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New technology could allow you to reload one electric car as you whiz on the highway. One of the biggest limits that prevents the spread of electric cars it is related to the performance of the battery. The new frontier envisages a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to transmit large quantities of electric current to the metal coils positioned under the road surface.
"Our vision sees the driver able to drive on all highways and thus load his car - says Shanhui Fan, associate professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University - a large-scale application would involve the reorganization of the entire motorway system. Our project could also spread to other areas that go beyond transport "
A wireless charging system would allow to face a serious inconvenience related to the use of electric cars, their limited driving range. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can travel just over 100 miles on a full charge, and it takes several hours to recharge the battery. What Stanford University scientists are designing is a fully assisted charging system mobile.
"What makes our project really interesting is the opportunity to drive an electric car for an unlimited number of time, without ever having to stop to recharge - explains the study co-author Richard Sassoon, CEO of the Global Climate Stanford Energy Project (GCEP) -. At the end of the journey, the battery may be even more charged than when driving”
How the Wireless networks for Electric cars? Wireless electricity transfer is based on a technology called "magnetic resonance coupling," where two copper coils are tuned to "resonate" on the same frequency, just as two crystal glasses vibrate when a precise sound is emitted. The coils are positioned a few meters apart, one coil is connected to the electric current and generates a magnetic field that will make the second coil "resonate". In other words, there will be an invisible energy transfer between the first and second coil. The first coil should be incorporated on the road surface while theelectric car it should be equipped with the second coil, the "receiving" one.
“Wireless energy transfer occurs only if the two resonators are in perfect harmony - Professor Fan adds- two objects tuned to different frequencies will never be able to do it "
Fan and his colleagues recently filed a patent application for the mobile charging system for electric vehicles. For now, only simulation tests have been done, the next step is to test the system on the road. In 2007, MIT devised a system to recharge the car wirelessly with the transfer of a few kilowatts of electricity. Fan's team could consider making some changes to the system developed by MIT in order to enhance the current capacity and be able to recharge the electric cars remotely, transmitting 10 kilowatts of power.
The biggest problem that scientists will face is precisely that of magnetic fields: on-board computers, mobile devices but also the metal parts of the car themselves, could modify the magnetic fields. It is for this reason that an optimal electrical transfer system is being developed on the construction site which requires the presence of any "intruder". The system therefore must not affect the driver, passengers or dozens of microcomputers with which one is equipped electric car (gps, navigation, air conditioning, steering safety ...).
Some experts envision an automated mobile charging system where i electric vehiclescan be supplied wirelessly with electricity from renewable energy sources. The goal would be to help the spread of electric cars, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Plus the technology wireless may someday help GPS navigation of driverless car. In the proposed system the magnetic fields could also be used to control steering as the coils would be installed in the center of the lane, they could provide very precise positioning at no additional cost. In short, the magnetic fields and the GPS are destined to supplant the driver of the car.
edited by Anna De Simone