Electric vehicle wireless charging: how does it work
The American corporation Qualcomm has developed a new Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging technology (WEVC) called Halo™ that could revolutionize the automotive industry and could massively help the widespread electric vehicles around the world in the forthcoming years
Qualcomm claims that this new technology, the result of many years of development and research, it is “highly efficient, convenient and easy-to-use”, adopting a resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy wirelessly, from a ground-based pad to a pad integrated into the vehicle. Let’s see in a bit more in details how the system work.
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Qualcomm and Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC)
Qualcomm is a multinational specializing in the semiconductor and telecommunications equipment industry and whose main focus is the design and market of wireless telecommunications products and services.
The company is based in San Diego, California employees more than 33,000 people worldwide and although probably not well-known as other big corporation operating in the IT sector, in 2014 its market capitalisation surpassed that of Intel.
Qualcomm name also came up in the international news recently when President Donald Trump stopped a merger between Qualcomm and Broadcom with an executive order that cited national security concerns.
Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology was first announced back in 2011 and was developed using a systems design approach.
This enables manufacturers that are interested in licensing the technology to design and build a WEVC system that meets automotive manufacturer requirements, regardless of coil architecture.
Thanks to a technology that is not too dissimilar to that one used to charge an electric toothbrush (just more complex design and capable of providing much more power!), WEVC can support wireless power transfers at 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11kW and 22kW through a single primary base pad and wireless power transfer.
Qualcomm points out how cables don’t offer necessarily a better power transfer efficiency as those systems can have losses too. Halo™ technology seems, in fact, to take advantage of its lack of physical connection, offering an efficiency of +90%.
The company claims that the Halo™ technology can be easily installed in any office, private garage or public space.
It can function well even when the pads are not perfectly aligned and even when there is a large air gap – like in a SUVs for example.
Nichicon acquires WEVC technology
Last year Qualcomm and Nichicon announced entering a Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) license agreement.
Based on the agreement, Nichicon plans to develop, manufacture and supply WEVC systems based on Qualcomm Halo technology.
Nichicon is a leading specialist in power electronics equipment for automotive industry, a trusted supplier working extensively across Asia, especially in Japan.
Mr. Naoto Noguchi, Executive Operating Officer, for the Nichicon Corporation commented the deal with this words:
“Our core mission is to respond to customers’ needs with high quality, cutting-edge technology products, whilst also paying attention to cost” and he then continued “We are delighted to be able to offer our customers, what we believe to be an industry-leading, future proof WEVC solution with ongoing technology improvements. The technology delivers interoperability, which is important for the driver experience and also for sustainable transportation.”
Future for the Halo™ WEVC technology
The technology developed by Qualcomm is indeed extremely interesting especially in terms of its convenience for users and flexibility when it comes to automotive manufacturers.
However, the company is pushing its vision even further and claiming that if the Halo™ were directly embedded in roadways, this would make possible to even charge vehicles on the go.
In this way, with a potentially limitless range, the drivers will only need to stop to have some rest or grab a cup of coffee.