Friday, August 19, 2011

Delphi’s EV Wireless Charging Tech Ripe for Practical Innovations

Delphi's wireless charging system features no cord, and
is ease to use

Previously, I wrote about the need for US manufacturing to concentrate on products and technology that were broader in implementation and had innovation needs that weren’t so specialized so that more people from across the economic spectrum could be recruited.  Delphi recently debuted what I believe to be a spot-on example of this in its wireless EV recharging system.  In a nutshell:
A wireless charging system eliminates the need for a charging cord. Drivers can simply park their electric vehicle over a wireless energy source situated on the garage floor or embedded in a paved parking spot. Other wireless charging systems under development make use of traditional inductive charging, the same technology used in electric toothbrushes, which is based on principles first proposed in the mid-nineteenth century. These systems only work over a limited distance range, require precise accurate parking alignment and can be very large and heavy, making them impractical for widespread use on electric vehicles.
"The Delphi Wireless Charging System offers more practical and flexible installation than traditional inductive systems because it uses highly resonant magnetic coupling, a    modern technology that safely and efficiently transfers power over significantly larger distances and can adapt to natural misalignment often associated with vehicle positioning during parking," – Randy Sumner, director of global hybrid development, Delphi Packard Electrical/Electronic Architecture.

The implications of this are pretty exciting…and kind of making the little hairs on my arms and neck…..okay and back, I have a hairy back….stop laughing.
I mean, not only has Delphi completely jumped over the dilemma of having no national electric charging infrastructure- an issue frequent travelers using the Chevy Volt find themselves dealing with-not only did they do it using a more sophisticated version of the inductive charging we use for camera batteries and toothbrushes(!), not only is this a potential game-changer in making electric vehicles FYYYnally more economically viable without government assistance in the form of tax incentives- but this is something that can still be IMPROVED upon.
Forgetting the potential prosperity in manufacturing the systems and then installing them in every American garage or driveway (or the possibility of construction and utility job growth if urban areas want to install them on roads), there’s lots of room to make the initial designs even better.  The chart may look nice, but there’s clearly going to be on-the-ground issues of driver accuracy, as well as wear-and-tear for the actual magnet plates.  Not just on the surface but also the one under the car.  I mean, how many times do you hear that THUNK-A-THUNK sound as some unknown object/animal rolls under your car while you’re doing 65 on the highway (because you never go over 65 mph. And you slow down at the yellow light instead of speed up)?  What is that going to do to the magnetic plate under there that has to have a perfect surface for optimal energy absorption?
These are just a few possible monkey wrenches I can think of off the top of my head; just imagine what qualified workers can discover as the logistics of this technology begin to unfold.  
As we see more leaps being made in energy and resource shifting for manufacturing- and trust me, we will- the nation’s slow-but-necessary makeover of its infrastructure and energy grid are going to reveal opportunities like this for both the recently unemployed and the next generation of employment to get on board in the transition.  That’s enough to get anybody’s hairy back in a tizzy.
PLEASE stop laughing….

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment