High-Power Wireless Vehicle Charging Technology

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ORNL has licensed its high-powered wireless vehicle charging technology to HEVO, including compact polyphase electromagnetic coils that provide high surface power densities.

Researchers across the globe are trying to improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, for more energy storage capacity in less space. Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to Brooklyn-based HEVO. The developed system provides high power levels in the smallest of packages. According to the researchers, this technology could enable electric vehicles to be charged as they are driven at highway speeds. 

“Highly efficient wireless charging is a breakthrough technology that can alleviate EV range anxiety and facilitate the U.S. effort to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Xin Sun, associate laboratory director for energy science and technology at ORNL. “We are excited to see another one of our technologies move into the private sector where it can create new green jobs and support the nation’s clean energy goals.”

ORNL’s electromagnetic coil delivers high surface power density available, 1.5 megawatts (1,500 kilowatts) per square meter—eight to 10 times higher than currently available technology. This enables storage of higher power levels in a thinner, lighter coil, resolving the issue of adding range-sapping weight to electric vehicles.

The ORNL researchers enable fast hands-free charging and even in-motion charging so vehicles could be reenergized as they’re driven at interstate speeds over specially equipped roadways.

“From only one device mounted on the vehicle, a driver will now have the advantage of wirelessly charging at all levels up to 300-kilowatts, powering their home through a vehicle-to-grid interface, and even charging while driving at highway speeds with grid-to-battery efficiency of 90-96.5%. All of this functionality is built into a vehicle-side package the size of a medium pizza box and the ready-made capability to charge electric vehicles without a human behind the steering wheel,” said Jeremy McCool, HEVO founder and CEO.

 “Right now, those big trucks would require massive battery packs that add significant weight and cost to the vehicle,” said Veda Galigekere, who leads ORNL’s Electric Drives Research Group. “But with dynamic wireless charging on interstates, for instance, you can reduce the onboard battery capacity needed while alleviating range anxiety.”


 

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