|Inductive charging schema. Source: Volvo. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Car Corporation is participating in an inductive charging project led by Belgian technological and development specialists Flanders’ Drive (owned by the Belgian state), along with bus manufacturer Van Hool, tram manufacturer Bombardier and others. (Earlier post.)
Volvo will deliver a C30 Electric to Flanders’ Drive on 19 May to be modified for inductive charging. The charging system to be evaluated is dimensioned for 20 kW; charging a battery pack of the size fitted to the Volvo C30 Electric, 24 kWh, is expected to take about an hour and twenty minutes, if the battery is entirely discharged.
In inductive charging, a charging plate is buried in the ground—e.g., in the driveway at home where the car is parked. The charging plate consists of a coil that generates a magnetic field. When the car is parked above the plate, energy from the plate is transferred without physical contact to the car’s inductive pick-up.
The energy that is transferred is alternating current. This is then converted into direct current in the car’s built-in voltage converter, which in turn charges the car’s battery pack.
The aim is naturally that it should be as convenient as possible to own and use an electric car.—Johan Konnberg, project manager from the Special Vehicles division of Volvo Car Corporation
The project is designed to demonstrate, for a range of electric vehicles including trams, buses and cars:
- High power transfer in both dynamic and stationary use;
- Technical capabilities for road vehicles operating daily in an urban environment under real conditions and in all kinds of weather
- Operational efficiency for dynamic charging;
- System control and segment activation; and
- System safety, with full compliance with all applicable codes and standards for electromagnetic compatibility.