According to the researchers, the system can transfer power across a wide air gap at more than 90% efficiency.
As it becomes clearer that wireless charging is the wave of the future, alternate ways of accomplishing it are beginning to emerge. Most of the systems now available or in real-world testing, such as Evatran’s Plugless Power and Qualcomm’s Halo, work by means of electromagnetic induction. However, researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed a new type of wireless charging system based on magneto-dynamic coupling, which they believe offers several advantages.
UBC’s system uses a rotating permanent magnet in the transmitting unit to cause a second magnet in the receiving unit to rotate as well, generating an electric current.
According to the UBC team, their system can transfer power across a wide air gap at more than 90% efficiency, power can be transferred through metal without significant loss of performance, and the system is tolerant of misalignment, so there’s no need to line up the transmitter and receiver precisely. Wiring and components are simple and low-cost. Power transfer occurs at a low frequency and in a localized area, so there is almost no risk of interference with other high-frequency wireless devices, and potential health risks of exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields are not a factor.
The team has successfully demonstrated their system in a fleet of EVs run by UBC Building Operations, with the support of a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. This fully automated system performed successfully in a variety of weather conditions including snow, rain and sub-zero temperatures.
Source: UCB via Green Car Congress