Wireless charging for electric vehicles at 120 kW: as fast as at a gas station?

Scientists from the Department of energy National laboratory oak ridge has demonstrated a 120 kW wireless charging system for transportation — six times more powerful than the previous technologies ORNL and a big step in the direction of reduce the charging time. Scientists hope that one day electric cars can be recharged at “filling” stations as fast as they do at the gas station now with a conventional petrol engine. The wireless unit transmits 120 kilowatts of power with 97% efficiency, which is comparable to traditional wired high-energy rapid chargers.

In the laboratory, scientists have shown how energy is transmitted through a six-inch air gap between two magnetic coils and charge the battery.

How will you refuel the cars?

Researchers from ORNL have created and demonstrated the world’s first 20-kW wireless charging system, which was modified for applications such as commercial trucks. “It was important to keep the same or smaller size that were in the previous iteration, in order to encourage commercial adoption,” says project Manager Veda Gelegener.

“We solved the problem of designing coils, the system is not heated and does not create any security problems. Any loss of energy during transmission is minimal”.

To score 120 kilowatts, a team from ORNL has created a new coil design that is optimized using the latest silicon carbide power electronic devices for light and compact system. The architecture of the system takes energy from the network and converts it into high frequency alternating current which generates a magnetic field, transmitting energy through a large air gap. Once the energy transferred to the secondary coil, it is converted back to direct current and stored in batteries of vehicles.

Future goals — to develop a system for the transmission of 350-400 kW and reduce charging time to 15 minutes.

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