• Mar 7th 2011 at 7:54AM
  • 18
Rolls-Royce 102EX Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Rolls-Royce wheeled out its 102 EX Phantom Experimental Electric at the Geneva Motor Show we were told that the vehicle, a 6,000 pound behemoth that started life as run-of-the-mill Phantom, is propelled by a pair of UQM electric motors that puts out a combined 290 kilowatts. Those motors get juice from a 71 kWh battery pack that consists of 96 cells arranged to resemble the donor vehicle's original 6.75-liter gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

Even though the 102EX Concept is fitted with a receptacle for conventional plug-in charging, the massive electric sedan also features HaloIPT's inductive technology. The 102EX is equipped with an inductive mat on its underside, allowing Halo's wireless, in-road system to shoot a charge across an air gap of up to 15.75 inches, filling up the vehicle at a speed that matches most plug-and-cable setups. This inductive charging technology is claimed to be tolerant of parking misalignments and allows the Rolls-Royce's driver chauffeur to pass on plugging in.

Photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: HaloIPT]
Show full PR text
HaloIPT to wirelessly charge super luxury car

HaloIPT will supply its revolutionary induction charging technology for 102EX, the Phantom Experimental Electric vehicle revealed yesterday at the Geneva Motor Show.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has developed the test vehicle to explore alternatives to traditional internal combustion for the first time in the company's 107 year history. HaloIPT is part of an exclusive group of innovators whose systems have been integrated into the experimental vehicle.

HaloIPT is the first company in the world to bring to market wireless charging technology, which allows cars fitted with an integrated receiver to charge automatically when parked over transmitter pads buried in the ground. HaloIPT's wireless charging systems use inductive power transfer (IPT) to transfer power over large gaps and are incredibly tolerant to parking misalignment with power transfer efficiencies that can match a plug-and-cable. The technology is designed to function beneath asphalt, and even works under water or covered in ice and snow. IPT systems can be configured to work with all road-based vehicles from small city cars to heavy-goods vehicles and buses.

In future, infrastructure providers will be able to embed IPT technology into roads, so HaloIPT cars can be charged on the move. This dynamic in-motion charging represents the most effective way of solving the range issues faced by electric vehicles today and will significantly reduce battery size requirements as well as providing unparalleled charging convenience.

Dr Anthony Thomson, CEO of HaloIPT, says: "We are delighted to provide our wireless charging technology for this trial. Industry feedback so far tells us that the automation advantages of wireless charging make it the best charging solution for luxury electric vehicles and will be the key to unlocking the potential of this exciting market. Users don't need to get out of their vehicles and hunt for a cable to plug-in, they will just park and walk away while their car starts charging automatically … the ultimate in modern convenience."

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has launched the website www.electricluxury.com to ignite a global debate around the car. Owners, media and Rolls-Royce enthusiasts are encouraged to contribute, feeding back thoughts, concerns and questions on the use of battery electric technology for super luxury cars.

About HaloIPT:

HaloIPT is a UK-based technology development company specialising in public and private transportation. The company was founded in 2010 by research and development commercialisation company UniServices, Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF) and by the global design consultancy Arup. HaloIPT owns the rights to the intellectual property behind its Wireless Charging technology: providing stationary and dynamic in-motion charging for electric vehicles, lowering costs and improving usability. HaloIPT's CEO, Dr Anthony Thomson, has brought together a team of world experts in IPT technology to develop the commercial application of wireless charging.

For more information, please visit: www.haloipt.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      "HaloIPT's wireless charging systems use inductive power transfer (IPT) to transfer power over large gaps and are incredibly tolerant to parking misalignment with power transfer efficiencies that can match a plug-and-cable. "

      A pretty incredible claim, but if true will be highly successful. The primary arguments against this technology have been low efficiency over large gaps. It seems like they have solved this problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Inductive charging is more important than the car because what if you could charge on the move- that would change everything.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Take out exaggerations like "highly", "excessive", and "a lot".

        "highly unreliable and unsafe products"
        No they're not. Large battery packs are simply composed of more of the individual units as smaller ones, and I believe the car can run if one or two degrade, so it's MORE reliable.

        "which require excessive power and time to charge up etc."
        Duh, they hold more energy. No, you don't suddenly drive twice as far if you have a battery with twice the range. Someone with a bigger battery does not consume more electricity, except for the slight increase in kWh/mile due to the car's weight increase.

        "Battery charging business could be then offloaded to a local power plant, which would do it a lot more efficiently than we do (less power distribution losses, balancing fluctuations of power usage, industrial scale equipment)."
        But "Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997 and 6.5% in 2007." Home rechargers already balance fluctuations of power usage by using their time-of-use plan or smartphone app to talk to the power company to establish the best time to recharge, and vehicle2grid is feasible. Home battery recharging appears to be 85% or so efficient (based on Nissan Leaf and Volt wall consumption), but can you cite any evidence that doing it at "industrial scale" is more efficient? I suspect the *slight* increase in efficiency in your system is negated by having to transport the reactants between the petrol station to the power station.

        Precharged reactants is a really cool idea, but the devil is in the details. At home (where most recharging takes place) it's more fiddly than simply plugging in overnight to recharge. On the road emptying used reactants and reloading doesn't sound that fast. If people accept 30-minute DC fast charge for their long trips, it's hard to see how alternatives will ever catch on.
        • 8 Months Ago
        John: It's not the energy density that is the problem. It's the finely interleaved structure of the battery, which we need for maximum specific power (and energy) density. If you have difficulty picturing out the implications think of a bomb or a solid fuel rocket.

        Note that even guys like Volvo do not test what happens _when_ the battery is damaged (because it is bloody obvious), instead they are testing _if_ in a given scenario the battery is damaged.

        We are already beyond the "safe" power density (essentially all Li-ion batteries except for these cobalt based are not thermally stable). If the cell is damaged, there is no material that would contain the released energy in that spot and prevent the damage from spreading to surrounding area. Luckily at the moment the risks are somewhat manageable (you could argue that if you have to hit a wall at 60mph in order to damage the battery, it doesn't matter if the battery catches fire or not - all the passengers are already dead anyway)

        What I question though is our ability to make reliable batteries in the future, as most of the ideas for increasing their specific power and energy revolve around packing the reactants even tighter.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Refilling batteries at fuel stations removes much of the advantage of EV's, namely cheap refueling at home. The idea that future more energy dense batteries will be inherently unsafe seems ill founded, we've lived with much more energy dense liquid fuels for over 100 years. Batteries don't need the energy density of petroleum fuels since the drive train is so much more efficient. Today's battery density could give us 300+ mile vehicles if some attention were paid to aerodynamics and weight reduction. No one has yet built an efficient EV platform that even comes close to the Solectria Sunrise from 15 years ago.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Interesting and informative comments, nbs.
        Many thanks.
        • 8 Months Ago
        It's like proposing that cars should be tapped to a petrol pipeline running along the motorway. As we know it didn't happen, instead we are all going to petrol stations.

        Electric cars have just appeared, which is very fortunate and in big part it was made possible by modern high capacity batteries (good luck selling an EV 30 years ago). But, while these batteries were good enough to bootstrap the market, I don't think they are an ultimate solution. Even if we can scale up their specific capacity and power, we will then end up with highly unreliable and unsafe products, which require excessive power and time to charge up etc. Instead of working around deficiencies of these batteries we can simple design ones that are free of them.

        The problem with cellphone-style batteries is that they combine functions of storing the energy and transforming it in one package. If we could decouple them we could have for example slowly recharged the reactants at home while we drive the car. Or, even better, we could have "refuel" precharged reactants and dump the used ones at a "petrol station". Battery charging business could be then offloaded to a local power plant, which would do it a lot more efficiently than we do (less power distribution losses, balancing fluctuations of power usage, industrial scale equipment). There are even such batteries on the market and some of them were even tried in EVs (Ford was experimenting with sodium sulfur batteries in '60s) but the EV market was too weak (and still is) to prop up their development.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not sure where you get your data but LiCo cells are the least stable, and LiFePO4 are very stable. There are videos on youtube showing LiFePO4 cells being dead shorted and doing little more than smoking and venting, and being shot with a bullet with similar results. Others show cells being cut in half with a shear. No explosions and no fires. Sure they can catch fire if enough heat is applied but so far there is little to no evidence that they will do so from physical damage.
        • 8 Months Ago
        If you go here http://media2.evtv.me/archives.html and click on the Feb 25 show there is a good explanation of the different characteristics of different lithium cells. Unfortunately it's a long video and the battery stuff is somewhere near the middle I think so you'll have to sit through some stuff you may not be interested in, though it's all EV related.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I would be more than happy to admit my mistake (at least in regard to LiFePO4 cells), after all we all want well performing and safe batteries. But, I need a bit better references than just videos on youtube. The problem with them is that some people "prove" one thing whereas others "prove" the opposite.

        (It's not just for the sake of the discussion - I _am_ interested in characteristics of these batteries.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      What if you leave/lose a gold ring (or some other conductive object) on the floor of the car while charging. will it melt due to circular current induced in this "winding"?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Assuming its resonant inductive charging then there will be no problem as no significant amount of energy will be transfered to the ring. To have a problem you need and object that matches the resonance of the charger.
        • 8 Months Ago
        As usual, it depends on where in relation to the coils you place the ring. If you place it relatively close to either of the coils (especially when coils are far apart from each other), the coupling to the ring will be strong enough to pick some small fraction of the stored magnetic energy and waste it. The problem is that this "small fraction" is taken from a huge energy that was built up in the coils due to the resonance.

        What happens next entirely depends on how much power exactly is wasted. There are three variants:
        - less than the power delivered to the load - nothing happens (as in demos) ;-)
        - approx. equal to the power delivered to the load - the link will operate at close to maximum power with ~half of its original efficiency. The ring will probably be destroyed.
        - more than the power delivered to the load - the Q factor will plunge and the link will operate at low power with ~zero efficiency. Ring may survive this scenario.

        The tricky part is that the outcome varies greatly depending on many factors - location of the object, its resistivity and size. You can easily demonstrate that for some of the objects nothing bad happens but I wouldn't bet on the robustness of this solution.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The bigger the battery, the bigger the charging problems. Even fast charge does not solve this, as you decrease the life of the battery.
      The Volt's battery can be comfortably be recharged overnight, even on 110Volt, whilst the Leaf can't.
      The Tesla battery takes a long time to recharge if fully run down.
      Any battery running a larger car and so needing perhaps 75-100kwh would be still worse.
      This might offer the option of sticking to 12-13kwh batteries and still solve range issues and also issues of powering cars where charging has to be beside the road without trailing cables.
      This would be a fundamentally better solution than either very large batteries or fuel cells, and would enable huge amounts of weight to be taken out of cars.
      Of course, if instead cars mounted rail tracks, then energy use would be greatly reduced due to reduced rolling resistance!
      Back to the future! ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        There isn't any point in having a large battery unless you sometimes use it's range.
        So under those circumstances, say on holiday, then recharge in a reasonable time will be much more difficult.
        So if you use it, it is inconvenient, and if you don't there is no point having it.
        • 8 Months Ago
        As for the inductive charging - it is only practical at very short range, in which case it is exactly as convenient as a conventional plug (coils have to be precisely aligned etc.), except it is far bigger than it.

        "Far distance" inductive power transfer is not a magic solution. It uses exactly same physics as the short range solution. The only difference is that, because of resonance, currents in both coils are boosted by a factor Q of 100 or more. That's a clever trick, which works nice on paper, but it comes with a slew of problems:

        - It requires high quality factors. It means that any lossy object in the vicinity of coils (water, your foot, metal) may reduce both the distance and efficiency dramatically. For example, if Q=100, 1% of stored energy will be delivered to the load. However, if (only) another 1% is wasted in the environment the total efficiency will be around 50%.

        - It makes the energy stored in the magnetic field hundreds times larger (that's the core idea). But, just because you can do it doesn't mean you _should_ do it. We are talking about ~1MW of power flowing back and forth between the inductor and capacitor just several inches below your bum. Be assured that some 0.1% of that will find its way into it.

        Somehow it's not very surprising that it is Rolls-Royce who is bringing this tech to the market. I seriously doubt any of these devices will end up ever being used (how many RR owners refuel their cars themselves?) It looks like a pure PR stunt to me.
        • 8 Months Ago
        There are at least two good reasons for having larger battery:

        - durability (because of shallow discharge),
        - efficiency (because of lower currents in relation to the battery capacity).

        And one very good reason against such battery:
        - weight escalation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why do people always assume a larger battery will be fully discharged? Most of the time it won't take any longer to charge than any other EV. Well a little longer since it's such an inefficient platform. I'm sure whoever buys one of these will have a stable of vehicles to choose from for longer trips.
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