Korean Electric Buses Recharge Wirelessly From Magnetic Coils Embedded in the Road
KAIST’s online electric vehicle (OLEV) system has already demonstrated trams that recharge themselves while circling city parks.
Today the OLEV system goes into operation on a regular commuter route in Gumi, a city in central South Korea. Two buses will ply the route, which has a roundtrip of 24 kilometers. By the end of the year, the city plans to add 10 more buses.
…the buses in the KAIST system carry light, relatively inexpensive lithium-ion batteries but can keep on going indefinitely thanks to power beamed up to them from the road. That banishes a big bugbear of all-electric transport: range anxiety.
Underground coils produce a shaped magnetic field that resonates with receiving coils on the vehicle, transferring power so efficiently that only 5 to 15 percent of the roadway need carry the embedded gear. The buried coils save power another way, as well: they turn on only when they sense a properly equipped vehicle overhead.
Think of this next time you ride on a crappy American municipal bus.
Researchers in the US have tweaked a regular Wi-Fi router and made it capable of continuously powering a battery-free surveillance camera. Even better, their work didn’t interfere with the router’s data transfer speeds.
The breakthrough could help researchers overcome one of the main challenges when it comes to the development of new technology - including the Internet of Things, which aims to put a chip inside all our household appliances and bring them online: how do we keep everything powered up without lots of cords?
Researchers have long known that the electromagnetic waves broadcast by Wi-Fi routers could be harnessed for energy as well as sending information, but the challenge was finding a way to do this reliably and continuously. A team from the University of Washington in the US has now accomplished this by simply changing the way a router broadcasts. They’re calling their new approach ‘power over Wi-Fi’ or PoWi-Fi.
“The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant,” writes MIT’s Technology Review. “PoWi-Fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the Internet of Things to life.”
Global home furnishings retailer IKEA today announced a product launch of Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks that eliminates cable mess and makes it easier to stay connected with always-charged mobile devices.
IKEA said the wireless charging home furnishings will be available in Europe and North America this April, followed by a global rollout. The announcement girds support for Qi – the leading global wireless charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium.
“IKEA is delivering on its vision of making life at home better with this innovative, stylish and useful new collection that show consumers the beauty and simplicity of wireless charging,” said Menno Treffers, WPC chairman. “We applaud IKEA for its unmatched insight and their unique passion for making wireless charging affordable and simple for consumers.”
Qi is the most widely deployed wireless power standard, available in 3,000 hotels, restaurants, airports and public locations worldwide. There are now more than 80 Qi-enabled smartphones, 15 models of Qi-enabled cars and countless Qi mobile accessories in the market today.
Breakthroughs in inductive power transfer are promising to transform the prospects for electric buses. In July 2011, the Utah State University (USU) Research Foundation demonstrated a 90% electrical transfer efficiency of 5kW over an air gap of 10 inches. The breakthrough made inductive power transfer viable for buses, potentially minimising pollution in urban centres and saving costs.
Our mobile devices allow us to connect to the world without being tethered to a home desktop and a slew of wires. But even the strongest tablet or smartphone batteries can’t hold a charge forever. With Qualcomm® WiPower™, you can power up your phone or other compatible device without plugging in. Just another way Qualcomm is shaping our everyday mobile experiences.
Qualcomm WiPower is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.