back to article Magnet-wobble wireless charging system dishes out a respectable 10 kW

Canadian wireless power company Elix has announced a system which can generate and transfer 10 kW using magneto-dynamic coupling. It’s big, heavy and noisy, so is aimed at trucks and buses rather than small cars, and is certainly not suitable for desktop gadget charging. Elix claims its target markets are transportation, …

  1. Dan Paul

    Transfer Efficiency?

    Color me unconvinced there is any need for this, there will be a significant decrease in power efficiency and a huge increase in cost. You can't induce a current without creating some heat and that heat is the inefficient factor. They already have designed plug in stations with billing systems cheap enough to place at most parking lots.

    If this thing requires the vehicle to remain stationary during charging, why not just plug the damn truck into the grid? Takes 2 seconds and does not throw Electromagnetic Energy all over the place.

    Now if there was a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving, that would be attractive

    1. keith_w

      Re: Transfer Efficiency?

      if you put them in the road at each bus stop, then as the bus stops to collect and/or discharge passengers some charging can be induced, thus maintaining an adequate power level to complete the route.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Transfer Efficiency?

        Overhead bus stop charging systems already exist and are almost certainly more efficient (and therefore faster) than this system. This looks to be very niche. It has the advantage of being weather sealed but where that's not needed a simple mechanical arm is likely a better solution.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Transfer Efficiency?

          Underwater?

      2. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Re: Transfer Efficiency? @KW

        Yet another bloody excuse to sit for ages several feet out from the already set out kerb doing nothing remotely useful except creating a dirty great tailback ......

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Transfer Efficiency?

        "as the bus stops to collect and/or discharge passengers some charging can be induced, thus maintaining an adequate power level to complete the route."

        Great idea. Now do some numbers in terms of energy stored in a few seconds (or even minutes) at bus stop vs energy required en route before next recharge. It's not plausible in practice, not for buses as we know them today anyway.

      4. normal1

        Re: Transfer Efficiency?

        Just do not bring magnetic based storage of any type on the bus while it's charging?

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Transfer Efficiency?

      So you want to have a huge magnet inducing currents by moving another huge magnet through a coil.

      And you want this to happen on a bus, where the payment system works by holding a card that has an induction coil which, when a huge magnet waves near it, induces current enough to power the circuit?

      Magnetic induction is SILLY. It wastes most of its transferred energy (by inducing a field around the 359 degrees (L-R) and other 359 degrees (U-D) that aren't what you intended to induce a field in), it's completely non-discriminatory in what it induces a field in (i.e. anything metal) and if it's strong enough to move a magnet that's 30cm away enough to generate electricity from it doing that, enough to power a bus - god knows what it'll do to that guy that runs over it to get to the bus from the other side of the road while carrying gadgets, cards, metal belt buckle, metal in his shoes, etc.

      It's silly. Give it up. It's neat for toys and toothbrushes, and then it's just silly.

      If you're that keen, just make a bollard with a connector that the bus can "dock" into. As the bus approaches, the driver can request the bollard if needed, and when charged it will tuck away before he drives off. Simple tech that WE ALREADY HAVE and have no need of fancy junk to join two bits of metal together to transfer a current.

      1. TechicallyConfused
        WTF?

        Re: Transfer Efficiency?

        Never mind the chap with a pocket full of gadgets... What about that poor bloke with the pacemaker?

  2. hplasm Silver badge
    Coat

    "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

    Magnets in the road, coil on the vehicle!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

      Overhead wires & pantographs!

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

        "Overhead wires & pantographs!"

        Precisely. London had "fully-electric double-deckers" in the 1950s.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

          "Precisely. London had "fully-electric double-deckers" in the 1950s"

          Latecomers as usual !

          http://www.trolleybus.co.uk/history1.htm

          "Thus on 20 June 1911 when Leeds and Bradford simultaneously opened Britain's first trolleybus services"

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

      MMmmmm... lots of metal embedded in miles of roads, just ripe for theft... Can't see a problem there!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heavy plant?

      "Magnets in the road, coil on the vehicle!"

      Precision driver in the cab? [30cm] (or interesting but unmentioned alignment device somewhere; magnets tend to be good at alignment...).

      Also: where did the "heavy plant" idea come from (other than the manufacturers)?

      10kW, say the manufacturers. 10kW is maybe 15 horsepower (PS), being generous for round numbers.

      For comparison, a modern small car engine is maybe 70PS, though it doesn't need all of it all the time. So if we had five of these 10kW things on one vehicle, we've got roughly as much input as a small car engine. But only when we're parked up at the charging station (which at that point needs 50kW wiring, piece of cake right?). So for now let's go back to one 10kW gadget per vehicle.

      So you park up for five minutes, at 10kW transfer if you're lucky. Assuming you've got 100% storage efficiency round trip, you've got five minutes worth of 10kW output (or fifteen of 3kW, two minutes of 25kW, etc; all numbers approximate).

      Heavy plant? Big diggers? I'm thinking maybe not.

      On the other hand, in conjunction with something like the Parry People Mover there's perhaps some "synergy" (yuk) there, in the world of cost-effective zero-emission trams and light rail without needing a continuous energy input (eg without expensive overhead or 3rd-rail electrification).

      You've never heard of Parry People Mover have you. Well that says something about the size of the addressable market for the Elix thing.

      I wish them luck anyway. But careful with the hype.

      http://www.parrypeoplemovers.com/

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

      IIRC there was s system of supplying electric power to buses through pads in the road. They only became live when a magnet in the bus pick-up lifted the contact. Think they had a reliability problem with them not reliably switching off after the bus moved off.

  3. HPCJohn

    For buses - why not use flywheels?

    Charge them up at the start points and end points of the route by hooking up to an electrical power point.

    Flywheel buses were used in Switzerland in the past.

    Looks like the Williams F1 carbon fibre flywheel is being trialled, for regenerative braking:

    http://www.gkn.com/media/News/Pages/GKN-and-The-Go-Ahead-Group-using-F1-technology-to-improve-fuel-efficiency-of-London-buses.aspx

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ok the tech is old, but you get the idea why flywheels are not great.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrobus

    2. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Already Here

      The buses on the routes around here in Dundee are electric hybrids with flywheels to recover braking energy which with the hills here can be significant. We live at the top of a 60m hill and the double deckers sitting at the lights at the bottom of the hill can turn the corner onto the main road and get up the shallow incline to the bus stop entirely on the flywheel. You can hear it. The bus company, a division of First Bus, says they are performing very well and saving significantly on fuel costs. They are also much lower in emissions. There's a narrow winding canyon like road in the town a lot of buses use (right by the central bus station) that can have very high PM10 etc levels with idling bus diesels, especially in the winter. So these buses decrease that output significantly.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you could...

    ...send a full 10kW to a Mobes instantly, it would be a useful means to eliminate one more problem in society, i.e. dumb phones.

  5. FrogInABlender

    That would be the "University of British California" not "University of Columbia" ?!

    1. Borg.King

      "University of British California"

      Well I'm all for taking back the colonies, but it's actually the University of British Columbia.

  6. wdmot

    Automatic Foreign object Detection and Removal

    This feature mentioned in the article and on their website is intriguing:

    Automatic Foreign object Detection and Removal

    Magnetic linear accelerator? This could be fun!

  7. Pat Att

    What am I missing here?

    So they are wobbling a magnet to induce a remote magnet to move, and they harvest energy from the remote magnet with a surrounding coil. Why not just harvest the energy from the original magnet using the same coil, and not bother with the remote magnet? The energy gained would be higher.

    What have I missed in my skim-reading of this?

  8. James Loughner
    Pirate

    Hmmmm

    How about a 60 Hz resonant circuit and just be a parasite off the electric grid.

    Oh the Electric companies may not be amused :(

  9. Paul

    Just don't use this near the aurora watch project, otherwise they'll cause a global panic!

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