Advantages of the technology
The vision of inductive technology is that we don’t have to think about charging …
Vehicles can be used to move people or goods and the energy they need to perform is just there, automatically and with no effort required. Inductive energy transfer technology is an enabler of the autonomous electric transport system of tomorrow.
Inductive energy transfer has a number of advantages:
- Wireless, fundamentally suited to autonomous vehicles or automatic process (where the user is unable or unwilling to be involved)
- No wear-and-tear, low-maintenance
- “Invisible”, inductive charging components need not be installed above ground
- Unaffected by weather conditions
- No accessible live components
- Total system efficiency above 90% (measured from the grid connection to the DC intermediate circuit on the vehicle), in a similar range to DC fast charging with a cable
Inductive energy transfer technology can make electric vehicles technically viable or economically attractive. It opens the door to applications where battery electric vehicles are currently not suitable because of their battery capacity or the cost of increased capacity.
The advantages of inductive energy transfer technology need to be viewed in the systems context, for example:
- Reduction of battery capacity (advantages > cost, space, weight)
- Reduced strain on the battery (advantages > wear and tear, cost, waste heat development)
- Automatic and with no human involvement (advantages > charging cannot be forgotten, suitable for autonomous applications)
- Charging at loitering points (advantages > no need for dedicated charging trips, increased vehicle utilisation)
- Invisible infrastructure (advantages > charge in areas the vehicle usually occupies)
We know inductive energy transfer technology, but for everything else we need the user. No one knows their application better than you.
Inductive energy transfer technology is advantageous for applications where:
- Charging cables are in the way, e.g. logistics warehouses
- There is no space for charging infrastructure
- Frequent and time-critical opportunity charging is required
- Autonomous vehicles are in use
- Forgetting to charging poses a problem for the business
- Vehicle battery capacity can be reduced with frequent and automatic opportunity charging
Example application – CEP logistics centre
A CEP company wishes to electrify its delivery fleet in order to reduce costs and improve their environmental credentials. The vehicles’ battery capacity is enough to cover the daily delivery route, so charging happens overnight at their logistics centre. The consequence is that, in some cases, more than 100 vehicles are connected to charging stations with more than 100 cables. This makes loading the vehicles more complex and poses a significant tripping hazard.
In a neighbouring logistics centre, the vehicles are charging using inductive technology. All charging technology is hidden under the vehicles, so personnel can walk all round the vehicles to load them. Once the drivers are ready, the vehicles can just be driven away with no further action required. In the evening, the vehicles are simply parked and start charging automatically.
Example application – electric ferry
Small vehicle and passenger ferries are used to cross a canal at various points. Currently they are operated using diesel engines, which run the whole day. However, the ferries only have a short crossing time and spend most of the day docked waiting for or loading passengers and vehicles. Charging with a cable would require an additional person, which is economically not an option.
Electric ferries outfitted with inductive charging technology charge automatically while the ferry is being loaded and unloaded. Because the ferry in this application spends a relatively long time docked, compared to the crossing time, the battery can be charged gently. This increases battery life and further reduced the lifecycle cost of the total system.