Breakthrough in wireless charging

Stationary wireless charging already exists, but a team at Stanford University has come up with a solution that can deliver electricity to moving objects, addressing one of the major disadvantages of plug-in electric vehicles – their limited driving range.

A group of scientists have developed mid-range wireless power transfer technology, based on magnetic resonance coupling, and have been able to demonstrate their research on a moving LED lightbulb.

Check out the video below to see it explained.

The technology addresses concerns about EV’s limited driving range. To give some context, Tesla Motors’ Model 3 has a range of 350 – 500km (220-310 miles) on a single charge. Currently, EV drivers have to locate a charging station for longer distance trips.

On top of that, EVs usually take a while to fully charge; a typical EV could take around 4 hours to charge from empty with a 7kW home charging point. The new tech could overcome these charging limitations.

“In theory, one could drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to stop to recharge,” said Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering and senior author of the study. 

“The hope is that you’ll be able to charge your electric car while you’re driving down the highway. A coil in the bottom of the vehicle could receive electricity from a series of coils connected to an electric current embedded in the road.”

Since their demonstration only involved a 1-milliwatt charge, the team is now working on increasing the amount of electricity that can be transferred, while improving the system’s transfer distance and efficiency.

You can read their published results here.


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