes Latest State to Threaten Tesla's Direct Sales to Customers
May 14, 2013, 11:33 AM
Most Popular Articles
High School Student Creates Storage Device that Can Charge in 20 Seconds
May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM
Seawater Cooling Saves Data Center Big Bucks, Energy, Despite Jellyfish Issues
May 17, 2013, 3:23 PM
Newegg Legal Chief: "We don't Feed the Trolls"; Defeats Bell Lab Shell Comp.
May 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
Former Intel CEO Regrets Passing Up on iPhone Gravy Train
May 17, 2013, 11:46 AM
NASA Awards $125,000 Grant for 3D Printed Food on Long-Term Space Travels
May 21, 2013, 1:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information