Stanford University Research Team Explains Electric Car Charging Wirelessly (Photo : YouTube)
Stanford University, a prestigious research institution, is coming up with a revolutionary way to charge electric cars while simply driving down the magnetic-field installed highway.
"Our vision is that you'll be able to drive onto any highway and charge your car," said Shanhui Fan, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university.
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Utilizing what is called magnetic resonance coupling, the research team is designing a wireless charging system on the road. The magnetic field created between copper coils under the road and the vehicle could potentially charge the battery, the study says.
This technology is expected to bring a solution for one of biggest current concern of electric cars, which is finding a spot to charge batteries. Currently, most electric care can travel no more than 100 miles before running out of battery.
"What makes this concept exciting is that you could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge," said Richard Sassoon, managing director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project, who also a co-authored the study.
"You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with," Sassoon said.
In 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology came up with a method to light a 60-watt bulb through what is called a "magnetic resonance coupling".
When an electrical source is connect to one of two coils, which are set apart at some distance and tuned to resonate at the same frequency, it generates a magnetic field and makes the other coil resonate. The electricity will be transmitted despite any objects in-between.
Inspired by this study, the Stanford research team proved on their mathematical simulations that a real moving vehicle could be powered by increasing the amount of the transferred electricity up to 10 kilowatts, which is said to be enough energy for real moving electric cars. The team found out that a coil bent at 90 degrees and attached to a metal plate can transfer 10 kilowatts of electrical energy to an identical coil 6.5 feet away.
However, despite of their revolutionary progress, the research team has to face big challenge to make it affordable. Highways need to be installed with magnetic for currently uncommon vehicles.
"Large-scale deployment would involve revamping the entire highway system and could even have applications beyond transportation." said Fan.
However, it is still hopeful news for green transportation, increasing the chance of seeing more electric cars on the road.
Watch the video demonstration of the research here: