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Transportation Power

Universities, Gov't Testing Magnetic Resonance Charging For EVs In Transit (computerworld.com) 77

Lucas123 writes: At least two universities are testing the use of magnetic resonance and mobile receivers to charge electric vehicles while they're on roadways. Partially funded by a multi-million dollar DOE grant, Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research has been testing stationary wireless vehicle charging and is now preparing to test mobile wireless recharging for vehicles.In the U.K., the government is expected to perform off-road trials of dynamic wireless charging that it acquired from researchers at North Carolina State University. The idea behind dynamic wireless charging is to create a series of embedded highway stations that can incrementally recharge EV carrying mobile receivers as the vehicles drive by. The vehicles would use a Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) technology to communicate with roadway chargers. DSRC can support both stationary wireless charging and in-motion wireless charging with the same system architecture. DSRC is already being used in crash avoidance systems and is expected to be required over the next five years, so the charging technology could piggyback on the DSRC modules already installed.
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Universities, Gov't Testing Magnetic Resonance Charging For EVs In Transit

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  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @05:31PM (#50820491) Journal

    You could make some really sweet invisible speed-bumps with this technology.

    • And for more fun, I see a bunch of coils on the bottom of my hybrid in my near future.

      • Yeah, I can't imagine how they will "secure" this system from people "stealing" their magnetic waves.

        • Yeah, I can't imagine how they will "secure" this system from people "stealing" their magnetic waves.

          With a camera, the same way they collect revenue from drivers exceeding the speed limit.

          • How does a camera show that you installed a coil in the bottom of your car (could be covered, doesn't have to be exposed) to steal power while you are driving on a road.

        • There might be a mutual auth like RFID tags, or even Hall sensors. Where there's a will, there's a hacker way, although I like the idea of field charging from a logistics perspective. I wonder what snow and rain and road grime might do to it.....

          • There might be a mutual auth like RFID tags, or even Hall sensors.

            Then I can see 'drafting' becoming more popular...along with the inevitable spike in rear-end collisions at highway speeds...

        • by doug141 ( 863552 )

          Yeah, I can't imagine how they will "secure" this system from people "stealing" their magnetic waves.

          All they have to do is report your location to a patrol car.

          • How would they even be able to tell, you can modify your car to install the coils in the bottom, and they don't even have to be exposed where they can be seen. It would just be another draw on the system, just like all the other ones.

            Someone else suggested some kind of authentication, but I don't see how that would work at highway speeds, if someone has an idea of that, I would love to hear it.

    • Re:Lenz's law (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @05:57PM (#50820675)

      with regard to the inmotion charging..

      Not to mention the fact that you better not be carrying anything magnetizable or magnetically erasable while you drive anywhere near these things.
      The power density would have to be astronomical - have this really got past back of the envelope analysis?

      Even if you assume a vehicle is only using 15HP to maintain itself in steady state cruise, thats a little over 11kW.
      Allow for inefficiency in the motors and storage/drive, call it 15kW steady state
      Allow for losses in the transmission and reception of the energy over a decent airgap and with a moving target, you are probably looking well over 20kW.
      Now, say the charging stations are 5 minutes drive apart, and you spend 30 second over their 'charge grids' (those will be some LONG grids..)
      you will now need a power rate of around 200kW to be transfered continuously for 30 seconds to provide enough energy.

      Could all the people willing to sit in close proximity to a 200kW field, at speed, for 10% of their driving time please raise their hands?

      Even the idea of stationary contactless charging is just foolish - why not simply attach contacts and increase the safety/efficiency massively.

      I smell pork, lots and lots of nice fat goverment funded pork. Facts never get in the way of pork..

  • Haven't we had electrified railroads and electric busses that use overhead wires? Why do we insist on trying to re-invent stuff that already works?

    (sarcasm)

    Better yet, why don't you use the magnets to Push/Pull the vehicles down the road and just use regenitive breaking to charge the battery or something that doesn't require you to redesign everything almost from scratch?

    Here's another idea... Build tracks with steel rails that you can drive your car onto. Charge the rails (or a third rail if you want) to

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The whole idea makes no sense at all. Where there is money to be made a solution will be found. Quite simply expect a range of companies to do exactly what major vending machine companies do. Basically install vending machines at numerous locations and give the owners of those locations a percentage of the profits. So car charging vending machines at every location where cars regularly park. Even parking zones in the central business districts can be done. Instead of paying for a park, you buy electricity

      • Great, but it still doesn't fix the EV's problem of limited range and long recharge times for me. I commute more than 100 miles a day and don't frequent places which are likely going to be configured with the infrastructure anytime soon.

        So feel free to dream about how all this will be done someday. Call me when it is, but until then, I don't have much choice but to drive my fossil fueled Honda Accord...

  • by rgbatduke ( 1231380 ) <rgb@[ ].duke.edu ['phy' in gap]> on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @06:14PM (#50820741) Homepage

    ... even with mod points to burn I can't resist weighing in on this one. Some ideas are just too dumb for words. Just what sort of energy efficiencies do they think that they are going to manage? Who is going to pay for this "free" (incredibly inefficient) energy? Just how much power will they have to deliver to even break even on a moving vehicle, and how much power will their "transmitter" have to radiate in order for the car's pickup to be able to receive enough power?

    Shades of Nikolai Tesla! Why not just put up megawatt Tesla coils ever fifty meters and leave them on all the time! This is an idea that was proven stupid 100 years ago.

    But hey, the government has lots of (my) money. I'll just try to think of it as scientific welfare, sort of like climate science. Too bad they aren't spending it on something that isn't quite so obviously a boondoggle, though.

    rgb

    • This is an idea that was proven stupid 100 years ago.

      Yeah, well, a lot of this research is taking place down South; perhaps they haven't heard about that yet...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      B-b-but Tesla. Battery powered cars. Elon Musk. It has to be a great idea.
    • by sbaker ( 47485 )

      It doesn't have to be stupid.

      If the car negotiates with the emitters on the roadway via some carefully encrypted radio gizmo, then the road can turn the charging field on and off (and track the vehicle) as needed. The cost for this service can be deducted from your credit card in just the way that toll roads currently manage that.

      If you think of this like a tollway charge, it makes more sense. Companies are prepared to undertake the huge capital cost of building tollways in return for a continual income s

      • It still runs into an engineering problem though, one that can't be escaped easily. EVs need a lot of power. If you can't maintain continuous connection (if the vehicle was stationary, you'd use a cable), that means you need to send several times that power. A posted above did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and came up with half a megawatt. At that sort of power level you'd need a sizable substation for your charger, some really expensive electrical gear, cables as thick as your arm to power the mon

        • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @08:41PM (#50821527)

          It's just too much power to transmit wirelessly. It's hard enough to charge your phone - the losses are quite bad even for that.

          They are talking about 50 KW and 85 percent efficiency! That's nuts.I can't imagine anything near that in real life. But 50 KW a couple inches below my sorry butt is not a tempting thought. I'm seeing RFI problems, Magnetization and other induction issues in places they don't want it. I wonder about pacemakers or insulin pumps as well. I wonder if there will even be diamagnetic effects as well. I've got titanium in my ankles. Problem is, at thos power levels and those distances, weird stuff sometimes happens.

          To get any sort of efficiency the charging AC is going to have to be pretty high in frequency as well. I'm smelling a lot of RFI.

          I loves me my EV's, but this sounds like something right up there with Broadband over Power Line, and Smartphone service right by the GPS frequencies.

      • it all depends on how many of these things you need to embed in a mile of roadway in order to transfer enough power to drive a mile at whatever speeds...and it's too early to know how hard that is.

        Not so hard, if Fermi didn't live in vain. One gallon of gasoline contains around 32 kW-hours of energy. One car gets (on a good day, an efficient car) around 32 miles per gallon. One car therefore requires roughly one kW-hour of energy to go one mile. Unfortunately, that one car on a normal roadway drives tha

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @06:58PM (#50820949) Homepage

      EV owner here. Even if this worked with 100% reliability it would still be pointless. There are there types of charging that matter:

      1. Home charging, which is 99%of what most people do.

      2. Destination charging. Doesn't matter if it takes a few hours, you are parked doing shopping or watching a movie or whatever.

      3. Rapid charging on motorways and main roads. For long distance trips only, and in the future few people will use them regularly because 300+ mile batteries will be the norm.

      The shear cost of installing inductive charging and the basically non-issue of having to stop for 30 minutes and charge every 3-4 hours on occasional long trips make it useless.

      • I can see only one possible niche: 2, but unobtrusive. Chargers are exposed and thus subject to vandalism, weathering and accidential damage. It might be cheaper to install an inductive charge system that sits under the road for ten years with an annual service than several conventional charging stations that need a call-out every couple of months because someone backed into one and smashed it. It also eliminates the issue of forgetting to hook up the charger.

        Fun point: Every parking space in a lot could be

        • From my experience using several charge stations over the last year, I don't believe your concerns are that much of an issue. I haven't seen any charge stations vandalized in my area yet. If it did become a problem, I'm sure security cameras and law enforcement could deal with it.

          As far as weathering, that should be a non-issue as charge stations are engineered to be outdoor rated (check out NEMA ratings).

          What kind of "accidental damage"? Cars running into the charge station? I suppose this is a valid conce

      • While it certainly seems unlikely to work, if it did then it would be useful to reduce the battery capacity needed on board the vehicle. Enough batteries for 300 miles of range doesn't come cheap, and is the main reason why EVs are niche vehicles for enthusiasts rather than the standard.

        • While it certainly seems unlikely to work, if it did then it would be useful to reduce the battery capacity needed on board the vehicle. Enough batteries for 300 miles of range doesn't come cheap, and is the main reason why EVs are niche vehicles for enthusiasts rather than the standard.

          So far. But improvements have been pretty steady. Not too many years ago, the idea of an EV at all was relegated to golf carts. I'm expecting in our lifetimes that petrofueled engines might become as anachronistic as hit and miss engines are today. Ot a specialty nich in their own right.

          • Well, my life probably has about 45-50 years left, so possibly. But the current lot of EVs don't seem spectacularly better than the EV1 of the 90s. A bit better, yes, but rather less than I'd hope for nearly 20 years of development. And here's nothing obvious in line to replace the diesel engine there in big trucks or big ships, or the jet engine in aircraft. I think it's more likely than not that I'll die before the combustion engine does.

    • Most of the answers to your questions will come from... wait for it.... testing, like the summary says they're doing.

      Settle down, we're learning a lot more from their doing than from your whining.

      • Most of the answers to your questions will come from... wait for it.... testing, like the summary says they're doing.

        Settle down, we're learning a lot more from their doing than from your whining.

        Possibly. Most of the EV issues to date have been energy density and efficiency. My concerns are more of the laws of Physics variety. Maybe we'll have to make the cars out of Mu metal?

    • Hush! It's been years since I've played F-Zero! Don't screw this up for me!
  • Not blown away by this. Stationary inductive charging already exists. it's not quite commercialized, but there are several demos going on including at Monterey-Salinas Transit and at Utah Transit. There's a company called WAVE out of Utah that is doing this. Their current system is 50 kW, but they say they're working on a 250 kW version (vaporware at this point).

    In-motion inductive charging seems a bit more far fetched.

    • I'm wondering why we are even considering this, it doesn't really help with anything...

      All these clever ideas will never really allow us to do away with the two simple problems that an EV has, limited range followed by long recharge times. Once you got outside of the electrified roadway area, you have 100 miles before you stopped either charging or walking and nothing we do from a public infrastructure standpoint will fix that. EV's just don't yet work for a lot of folks, and putting all this time and m

      • EV buses work work pretty well. The buses come back to the depot every night. they are large and can accomodate all the batteries you need to get 150+ miles a day. The depots are in industrial areas and usually already have a direct 480V line to the grid, so there are fewer roadblocks to installing 100kw chargers (or even greater).

        it's not perfect, but it overcomes a lot of the logistical issues that are associated with EV cars and trucks.

        • A battery powered BUS? Now that's just nuts. 150 miles in a day is all they can do? You better get more out of your bus fleet in a day than 150 miles per bus or you are wasting the resources. Looking at Chicago's bus routes, I can assure you 150 miles is just getting started for a bus, which is likely going to do two to three times that in 24 hours. You'd be better off using CNG powered vehicles which can be quickly fueled, or if you simply must go electric, use a bus/trolley system that uses overhead lin

          • A battery powered BUS? Now that's just nuts. 150 miles in a day is all they can do? You better get more out of your bus fleet in a day than 150 miles per bus or you are wasting the resources. Looking at Chicago's bus routes, I can assure you 150 miles is just getting started for a bus, which is likely going to do two to three times that in 24 hours. You'd be better off using CNG powered vehicles which can be quickly fueled, or if you simply must go electric, use a bus/trolley system that uses overhead line for power when possible.

            dude, you don't know anything. there's a variety of electric bus configurations that will meet the needs of many or most of the routes in many transit agencies. You don't need to go 100% battery bus overnight, but a transit agency could introduce electric buses into their fleets and use them for a significant portion of their routes.

            • I think you overestimate the utility of a bus that only goes 150 miles and then needs to sit to refuel for a couple of hours.

              If you want to go electric powered, do what Boston does... Put up overhead power wires and run buses that can pinch hit by running on fossil fuels when they need to go outside the electrified areas, and leave the heavy battery packs off the bus.

          • I've always wondered why they insist on going EV instead of hybrid for transit busses. A bus is the perfect use for an hybrid.

            • parallel hybrids (similar to a prius configuration, both diesel/cng engine and electric motor) have been around for years. They have proven to have marginally improved fuel economy. The real-world difference ends up being very small. One company is coming out with a series hybrid where the wheels are powered by an electric drivetrain and a separate small diesel/cng generator provides additional electricity. This either new on the market or near commercialization, although it will be interesting if the compa

      • I'm wondering why we are even considering this, it doesn't really help with anything...

        All these clever ideas will never really allow us to do away with the two simple problems that an EV has, limited range followed by long recharge times. /p>

        2002 called. They want you to get your mind out of their time.

        If we were still in the golf cart era, and the laws of physicis made it impossible to have anything other than a lead acid battery, I'd agree with you 100 percent, that EV's will never work.

        But what is your metric? That an EV never has to charge? The times are a-changin' mutate, and all it takes now is infrastructure.

        And considering the immense, massive infrastructure that has been built for our petrofueld cars, it will be easier to buil

        • So.... You are claiming that "EVENTUALLY" EVs will be viable.... Maybe so...

          However, they are not viable for a lot of folks now. Anybody who commutes more than 100 miles in a day like me doesn't have a viable option in the Electric Vehicle market. There are a significant percentage of people who fall into this category. EV's will need to double their range to be viable for me and in large metropolitan areas it seems likely that a significant number of commuters will still have range issues. Feel free to

          • So.... You are claiming that "EVENTUALLY" EVs will be viable.... Maybe so...

            However, they are not viable for a lot of folks now.

            Do you actually have a point? Exactly which vehicle is viable for 100 percent of people?

            I have a motorcycle. It is not viable for a lot of people/ So in your view, should motorcycles not be available?

            I have a 4WD Jeep. It's awesome off road, but you might not want to take it across country on the interstate. So not viable for everyone - Let's call them and rtell them they aren't allowed to sell them any more, becausee they aren' viable for everyone.

            I have an RV so lets - oh hell, you know.

            The argum

    • Not blown away by this. Stationary inductive charging already exists. it's not quite commercialized, but there are several demos going on including at Monterey-Salinas Transit and at Utah Transit. There's a company called WAVE out of Utah that is doing this. Their current system is 50 kW, but they say they're working on a 250 kW version (vaporware at this point).

      In-motion inductive charging seems a bit more far fetched.

      Stationary is a cakewalk by comparison. There are going to be all manner of inductive effects from a lot of cars moving over the charging inductors sorta kinda at random, but not quite always.

    • by necro81 ( 917438 )
      One important difference between stationary and in-motion inductive charging is that, well, the car is in motion. This means that every metal component in the vehicle will be passing through a magnetic field (unless they figure how to switch the field on and off only when the receiver is directly over the emitter, and doesn't have much flux leakage). A changing magnetic field in metal creates eddy currents that oppose the change in the field (Lenz's law), which is usually a repulsive effect. This is the
      • Yeah, sort of like driving a pot over an inductive cookrange! You won't need to worry about keeping warm in the winter...

    • Disclosure, I work for Plugless, the world's first wireless EV charger for sale to EV drivers. I'll keep it quick. We began trials in 2011 at Google, Hertz, UC Davis, SAP and other partners across the country. We began selling our 3.3kW charger to LEAF and Volt owners in early 2014 and later than year to ELR owners. Our 6.6kW Plugless systems for Tesla S and BMW i3 are months away. The stats that this thread seem most interested in - we're ~7% less efficient than level 1 (standard plug) charging and ~12% le
  • Surprise! More worthless impractical use cases to justify forcing DSRC surveillance on everyone.

  • For those of you attacking the technical viability of this, I suggest that reality is beside the point.

    The summary already has the real reason:
    "Partially funded by a multi-million dollar DOE grant"

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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