Instead of plugging in to refresh its energy, Utah State University has demonstrated a high-efficiency wireless power transfer system.
Utah State University has demonstrated a first-of-its-kind electric bus and inductive charging system. This technology could be very useful for bus stops, as the vehicles stick to planned routes and could recharge every time they pass through a stop via a pad in the ground.
The Aggie Bus benefits from a high-power, high-efficiency wireless power transfer system capable of transferring enough energy to quickly charge an electric vehicle. It has demonstrated 90% electrical transfer efficiency of five kilowatts over an air gap of 10 inches.
This technology has a number of benefits including greater reliability due to no moving parts or cords, added convenience through the elimination of plug-in charging, and the assurance of safety by removing the risk of electrocution. WAVE, a Utah State University spin-out company, worked in cooperation with the USTAR Advanced Transportation Institute to develop the Aggie Bus. WAVE’s CEO, Wesley Smith, said:
Current battery limitations prevent an all-electric transit bus from operating all day from an overnight charge. WAVE solves that problem by charging the bus wirelessly during its daily operations when the bus stops to load and off-load passengers. This technology makes electric buses competitive with their diesel hybrid and CNG counterparts.