Scientists ‘achieve the highest power density in the world’ for EV wireless charging

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers wirelessly charged a light-duty passenger EV at 100 kW with 96% efficiency – a new milestone.

Scientists at the US Department of Energy-funded ORNL wirelessly charged the EV using polyphase electromagnetic coupling coils with rotating magnetic fields.

ORNL’s patented system transferred power to a Hyundai Kona EV across a five-inch air gap using electromagnetic fields, a process similar to the wireless charging of small consumer devices.

ORNL’s Omer Onar said:

We’ve achieved the highest power density in the world for a wireless charging system for this class of vehicle.

Our technology reaches power densities 8-10 times higher than conventional coil technology and can increase battery charge state by 50% in under 20 minutes.

ORNL researchers previously achieved a 120-kW charge using conventional coil technology in benchtop lab testing, but this marks a milestone achievement for vehicle integration using ORNL’s polyphase coils.

The polyphase electromagnetic coupling coil’s small, lightweight design allows for the highest power density within the smallest coils possible – they have a diameter of just over 14 inches. Rotating magnetic fields generated by the coil phase windings boost the power. 

“This breakthrough achievement opens the door to fast and efficient wireless charging for passenger electric vehicles,” Onar added. 

Read more: Volvo Cars says its new partner will reduce its EVs’ charging time by 30%


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