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WiTricity announces Tunable Matching Network technology; optimization of power transfer between ground and vehicle

Wireless power transfer company WiTricity announced Tunable Matching Network (TMN) technology, which allows the wireless charging system automatically to optimize energy transfer between the ground and vehicle in a wide range of real-world operating conditions including parking misalignment, differing vehicle ground clearance and varying battery voltage conditions. This flexibility enables wirelessly charged vehicles to interoperate more easily with standards-based charging sources made by different automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and infrastructure suppliers.

WiTricity’s TMN technology is delivered as a compact electronics module embodying proprietary hardware and software algorithms, to be incorporated into both the wireless charging source on the ground and the wireless power capture device on the vehicle.

The WiTricity TMN technology was recently tested by Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with funding from the US Department of Energy, to support validation of the SAE Technical Information Report (TIR) J2954. SAE TIR J2954 is a guideline for the wireless charging of plug-in electric vehicles that was published by the SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers) earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

SAE International, through its J2954 Committee, is at the forefront of defining standards for wireless charging. WiTricity collaborated with Nissan to submit a 7.7 kW system with TMN technology for testing as both a stand-alone system and interoperating with systems provided by other suppliers, including WiTricity licensee Toyota. Results of the testing will be used by the J2954 Committee to help establish global standards for wireless charging.

WiTricity’s system—which delivers end-to-end efficiency of 91%-94%, as efficient as and often more so than plug-in charging—combines TMN technology with a circular coil design that is favored by most automakers due to the design’s high degree of interoperability, intrinsically low emissions, high efficiency and low materials and assembly cost.

TMN is available as part of WiTricity’s DRIVE series of wireless charging systems based on the company’s patented magnetic resonance technology. WiTricity’s DRIVE systems, rated at 11 kW, 7.7 kW and 3.7 kW, are provided to carmakers, Tier 1 suppliers and charging infrastructure suppliers as an evaluation and development platform to accelerate development of production units by the carmaker’s supply chain partners.

Automakers around the world are now preparing vehicles for wireless charging, including all-electric and hybrid-electric cars and light trucks. Standardization and interoperability are key catalysts for widespread adoption of wireless charging.

Delphi is an established licensee and development partner of WiTricity. TMN technology is a real breakthrough in efficiency, interoperability, and cost. This solution will help boost Delphi’s wireless power offerings and those of our customers.

—Randy Sumner, Director, Global Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Business & Technology Development, Delphi Automotive

WiTricity works directly with major automakers and Tier 1 suppliers including Nissan, Toyota, Delphi, TDK, IHI, Prodrive Technologies, BRUSA and others that cannot yet be disclosed due to confidentiality obligations. The company is also involved in the global standards development activities led by SAE International, ISO/IEC, Project STILL-E, The German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE) and China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) to promote interoperability of compliant wireless charging systems.

Comments

HarveyD

Could become one of the ideal charging facility for hands free battery refills at home, work places, restaurants, shopping centers etc.

Max charge level could probably be increased from 11 KW to 20+ KW within 5 to 10 years.

SJC

If they can agree on a standard it could change public recharging.
You park the car, it charges wirelessly then reparks itself after charging.

CarCrazy

Please, never forget about the stray fields between two coils and problems associated with alignment. In ideal world it might be good but it is still not in mass production and there are many reasons for that. I am sure that a lot of people are working on this but ... not there yet. Besides this, the standard limiting the switching frequency to 85kHz is just ... well, questionable, limiting innovations in the field. The company is in business for many years but is still supported by grants which says a lot. Just being a little ... realistic.

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