The electric car of the future will “refuel” while driving or parked, completely automatically and without physical contact, using the principle of electromagnetic induction
It’s starting to look like roads will become much more than simple thoroughfares made of concrete and asphalt in the not too distant future. As we’ve seen, work is already underway to embed them with solar panels and piezoelectric generators to generate electricity. Now engineering company Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV) is looking to embed them with electrical conductors that would “refuel” the electric cars of the future while they are driving or parked.
The technology is similar to that being developed by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) for the Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), and can already be seen in automobile production plants and large warehouse facilities where robotic floor conveyor vehicles are supplied with power and automatically steered using the same method. As with those systems, inductive loops buried in the roadway would generate a magnetic field to supply the cars with energy without the need for cables and connectors.
This contactless transfer of energy is enabled by taking advantage of the Maxwell electromagnetic laws, whereby an electric current flowing through a conductor generates a magnetic field. In the case of an alternating current, this induces a voltage in a second conductor, even though the two conductors are not in contact with one another. Using precisely controlled frequencies of the applied alternating current, high-efficiency energy transmission from the sending to the receiving electrical circuits is ensured.
Through this principle, IAV is pushing towards a future where roadways would be fitted with buried electrical conductors to generate a magnetic field, while the floorpan of the electric car would be fitted with their counterpart, a non-contacting inductive pickup. This would allow current to be induced to provide power for the vehicle while it is in motion, or stockpiled until the battery is fully charged when the vehicle is parked. Electromagnetic induction also has the benefits of being insensitive to weather conditions and free of mechanical wear.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Wheels: Speed Bumps That Also Generate Electricity (wheels.blogs.nytimes.com)
- KAIST korean electric vehicle project (designboom.com)
- nissan: wireless charging for electronic cars (designboom.com)
- Turning Roadways Into Range-Extenders For EVs (blogs.thecarconnection.com)