By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
Refueling an electric car may someday be as simple as finding a spot to park it.
Refueling an electric car may someday be as simple as finding a parking spot.
Siemens, in cooperation with BMW, has developed a technology that allows electric cars to be recharged wirelessly. The system, presented at the 2011 Hannover Messe tech show, will undergo testing in Berlin as part of a project funded by the German Environment Ministry.
Similar to a technology being tested by Google, the experimental charging stations supply power to the battery through a process known as inductive charging in which energy is transferred from a ground-based electromagnetic coil to one attached to the bottom of the car. Simply pulling in to park the vehicle brings the two parts close enough to induce charging.
Siemens says on its web site that the charging stations can be "easily incorporated into practically any setting, making them nearly invisible and effectively protecting them against vandalism and wear and tear." The cars can also be recharged at 90 percent the efficiency of plug-in stations.
This means that existing parking lots can be retrofitted with the technology so that car owners have the convenience of being able to leave their cars unattended while it gets juiced up. And if the system is widely adopted, drivers wouldn't need to constantly recharge at designated refueling stations.
Testing will begin a May with a 3.6 kilowatt prototype, with more trials slated for June to determine which improvements are needed to allow the system to work in real-life settings.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Only in Japan: recharge electric cars at a beverage vending machine
- Electric car batteries can now power home appliances
- New technology may help electric cars charge up quicker
- New electric car may signal the end of the road for gas guzzlers
- New engine radically improves fuel economy, cuts emissions
- New 9-speed auto transmission also a gas saver
Apr 12, 2011
two big college's have this great clean air race still do here is where you buy a tesla car or build your own set up cheap one VW bug 6 gulf cart batteries now range extenders wind mills in front where radiator goes solar cells hood roof trunk lid last expensive but two stage fuel cell that uses gasoline first stage gasoline convert to H O2 and CO2 the H and O2 plus O2 from regular goes into second stage result electricity drinking water and pure CO2 exhaust a small package only for trickle charge and optional
why not just add solar panels. in the us they have a 4 mm pliable solar cell for the roof of your house that charges solar battery's.if they can charge A 144v system for a house why not on a car . the house panel is 30" wide and about 15' long. most cars are 5-6 ' wide and 8 feet long. why not use the hood roof and trunk. or the whole body surface area, and have a multi power cell system. when one battery is low it could switch to the next. the charger attached to the solar cells then activates and over the course of the next 50 or so miles recharges the lithium ion battery pack. most chargers have a shut off switch so they don't over charge the battery. safe and renewing. take that evil oil moguls. this has been my rant for the day thank you for your time.
Why not just put a continuous charging strip of this type in one lane of the highway that is designated for electric vehicles only? Kind of like the HOV lanes we have now. They could incorporate some type of timer to be able to bill users for the use of the lane. That might satisfy the people that are upset because EV drivers don't pay gas tax, and therefore, don't pay for road construction and maintenance. Also, you wouldn't have the issue of only being able to drive a short distance before having to plug in (or park in this case) to get recharged.
It can be a good idea only if they can guarantee that the magnetic field induced by the underground coils will not act as induction hardening ovens for the other steel parts of the underside. Even very tightly bolted together laminations of transformers show up to 2% energy loss. 90 % efficiency would seem to be too optimistic even with a gap of a few inches.
Even with the Idea of using Wind-Turbines to supply the electricity to these vehicles, the down-the-line cost is NOT going to be 100% green: Wind Turbines dont just grow out of the ground, nor are they self-maintaining.
Good Idea. But just where is the GREEN part. Thought this was the whole idea of a Electric vehicle. Don't know about you but I can wait for the Nuclear Powered car to go into production !!
1. It is feasible to make a 100% efficient recharging station without the need of electric conduct, but not at a distance. 2. Having 10% loss is terrible! 3. Having such a huge loss (also huge in power) means one thing: Radiation to the environment. So Siemens managed to make two big mistakes: a) Terrible efficiency, b) Electromagnetic pollution to the environment and that while charging the new generation of vehicles which are supposed to be economical, green and in general friendly to environment! 4. I don't trust Siemens. They have a history of unethical policies.
Inductive charging is very S*L*O*W! Heck, my rechargeable toothbrush takes 8 hours to charge through inductive charging...I can't imagine how long it will take for a car to recharge! And woe to any creature that gets too close to the charging system while it is in charging mode!
@keitha73: Like EmCam said, these things are full of valuable material. Where I'd imagine they'll end up at some waste processing facility initially, they're way too full of recyclable goodies to just toss in the trash. Not to mention that I just paid a mandatory $12.50 yesterday to dispose of my old car battery (refundable of course). I'd imagine that to make all these electric cars possible on a mass production level, (not to mention feasible/realistic) it will require more advanced technologies, something akin to (ready for the plug?) A123 Systems' cells. The beauty with these types of technologies is that the more advanced they get, the higher their densities become, the faster their recharging times, and the more refine their materials need to be. This makes them not only all the more valuable from a recycling perspective, but also all the easier to recycle. As far as commenting on the actual article itself... Wireless recharging is great when it comes out but, first (mass availability of) electric cars would be nice, and second, I'd imagine they'll recharge wirelessly via their onboard petro-powered generators, much akin to the Chevy Volt... all you'll need is to fill up at your local service station and pay continued tribute to the oil gods who run our planet.
10% loss of energy. So for every 10 cars that are being charged, you lose one car's worth of energy. A terrible waste.
High clearance vehicles can "squat" when parked, many already have adjustable ride height. Many people with or without electric cars prefer to park under shade. Let's put the PVs on the shade structure. Having lived in Phoenix, I would pay to park my car where it doesn't burn to touch after 30 minutes in the sun.
@NoSacredCow +1 If my car's going to sit in a sunny parking lot all day (as it did every day when I lived in El Paso and in Austin and as it does many days everywhere else I've lived), why not incorporate solar panels into the car's design indeed!
I have been useing this on my electric toothbrush for years. nothing new just a bigger one needed...
Electromagnetic charging stations? Please, that is not going to be cost effective and will add unnecessary infrastructure. A simple charging station with an outlet is superior and cheaper. The only thing is, automotive manufacturers need to standardize the plug and socket used. It's the KISS method folks. They are also missing the obvious. Solar recharging. The technology is being worked on to make the surface of the car itself photovoltaic. If Volkswagon for years can provide a solar panel for trickle charging a car's battery why can't it be incorporated into the design of an electric vehicle? Even charging the batteries as the car drives. (about as close as you get to a perpetual motion vehicle.)
These chargers don't transfer electricity directly. The charger converts the electricity to an alternating electromagnetic field. Having your vehicle's receiver in that field allows it to convert the electromagnetic energy back into electricity (with some losses).
I spoke last week with Head of sustainability at the Smithsonian Institute...they are working with a horizontal wind turbine company out of Austin Texas ...www.buildingturbines.com so they will not pay for the electricity used to charge their electric vehicles...they will be completely green. Mix this in and you really have something...
I have the greatest respect for Siemens, I have installed their equipment in many applications. They need to be very very careful with this one. Everything is wired and constructed for particular reasons. Wireless is convenient to avoid the required construction costs to install these technology advancements. I say required construction costs because we construct and wire it to protect data as well as people. Humans are intricate unprotected wireless devices that run off the earth's magnetic field and emfs can be very dangerous to an unprotected electrical system. There was an error found in safety standards regarding emf exposure because they didn't consider the electrical conflicts with human biology for what it means to electrical systems. The worst part is the health authority says stimulation of tissue is to be avoided as is a heat effect because experimental studies have shown it can lead to nerve and muscle depolarization. Everything on the planet is made of atoms and molecules that are very vulnerable to emfs. There is a reason the earth's magnetic field protects us from solar emfs so we aren't supposed to create them within the atmosphere. It isn't designed for it. Here is a link to a wireless application in schools and the dangers that weren't reported. There are reports from 2 professionals included and you will see their reporting on safety is seriously flawed. There is no discussion about an emf conflict or the electrical consequences. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=55 Corporations depend on governments keeping us up to date on science changes. Health insurers aren't going to pick up costs while corporations report profits. Be careful with this one.
Hoodedswan, We would make vehicles with lower clearance, or with lower-able inductive coils. We can adapt. With buses and semi's, they'd probably use the plug in method anyway. Personal vehicles that have a high clearance aren't likely to be electric anyway, as the reasons for having such a high clearance are typically a matter of entertainment, off-road utility or vanity, all three of which are likely to stick with internal combustion for quite some time. I don't see this as an engineering problem so much as an attitude problem.
What happens to the squirrels which seem to like to run under the parked vehicles where we live? Do they get a good enough shock to be fried?
A German experiment is likely with cars alone. What's the energy loss for high ground clearance vehicles more common here in North America? Over time, are the savings in maintenance costs really going to be greater than the wasted energy? You can't really predict what the parameters will be for battery disposal in the long term because battery technology is still evolving. No doubt there were lots of valid concerns when the Model T was introduced but a recycling system, imperfect as it is, eventually evolved to meet the need.
I've wondered before why this wasn't being done. Now it is! But you'll only get 90% of the efficiency of the EV by charging it this way. It's probably worth it for the convenience, but a 10% loss seems rather significant.
A company called TOXCO has received a grant from the US government to expand their recycling facilities to accomodate the increased recycling volume of these large batteries. There is significant value in the minerals that can be recovered from recycling these batteries, so throwing them into a landfill would not be economical. (Scientific Ameican article 2009)
I'm just curious. In 10 years when all of the 150+ lb batteries in these electric cars wear out, what are we going to do with them? My guess is that the majority will end up in landfills polluting our environment.
They were developing this in Japan I think. Sounds like a great idea. You could incorporate all of these ideas. All it takes is a willingness to loose the gas. Electric cars are faster and this is a very cool factor. If you get a chance test drive a Tesla. I drove one last summer and my neck hurt for a week, it was so fast. ByeBye Gas powered vehicles. Electrics will rule!
The EV can have both an inductive, plug-in, and solar. These three systems are not incompatable. The solar voltaic installation will probably be the most costly part. The other two are quite simple.
The inductive coil only needs to be automatically switched on when a compatible vehicle is detected.
Interesting point, if we calculate the total loss of 10% per day in one car and at the end of the month the total loss will go up to 300% in one car, so what is the total loss of energy behind 100 cars per month. Used cars
When my Prius battery gets to 80% of original capacity, I'll put it in the garage connected to a device that will let me charge it at 8c/kwh and sell that back to the grid at 40c/kwh. Much later it'll be sold to someone for the lithium.
Electric cars would be great....if we got all of our electricity from nonrenewable resources. There are so many cheap car parts out there I just don't understand the short sightedness of so many of the "answers."