WiTricity’s technology for wireless power transfer over distance was central to a next-generation electric mobility demonstration in Osaka, Japan, led by DAIHEN Corporation, a global leader in electric power transmission.
Partners since 2016, DAIHEN licensed WiTricity’s technology to commercialize wireless charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) in factory and industrial settings.
DAIHEN has been using WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging system as a reference design for its own line of standards-compliant wireless chargers for battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
DAIHEN recently launched a demonstration with Kansai Electric Power Co. at Expo Park in Osaka, Japan, to showcase next-generation mobility services using a small electric vehicle, similar in size and functionality to a golf cart, and a solar-powered wireless charging system, provided by DAIHEN. The February demonstration took place in Expo Park, a park and recreational facility with gardens and museums, nearly the size of Manhattan’s Central Park.
The demonstration integrated electric mobility, DAIHEN’s wireless charging system, on-demand vehicle reservation systems, location information and data utilization (e.g., human flow analysis) to create a next-generation mobility service. As part of the demonstration, Expo Park visitors were able to use their smartphones to call up electric carts, which were charged by a solar-powered wireless charging system. This system made car-sharing operations more convenient for both park managers and visitors.
The DAIHEN D-Broad system is a wireless charging solution for factory automation based on WiTricity’s patented magnetic resonance technology. D-Broad allows for wireless charging with a maximum gap of 40mm for power receiving & transmission, while the AGV (automated guided vehicle) can be stopped with a gap up to 10mm.
D-Broad streamlines factory automation by enabling fast, automatic charging at multiple locations along an AGV route through a factory as it transports materials and parts. The D-Broad system has been shipping since 2016 and continues to see strong momentum in the market.
In contrast to conventional plug-in charging systems that require human operators to take AGVs out of service to recharge, AGVs equipped with DAIHEN’s D-Broad can autonomously re-charge and work around the clock.
DAIHEN supplies the system on an OEM basis to AGV and mobile robotics manufacturers, and directly to advanced manufacturing engineers for custom factory automation projects. In addition to streamlining the AGV charging process, the D-Broad system also improves system reliability and reduces total cost of ownership by eliminating trouble-prone charging connectors and cables.
Wireless charging is essential to the future of mobility, whether that mobility happens on city streets or in factories. The future of mobility is autonomous, and in order to reach full autonomy, the charging cable has to be completely removed. Our demonstration in Osaka proved that renewable energy coupled with autonomy creates a smart mobility future.—Ryohei Tanaka, Vice President, Operating Officer and General Manager of Wireless Power Transfer Division, DAIHEN