News

08 november 2012

Proximity charging for electric vehicles

Picture

(UBC- you tube)
An electric vehicle to be charged just pulls up over the wireless charger, lower left.




Sometimes the best ideas are the least complicated. With electric cars there has been a concern over the need to connect heavy plugs into sockets in sometimes cramped space, and in bad weather.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia seem to developed a simple method of proximity charging.
Previous efforts at wireless charging involve high power emissions and high-frequency magnetic fields with as yet unknown potential health effects on humans.


UBC developers say the charger works in all weather conditions, even snow. (UBC-YouTube)

The UBC technology involves a “master” magnet mounted in the parking spot, which is spun using electricity from the grid. The electric vehicle is equipped with another magnet hooked up to a generator in the car. Whenever the vehicle parks near the master magnet, the slave magnet is automatically spun, turning the generator and thereby creating a current to charge the batteries. Charging starts immediately and is entirely automatic

Researchers say their proximity charger is 90% efficient compared to cable charging. UBC has been testing 4 chargers with its own fleet, and driver feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and they’ve applied for a patent
(MM with files from CBC)


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