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20 KW Wireless Charging Achieved for Vehicles

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 09:34AM

Many people see electric vehicles becoming a dominant form of transportation in the future, but there remain several serious challenges to overcome. Among these issues are range and the time it takes to recharge batteries. Researchers at ORNL have recently achieved 20 KW wireless power transfer for vehicles that could help address both of these issues.

Wireless charging is something currently found today with several gadgets and small devices, because some enjoy the convenience of simply setting something like their phone on a special pad to charge it. Wirelessly charging a vehicle would provide a similar convenience, as one could park it in their garage and walk away. At 20 KW, this system is not comparable with commercial plug-in systems, but it does reach 90% efficiency, which is important for reducing wasted energy, but also keeping people safe from the magnetic fields involved. The researchers are already looking at reaching 50 KW, which would match those commercial units and make it a potentially viable product.

While parking a vehicle for several hours to charge is definitely a realistic scenario, the researchers also investigated this system's dynamic charging capabilities. This would mean an electric vehicle, like a bus that stops at specific places, could be partially charged while picking up or dropping people off. This would extend the bus's range between full recharges, but could also be applied to allow vehicles to charge without stopping.



Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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