Utah State University experimenting with in-road electric vehicle charging system

Laura Marlino, deputy director at the power electronics and electrical power systems research center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, says that, "We believe it's not a matter of if, but when wireless charging will be in all [plug-in] vehicles." Well, if that's to be the case, then it's time to get cracking.

A technical breakthrough at Utah State University (USU) could make in-road wireless charging a reality. Researchers at USU have managed to get five kilowatts of electricity to jump an air gap of up to ten inches at 90 percent efficiency. To demonstrate the concept, USU researchers set up an electrical coil on the floor, used plastic cylinders as spacers to create the ten-inch gap and shot electricity across the gap to a receiver pad.

The principle has been in use for decades, but USU researchers say that 90 percent efficiency is the highest ever measured. Paul Israelsen, deputy director at USU's Energy Dynamics Laboratory, claims "We're getting efficiencies that are comparable to the same efficiency you would get with a plug-in electric charger." This summer, USU will mount a receiver pad to the undercarriage of an electric vehicle and test the system by driving over a stationery charging pad. The next step – and the really exciting one – is to test the technology while a vehicle is in motion. HaloIPT is already doing this kind of work, and we can't wait to see where it takes us.

[Source: Deseret News]

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