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CU-ICAR, SCTAC partner on wireless vehicle charging; Oak Ridge charging system

The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and the SCTechnology Aviation Center (SCTAC) have contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to support a three-year program to develop and test wireless charging systems for electrical vehicles. (Earlier post.)

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory charging system will be co-developed and manufactured by Wytheville, Va.-based Evatran. Other project partners include General Motors, Toyota, Duke Energy and Cisco. The value of the subcontract for Clemson University is $1.52 million. The research is funded by the US Department of Energy.

Wireless Power Transfer Charging (WPTC) of an electric vehicle does not require the use of cables or plugs and could substantially increase convenience—and possibly the number of opportunities—to charge an electric vehicle throughout the daily drive.

When wireless charging is applied in quasi-dynamic (stop-and-go) or dynamic (vehicle-in-motion) modes, the technology could lead to extended range and downsized batteries for electric vehicles. CU-ICAR research professor Joachim Taiber, who will lead the project for Clemson, said batteries in next-generation electric-powered vehicles can be made smaller and lighter, greatly increasing the efficiency of power transfer.

As part of the project, CU-ICAR and SCTAC researchers will validate the Oak Ridge-developed technology, optimize system design and develop the required communication networks for the wireless charging system.

Testing of the technology will take place at SCTAC and on the Oak Ridge main campus. SCTAC will be a unique, advanced technology demonstration facility and airpark, which currently is home to 85 diverse companies with an international presence in advanced manufacturing, trade, technology and avionics.

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