Magnet-wobble wireless charging system dishes out a respectable 10 kW
Ideal for heavy plant, but could be overkill for mobes
Canadian wireless power company Elix has announced a system which can generate and transfer 10 kW using magneto-dynamic coupling. It’s big, heavy and noisy, so is aimed at trucks and buses rather than small cars, and is certainly not suitable for desktop gadget charging.
Elix claims its target markets are transportation, mining, material handling, oil & gas and other industrial applications. A magnet in the charging station is vibrated, which causes a magnet in the vehicle to vibrate sympathetically.
The second magnet (typically permanent) is held in a coil which produces current. The frequency of the alternating current corresponds to the frequency of the primary magnetic field and is usually in the low hundreds of hertz.
The gap between magnets can be up to 30cm. The transferred power decreases as the distance between the wireless transmitter and receiver increases, although the efficiency remains roughly constant, as the secondary magnet still vibrates in the same way. This makes it much more tolerant than traditional inductive charging.
The company said the hardware typically has a smaller form factor than other charging systems.
The video above shows research work being carried out at the University of British Columbia, demonstrating a lower-power version of the technology.
The company’s FAQs claim that it has not encountered any problems with the permanent magnet picking up ferrous debris, and Elix even claims that one of MDC’s key benefits is it can automatically remove any foreign objects that may come into the charging zone without human intervention.
“When we set out to deliver the highest power wireless charging system in the industry, we didn’t just build upon existing inductive systems – we created an entirely new technology that meets customer demand for fast, safe and reliable charging,” said David Smith, CEO, Elix Wireless.
Elix Wireless rolled out its initial product offering – the E1K Wireless Charging System – to customers in early 2015. The bigger E10K system is now commercially available to customers and partners.
One application might well be bus stops. Overseeing body Transport for London is about to start a trial of six fully-electric double-deckers. These will charge at stops using traditional inductive methods, but MDC would offer more charge during the period when a bus is stationary. ®