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IPFS News Link • Energy

Oakridge National Labs Demos Record 270 kilowatt Wireless Charging of Electric Cars

•, by Brian Wang

The demonstration used a Porsche Taycan and was conducted in collaboration with Volkswagen Group of America using the ORNL-developed polyphase wireless charging system.

As a light-duty passenger vehicle, the Porsche Taycan would be difficult to equip using conventional large, heavy wireless power transfer systems. The vehicle can't support the charging hardware due to space, weight and volume limitations. Existing wireless charging systems for light-duty vehicles are currently under development for up to 11-kW power levels with up to 92% efficiency. Current industry standards cover up to 20-kW power levels.

The ORNL-invented system that transferred power to the Porsche uses lightweight polyphase electromagnetic coupling coils with a diameter just over 19 inches that allow for higher power density in the smallest coil possible. This process is similar to the wireless charging of small consumer devices, but the unique geometry and design of the polyphase coils enable the transfer of extremely high power levels using rotating magnetic fields generated by the coil phase windings to boost the power. The charging system was seamlessly integrated into the undercarriage of the vehicle.

The wireless power transfer technology also includes protection systems that prevent exceeding voltage and current limits, overheating and short-circuiting. These systems can initiate shutdown procedures in the event of power interruptions or other unexpected conditions that would interfere with safe power transfer.

"The receiver coil designed for the Porsche Taycan research vehicle can achieve 8 to 10 times higher power density compared to existing systems," said ORNL's Omer Onar, leader of the Vehicle Power Electronics group and lead researcher on the Porsche demonstration. "Per kilowatt weight, this is also the most lightweight charging system in the world."