The beauty of an automobile is that it is a seamless integration of all the scientific principles and engineering disciplines known to man. In a car, there is, mechanical engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering… I mean literally, any field of study is directly or indirectly is used in designing and producing a car.
Electric vehicles are pushing this even more. Science is being squeezed out to make electric cars even better and exciting than they are every day. I am excited to write this article because today we are dealing with such a thrilling topic and it is wireless charging…
Charging your car on the go wirelessly…How cool is that !!
The Coolest Thing Ever
The other day, I was working on the design of connecting rod for a gasoline engine, and to be honest, it is a tough job. That exact moment I started to list out the advantages electric vehicle brings to the table and the list was pretty big and satisfying except for the charging time. Though I knew it very well that charging time is being reduced drastically with every new EV, I was still a bit bothered but this news from Indiana cheered me up.
Wireless EV charging technology embedded in roadway pavement will be tested in Indiana, allowing automobiles to charge while driving. According to a press statement from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), testing will take place in three phases, the first of which will begin this summer.
According to INDOT, pavement testing, analysis, and optimization will be carried out in the first two phases in collaboration with Purdue University. Only in phase three will a real testbed be built, consisting of a quarter-mile of pavement in an unknown area.
INDOT will conduct the test with a modular configuration created by Magment GmbH, a German firm. According to Magment’s website, coils implanted in the concrete transfer energy, which is picked up by coils installed on a car( pretty similar to what happens in a transformer). The testing will involve charging heavy-duty vehicles at 200 kilowatts or higher.
How Does It Work
Electromagnetic induction is used to make wireless charging functions. When current travels through the coils of wire in the base unit, they operate as main winding and generate a magnetic field. Without actually contacting the next coil, this field produces a current. Wireless charging is achieved by treating this neighboring coil as a secondary winding and connecting it to a charging device.
Not The First One
INDOT claims that its planned wireless charging testing will be a world first, yet comparable technology has been shown previously. Qualcomm demonstrated the technology in 2017 that could charge a small vehicle while it was traveling at 60 mph. Qualcomm’s wireless charging technology was sold to WiTricity in 2019 as part of a transaction.
Electreon, an Israeli firm, has demonstrated a wireless charging system with heavy-duty vehicles on a small stretch of Swedish road. Electreon began testing the technology on a bus route in Tel Aviv earlier this year. In 2020, 25 Jaguar I-Pace taxis will be charged by six static wireless pads from wireless charging company Momentum Dynamics as part of an experiment in Oslo, Norway.
If the test results are satisfying, this would be the greatest news for electric vehicle enthusiasts out there. But while static installations have a bright future ahead of them and can now compete with DC fast charging rates, dynamic wireless charging still confronts several technological challenges, including a lack of standardization, infrastructure, economy, etc.