Jan 18

GM and Powermat Studying Wireless Recharging of the Chevy Volt

 

Recently, GM announced a small investment in a company called Powermat.  That company makes wireless device charging systems.  Their current product allow users to place a receiver in the charge port of their device (cell phone, iPad, etc) and plug in the mat.  If the device is rested on the mat, it is wirelessly charged.

The first automotive application expected to result from this partnership is an option for the 2012 Chevy Volt that will become available next year.  It will be a wireless charging mat in the center of the console that drivers can rest their cellphones on while driving to have them wirelessly recharge.

The technology works through the use of induced magnetic fields:

Powermat uses magnetic induction to transfer energy.   Specifically, energy is transferred from a transmitter (which will be embedded in vehicle) to a receiver (which is connected to or embedded in the device) through a shared magnetic field.   Communication between the Mat (transmitter) and the Receiver (personal device) allows the mat to deliver an exact amount of power for the proper length of time so that the transfer of power is safe and efficient and no energy is ever wasted.  When a device reaches full charge, power is shut off to that device. This not only saves energy, but it also prevents overcharging of the device’s battery, which can shorten battery life.
-Powermat

This story begs the question as to whether this option could this be all the relationship is about?  After all, GM Ventures is a VC unit that invests in small companies that may have big automotive futures.

Over the years there has often been talk and theoretical discussions about wirelessly charging not only small devices, but whole electric cars themselves.

The concept would be to have a large wireless mat in one’s garage, simply park on top of it, and the battery will recharge automatically.

Powermat spokesperson Scott Eisenstein admits his company is looking at how to charge large electric car batteries.  ”Yes, we are certainly looking into that,” he said.

Also according to Volt vehicle line executive Tony Posawazt, so is GM. “We are studying many exciting new technologies for the future, said Posawatz.  ”This includes wireless, hands-free inductive charging of the high voltage battery.”


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 at 7:10 am and is filed under Charging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 69


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:13 am)

    I’m not at all surprised! As Lyle’s introductory comment says, “Also according to Volt vehicle line executive Tony Posawazt, so is GM (studying wireless Volt charging). “We are studying many exciting new technologies for the future, said Posawatz. ”This includes wireless, hands-free inductive charging of the high voltage battery.”

    Speaking as an electrical engineer with fairly extensive experience in magnetics in general and transformer design in particular, I am positive there are no fundamental technical reasons wireless charging won’t work —and work well!


  2. 2
    Lunoir

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:47 am)

    How much for the charging station in my garage? I was planning on building the slab this summer, Unfortunately I don’t think they will come with something (even initial specs) quick enough for me.
    NPNS!


  3. 3
    shawnmarshall

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:52 am)

  4. 4
    Loboc

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:54 am)

    Wireless car charging will remove a large objection for luxury owners. I believe that the plug-in process was the main reason Converj was cancelled.


  5. 5
    Dave G

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:54 am)

    As I understand it, unless the charging surfaces are very close, like less than an inch apart, the efficiency losses will be enormous. At further distances, most of the power may be lost in the wireless transfer.

    Even for the cell phone charging mat, I would be surprised if the efficiency losses were less than 1/2, but since cell phones require tiny amounts of power to charge, throwing 1/2 the power away is not a problem in that case.

    Note that the EV1 used an inductive charging paddle – no direct connection for charging. But with that, the coils were large and placed very close when the paddle was inserted into the slot.


  6. 6
    Jimza Sketptic

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:16 am)

    I suspect this will take many years to be not only efficient, but also safe. Can you imagine ol’ Lassie or Duke chasing a ball that rolls under the car! I don’t know enough to say they will get a shock, but being blasted with magnetic waves probably can change a heart rhythm. And then there is grandpa’s pacemaker. I know that normal microwave ovens no longer effect them, but this will have a little more power.

    I suspect it will bring a whole new game of torture to brothers & sisters…. “Hey Mikey, bet you can’t crawl under the car and make it out the other side! You do and I will give you my candy bar”


  7. 7
    Ted in Fort Myers

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:18 am)

    I just wonder if the mat would be sensitive to rain. We get alot in Florida.

    Take Care, TED


  8. 8
    Brian

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:20 am)

    So this will wipe out all your magnetic devices if you get too close. I would imagine this would put out quite a large field to transfer the current needed to charge the battery. Wouldn’t what to stand to close to that oops there goes my credit cards lap top a lot of EM bouncing around who knows what it could effect, future generations???


  9. 9
    Herm

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:43 am)

    You guys are worrying too much about this, engineers know all these issues and have dealt with them appropriately.

    A wide network of wireless recharging pads, under parking lots…along the highways etc, would allow limitless travel with BEVs.. with a battery just big enough to span those stretches of road without emitters.

    What would the US look like if all cars were BEVs and ran on low cost nuclear electricity?.. We could all see the USA in our Chevrolets again.


  10. 10
    Dave K.

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:55 am)

    Herm: A wide network of wireless recharging pads, under parking lots…along the highways etc, would allow limitless travel

    Would magnetic particles added to asphalt mix allow for magnet to magnet motion recharge? Would the density needed to recharge a BEV attract too much metallic debris to the freeway surface?

    NPNS


  11. 11
    Jim I

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:55 am)

    Herm: A wide network of wireless recharging pads, under parking lots…along the highways etc, would allow limitless travel with BEVs.. with a battery just big enough to span those stretches of road without emitters.    

    ================================

    This one sounds wonderful, but I doubt it. Most state and local governments can’t even keep up with the roads we already have, let alone tearing them all up and repaving them with embedded charging capabilities. If they are going to do that, why not add geothermal heating to keep them clear of snow and ice???

    In garage wireless charging? Works for me. Let me know when it is available. I just hope it is not like fuel cells, where it is always “just a few more years”………

    JMHO


  12. 12
    Chris C.

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:10 am)

    eCoupled was demonstrating exactly this at CES, with a Tesla Roadster.

    http://ecoupled.com/ces/


  13. 13
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:14 am)

    I’ve said here before, wireless charging for Ev’s of any stripe is the way to go…hands down. Assuming this is a safe process, and that it can be made so that it’s not wildly expensive, it would make the “ease of use” factor extremely high. Not to say literally plugging in a chord is difficult, but I can envision other practical issues that would serve as annoyances to future EV owners. Picture plugging in an EV with a chord that was drug in the dirt, or mud, while in dress clothe. Now you’re a mess and you will be late to work because you had to change your clothe. Just little things like that can prove to be an annoyance to people. Then they’ll say “I never had this issue with my gas car”. A practical convenience like this inductive charging idea is just one more thing that can halp pave the way to wider scale adoptance of EV’s, IMO.

    I hope, as Nasaman confirmed in post #1, that this can and will be done.


  14. 14
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:16 am)

    Herm: You guys are worrying too much about this, engineers know all these issues and have dealt with them appropriately.A wide network of wireless recharging pads, under parking lots…along the highways etc, would allow limitless travel with BEVs.. with a battery just big enough to span those stretches of road without emitters.What would the US look like if all cars were BEVs and ran on low cost nuclear electricity?.. We could all see the USA in our Chevrolets again.    

    Herm,
    Let’s go back and review.

    When the Volt was in the early stages, we were told that we could go 40 miles on 8 kwh of energy. ===5 miles/kwh

    Along the way GM decided they needed another approximately 2 kwh to go the same distance—–another 20 % decreas==3.8miles/kwh

    Oh well now let’s not all forget that we need to charge the Volt so let’s add in charging efficiency. According to the EPA charging efficiency= 81%

    Now our electrical efficiency is down to 2.8 miles/kwh.

    Soooo—Since the beginning of this program we have dropped the Volts electrical mileage from 5 miles/kwh to 2.8 miles/kwh. That’s a whopping 44% lower than where we started. It is in fact making the car MORE EXPENSIVE for fuel (gas PLUS electricity) than the Prius if your cost of electricity is around 20 cents/kwh like Lyle is paying.

    My point is that we need to INCREASE charging efficiency NOT make it worse. I don’t think that wireless charging is going to help us much in that department.


  15. 15
    MICHIGAN GUY

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:18 am)

    This should be standard equipment in the Dodge Charger.


  16. 16
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:16 am)

    Pay me $50k to do the study and I will come up with the same results:

    - It will work just fine.
    - It will be too expensive for consumers.
    - It will sell to commercial applications/ large corporate lots/ commercial parking structures/ only if very large government tax incentives come into play.
    - Activating the high-power magnetic field of the charging mat while occupants are in the car will result in passengers entering the 6th Season of “LOST”, where Desmond will guide them to their ultimate discovery that they are already dead.


  17. 17
    N Riley

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:25 am)

    I can see where this would be a benefit for some in some areas, especially parking garages and other commercial location. Not sure I would care about it at home until it was proven to be “very” safe and economical. Until then, I have no problem plugging in.


  18. 18
    Mark Z

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:25 am)

    Chris C.: eCoupled was demonstrating exactly this at CES, with a Tesla Roadster.http://ecoupled.com/ces/    

    With multiple companies working on this we need standardization NOW. I got to stop at this CES display and they are working with Tesla to get the job accomplished. They demonstrated wireless appliances on the kitchen counter, soup cans that heat by themselves, and point of purchase packaging that lights up in the store, a marketing dream. While the products light up today, imagine the cereal box that says “take me home” to the customer!

    Ok, here is the link to the photos and read the title for the description:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-z/5345635890/in/set-72157625672365849/

    Notice the photo of the chart that shows the loss of induction charging. this company is being very honest that you don’t get this without loss.


  19. 19
    joe

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:34 am)

    Schmeltz,

    Without the Volt making a physical or a near physical connection (an inch or less) to the power charging source, I can tell you that won’t happen. Transferring a huge amount of power through induction, (without making some kind of physical connection) is something we can only dream of. Sorry to disagree with some, but that’s how it is.


  20. 20
    Mark Z

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:37 am)

    joe: Schmeltz,
    Without the Volt making a physical or a nearphysical connection (an inch or less) to the power charging source, I can tell you that won’t happen. Transferring a huge amount of power without making some kind of physical connection is something we can only dream of. Sorry to disagree with some, but that’s how it is.    

    Just be ready to look at the videos that some here will surely post. You will believe when you see the videos.

    Take a look at this closeup of the Tesla. It’s multiple inches away, or you couldn’t drive the car!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-z/5345636026/in/set-72157625672365849/lightbox/


  21. 21
    joe

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:45 am)

    Continuation from post #19,

    I forgot to mention about the large, costly, heavy electronics it would require the Volt to carry around, to convert the current from AC to DC, which is now done with the Volt’s charger.

    It’s just not possible and feasible.


  22. 22
    Mitch

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:56 am)

    here is why the limited range electric will not do as well as an EREV for mass adoption until the range goes up (waaayyy up)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8262095/London-to-Edinburgh-by-electric-car-it-was-quicker-by-stagecoach.html


  23. 23
    Mark Z

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:00 am)

    Here is the direct link to the chart of loss referenced above.

    http://ecoupled.com/ces/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2011ces_TTOP_Diagram.pdf

    Check out the ecoupled CES page for all the links:

    http://ecoupled.com/ces/2011-ces-information/

    Don’t miss the white paper for technical information:

    http://ecoupled.com/system/files/pdf/eCoupled_UnderstandingWirelessPower_WhitePaper.pdf

    2011ces_TTOP_Diagram.pdf


  24. 24
    Noel Park

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:17 am)

    N Riley: Not sure I would care about it at home until it was proven to be “very” safe and economical. Until then, I have no problem plugging in

    #17

    I agree. +1

    KISS

    Simplicate and add lightness.

    What ain’t there don’t give you no trouble.


  25. 25
    Pat Joy

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:20 am)

    I wonder if this will be or can be retrofit to the current Volt. From the pictures it seems that it is a very easy plug and play install.

    P


  26. 26
    stuart22

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:22 am)

    This could be gigantic… it would eliminate the leash all plug-in cars have attached to their owners, therefore making the owner/automobile relationship closer to that of a standard ICE car. Not having to think about and then having to plug in for recharging would greatly ease the transition from ICE to electric for new owners.


  27. 27
    Herm

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:38 am)

    Conventional magnetic inductance to transmit power has too many losses and restrictions on the separation..the use of high frequency resonating magnetic fields changes all that. See the following article, note that Delphi is a supplier to GM for the Volt:

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/delphi-and-witricity-developing-wireless-electric-car-charger/

    “It improves on existing inductive chargers that need to be in close proximity, and closely aligned, before they can transmit electricity. The result is a charger that will work efficiently with the car parked as much as a foot above an electricity transmitting pad, without needing perfect alignment.”

    “But Mr. Schatz said those losses would be no more than 5 percent and added, “Using a wire is not 100 percent efficient to begin with.””


  28. 28
    Herm

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:51 am)

    George S. Bower: My point is that we need to INCREASE charging efficiency NOT make it worse. I don’t think that wireless charging is going to help us much in that department. 

    George you are being blinded by numbers.. if you saw the pictures posted from the CES show you saw the charging efficiency.. 89% vs 96% for the hard wired plug. That 7% loss would be horrible if it was on the power stored in the battery, but its not, its on the plentiful power drawn from your electric service.

    If the Volt from 2020 is setup with this system, it would not need 600lb of ICE and supporting equipment, and perhaps also save quite a bit of weight/cost from a smaller 10 mile range battery.. I bet those weight savings alone will more than compensate for those charging losses.


  29. 29
    LauraM

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:02 pm)

    It sounds convenient. At least at home. Although I don’t think plugging in is really that big a deal…

    But as far as parking lots? I could see it as a perk offered to employees at an office parking lot. But I would assume that public parking lots are going to want to be paid for the electricity. So we’re going to have connect there somehow anyway?


  30. 30
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:07 pm)

    Dave G: As I understand it, unless the charging surfaces are very close, like less than an inch apart, the efficiency losses will be enormous. At further distances, most of the power may be lost in the wireless transfer.

    Witricity can transfer over large distances and have an efficiency of 95%

    http://www.witricity.com


  31. 31
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:08 pm)

    The original idea (and tests) of transmitting electrical power through radio waves was done by Nikola Tesla himself almost a hundred years ago. He knew that it needs a very large tuned circuit and amplifier to generate the source frequency and another tuned circuit to receive that energy. He did many experiments to proved that it does work, including the remote wireless illumination of fluorescent lamps. He also knew that higher frequencies can transmit energy more efficiently. This is why the modern cellphone can operate at GHz with milliwatts, while the original portable radio transceivers and older cellphones at lower frequencies needed more portable power (my first cellphone in 1989 had a 12V, 18 AH battery).

    Soon we will be reading about (and posibly using) a self-powered cellphone that needs no battery or internal power source, because the carrier wave energy will be rectified and stored to power the circuits inside the phone. The first crystal radios worked on that principle, but the energy they detected was so low that it wasn’t loud enough, so modern radios have amplifiers (RF and AF). I hope that high frequency enery transmissions is the way we can remotely power up our electrical and electronic devices in the future, including our cars.

    If Tesla was alive now, he would have solve this issue and we will never neeed to recharge our portable devices anymore. His dream of free energy would come true!

    Raymond


  32. 32
    kdawg

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    joe: Without the Volt making a physical or a near physical connection (an inch or less) to the power charging source, I can tell you that won’t happen. Transferring a huge amount of power through induction, (without making some kind of physical connection) is something we can only dream of. Sorry to disagree with some, but that’s how it is.

    Here’s a vid for you. And this is 1.5 years ago.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgBYQh4zC2Y


  33. 33
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    LauraM: But as far as parking lots? I could see it as a perk offered to employees at an office parking lot. But I would assume that public parking lots are going to want to be paid for the electricity. So we’re going to have connect there somehow anyway?

    You dont need to connect. You can use an RFID tag reader, or even a vision system w/a special sticker in your window. I would also assume that the wireless charging system will already be communicating w/the car anyway. When the car is parked, a display could pop up on the car’s touchscreen, prompting the driver if he/she wants to pay for charging. Even allow a credit card # to be entered.


  34. 34
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    joe: Without the Volt making a physical or a near physical connection (an inch or less) to the power charging source, I can tell you that won’t happen. Transferring a huge amount of power through induction, (without making some kind of physical connection) is something we can only dream of.

    I was envisioning something like a spring loaded plate that lays flat on the floor. Then when the EV drives over it, it springs up to make contact with a plate under the floor of the car. Detaches when done, or when the driver pushes the “ON” button. My cordless razor at home is charged by induction. I was just thinking of the same thing, except scaled up.


  35. 35
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    kdawg: LauraM: But as far as parking lots? I could see it as a perk offered to employees at an office parking lot. But I would assume that public parking lots are going to want to be paid for the electricity. So we’re going to have connect there somehow anyway? You dont need to connect. You can use an RFID tag reader, or even a vision system w/a special sticker in your window. I would also assume that the wireless charging system will already be communicating w/the car anyway. When the car is parked, a display could pop up on the car’s touchscreen, prompting the driver if he/she wants to pay for charging. Even allow a credit card # to be entered.

    You could also just go the traditional route of a pay meter or pay station for your spot.


  36. 36
    Mark Z

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    Where this technology is going to pay off is when vandals start messing up our J1772 cables and connections in public. With the coils buried in the parking spot, there is nothing to tamper with.

    Who cares about a small fraction of electric loss compared with the loss of infrastructure as our society has to deal with the people who are mean and destructive.


  37. 37
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    N Riley: I can see where this would be a benefit for some in some areas, especially parking garages and other commercial location.Not sure I would care about it at home until it was proven to be “very” safe and economical.Until then, I have no problem plugging in.    

    You nailed it.

    +1


  38. 38
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    “When a device reaches full charge, power is shut off to that device. This not only saves energy, but it also prevents overcharging of the device’s battery, which can shorten battery life.”

    I have an issue with that statement. Not all devices have the same battery chemistry. This claim is false in that their charge dongle does not monitor the battery. In fact, it only applies voltage to the charge port of the device and only relies on the devices onboard charge controller. Every device should have one ESPECIALLY those using Li chemistry. Their dongle has no idea what your device’s LVC & HVC is. In fact it won’t even know if it’s Li, LiFe, LiMn, Nicad or NiMh. All it will do is apply voltage to your USB (if that’s the interface) interface of the device.
    What will happen is YOUR device’s onboard charge controller will cut off the charge to the battery. Their dongle will not.

    What’s the big deal about plugging in anyway. The Volt has a USB plug. Plug it into that. You plugin the Volt don’t you?
    So when you leave the car, don’t you plug your phone in at home? Office? Hotel? Friends house?

    Dang! Let’s keep it KISS!!! And let’s keep it efficient as George Bower sez @14. +10000 for you on that!

    /an instructor in college once told me…. “If you have to have bells and whistles on something or Gold…….somethings wrong with it”


  39. 39
    Darius

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (1:43 pm)

    I think that could be feaseble coil/wire system as for wireless trams (bombardir public tram system). For instance installing coil in front bumper of Volt and isolated wires at parking lot packed within electric parking signe on the bumper level or vice versa. It could be cheaper than conventional chargers. Other things could be managed by smart soft things.


  40. 40
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:00 pm)

    For those thinking magnetic induction charging will work, consider a transformer that will be needed mounted to the Volt for the induction to happen. HEAVY! And it’ll be “Air Core” so very lossy i.e. not efficient.

    Consider Resonant Charging
    http://www.witricity.com/pages/technology.html
    http://www.witricity.com/pages/application.html


  41. 41
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:03 pm)

    Mark Z: Where this technology is going to pay off is when vandals start messing up our J1772 cables and connections in public.

    lol…..
    For a ‘Nominal fee”, I can help you with that. :-P


  42. 42
    LauraM

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    kdawg: You dont need to connect. You can use an RFID tag reader, or even a vision system w/a special sticker in your window. I would also assume that the wireless charging system will already be communicating w/the car anyway. When the car is parked, a display could pop up on the car’s touchscreen, prompting the driver if he/she wants to pay for charging. Even allow a credit card # to be entered.

    Maybe it’s just me, but given the choice between physically connecting and swiping my credit card, versus entering my credit card card number on a touchscreen and transmitting my credit card info on a wireless public network–I’d rather physically connect and swipe.

    And if there’s already a pay meter–then why is it such a big deal to plug in?


  43. 43
    DonC

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Herm: A wide network of wireless recharging pads, under parking lots…along the highways etc, would allow limitless travel with BEVs.. with a battery just big enough to span those stretches of road without emitters.

    Lots of issues for this to work seamlessly. Lots of issues. Then again there are lots of issues for 3D TV to work as well. That’s what is both exciting and frustrating about tech.


  44. 44
    Mark Z

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:18 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    lol…..
    For a ‘Nominal fee”, I can help you with that.     

    I appreciate the offer! Your services might be more economical than the induction chargers. An entire new line of work, Charge Station Security.

    Maybe Taser should make a version of the J1772 handle and cord that prevents tampering.


  45. 45
    joe

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:19 pm)

    nasaman,

    I respectfully disagree wih your comment. Look at my remark @19.

    I’d like to add even more to my remark. If some gadget existed today that could raise close enough to the bottom of the Volt, it would suffer a lot in efficiency and generate a lot of heat. Anyone trying to lead people on, like Tesla, is not showing the full scope of it.


  46. 46
    DonC

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    LauraM: Maybe it’s just me, but given the choice between physically connecting and swiping my credit card, versus entering my credit card card number on a touchscreen and transmitting my credit card info on a wireless public network–I’d rather physically connect and swipe.

    Your account would be billed. No reason for entering a credit card at all. The station would identify your account and bill it.

    I think we’ll see how this works to some degree when the EVSE public chargers are rolled out this summer. The technical problems seem to far outweigh the billing issues at this point.


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    John W

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    It doesn’t even need to be wireless inductive charging. For 200 bucks you can buy a roomba that finds it’s charger all by itself. Why not a 300 dollar robotic pad that you drive over that can connect under your car automatically. In my opinion this option needs to be available in the next 2 to 3 years.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    Mark Z: Maybe Taser should make a version of the J1772 handle and cord that prevents tampering.

    I got a quick fix to that idea. Just make sure the charge station doesn’t release the connector till a valid card is swiped. That way they’d really be screwing themselves cuz they just might be the one that get’s that jacked up charge station next time………lol.

    /that would deter a scumbag like me that’s drunk an wandering around and wanting to be destructive….. :-P


  49. 49
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (3:05 pm)

    John W: It doesn’t even need to be wireless inductive charging. For 200 bucks you can buy a roomba that finds it’s charger all by itself. Why not a 300 dollar robotic pad that you drive over that can connect under your car automatically. In my opinion this option needs to be available in the next 2 to 3 years.

    Aw who are we all kidding here.
    For the best chargin method, use the bumper car method. It’s direct physical contact. Put the contact points on the bumper and have the driver bump to the charge wall and call it good.

    lol….Problem solveded…….. :-P


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    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (4:48 pm)

    LauraM: Maybe it’s just me, but given the choice between physically connecting and swiping my credit card, versus entering my credit card card number on a touchscreen and transmitting my credit card info on a wireless public network–I’d rather physically connect and swipe.
    And if there’s already a pay meter–then why is it such a big deal to plug in?

    I wouldn’t use the phrase “big deal”, but its one of those things that at first is a luxury, then becomes main-stream. It’s not too much of a hassle to plug in my car (or my other devices) or even fill my car w/gas, but if I had the choice of not having to do these things, I would. Fast forward X-years and I think wired devices will seem weird, like pay phones do now.


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    Darius

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (5:22 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Aw who are we all kidding here.
    For the best chargin method, use the bumper car method. It’s direct physical contact. Put the contact points on the bumper and have the driver bump to the charge wall and call it good.
    lol….Problem solveded……..

    I think you have good idea. At least ‘earth’ could be connected phisicaly by installin flexeble contact on the bumper, but wire/coil transformer could be used for phase. Volt has to transforme voltage inside the automobile so you can install the same transforme inside bumper. This wire/coil power transformer is know for hundred years and used in many places.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    There sure has been a lot of terrific information, topics, posts, and commentary these last few weeks.
    It’s really great to read the experiences of owners.
    That one test drive last March had really impressed me to no end.
    The experiences of you new owners re-energizes that.
    (But alas, the new obligations for my new customers must be served firstly.)
    Again, very wonderful threads and posts. Tag’s are especially amusing.
    It’s really great to see all this happening finally.


  53. 53
    Dave G

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:04 pm)

    Loboc: Wireless car charging will remove a large objection for luxury owners.

    Then why did they announce an PHEV Caddy instead?

    As I’ve said before, when it comes to convenience, EREVs are the best.

    Specifically, by the time you drive to the gas station, wait in line, fuel, and pay, it usually takes around 15 minutes total, and most people do that once a week.

    With an EREV, trips to the gas station are very rare, maybe every 3 months or so. Plugging in every night takes bout 30 seconds, and unplugging every morning takes another 30 seconds. So that 7 minutes a week to fuel an EREV.

    By contrast, PHEVs have lower electric range, around 10 miles or so, and the gas engine is required for highway speeds and even for accelerating at lower speeds. The result is that you still need to go to the gas station regularly. Instead of every week, it might be every 9-10 days you need to fill up with a PHEV, but since many people run on a weekly schedule, it would probably be once a week to gas up.


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    Rick

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (7:06 pm)

    OT – My 6th grade daughter had to do a 2 minute presentation on a great American and how they changed the world. She said she was told her options were MLK, Honest Abe, etc. etc. I said bag that and I helped her research Tony Posawatz and how he came up with the Chevy Volt concept car. She explained how this car will improve the environment and change the world. She got an A on the presentation.


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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:31 pm)

    Dave G: Instead of every week, it might be every 9-10 days you need to fill up with a PHEV, but since many people run on a weekly schedule, it would probably be once a week to gas up.

    11,390 miles is the “typical” distance you’ve claimed over and over again that people drive annually. 84 MPG was my average with the PHV. Say it only gets 75 MPG. To use up 9 gallons of the 12 gallon tank, that would it 21 days… which is a whole lot longer than the 9-10 above.
    .


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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:41 pm)

    Dave G: By contrast, PHEVs have lower electric range, around 10 miles or so, and the gas engine is required for highway speeds and even for accelerating at lower speeds.

    Most people don’t consider “lower” speed 50 MPH, which is how fast you can EV accelerate effortlessly to with the PHV. At a moderate pace, reaching 62 MPH without the engine isn’t that big of a deal either.

    As for the electric range claim, that’s quite arbitrary. The larger model introduced last week clearly offers room for greater capacity opportunity.
    .


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    Jan 18th, 2011 (8:52 pm)

    Another market for wireless recharging in your garage is your electric lawnmower, kine trimmer, leaf blower etc.. and if the emitter can also power the charger in the car even better.

    Eventually you will see these devices standard in your living room, kitchen and garage.


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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:04 pm)

    Mark Z:
    Just be ready to look at the videos that some here will surely post. You will believe when you see the videos.Take a look at this closeup of the Tesla. It’s multiple inches away, or you couldn’t drive the car!http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-z/5345636026/in/set-72157625672365849/lightbox/    

    It’s possible, but it’s very inefficient. I hate hydrogen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if fool cells were more efficient than this charging mat solution for an electric vehicle. The through-the-air path losses are just too great when factoring in distance to the mat and the amount of energy to transfer.

    While it’s possible, This convenience would come at a huge charging efficiency penalty.

    JMHO

    join thE REVolution


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    George S. Bower

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    Herm:
    George you are being blinded by numbers.. if you saw the pictures posted from the CES show you saw the charging efficiency.. 89% vs 96% for the hard wired plug. That 7% loss would be horrible if it was on the power stored in the battery, but its not, its on the plentiful power drawn from your electric service..    

    Herm,
    I am not blinded by the numbers. Plug to wheels is the only fair way to compare. That’s why the EPA does it that way!!
    GSB


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    koz

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:19 pm)

    clarksoncote: It’s possible, but it’s very inefficient. I hate hydrogen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if fool cells were more efficient than this charging mat solution for an electric vehicle. The through-the-air path losses are just too great when factoring in distance to the mat and the amount of energy to transfer.While it’s possible, This convenience would come at a huge charging efficiency penalty.JMHOjoin thE REVolution  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Poor efficiency would mean a lot of heat. Where is it “lost” in inductive charging? The receiving side?


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    koz

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (10:32 pm)

    LauraM: Maybe it’s just me, but given the choice between physically connecting and swiping my credit card, versus entering my credit card card number on a touchscreen and transmitting my credit card info on a wireless public network–I’d rather physically connect and swipe.And if there’s already a pay meter–then why is it such a big deal to plug in?  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Inductive charging in public will really take off after the first dingbat trips on a cord and sues.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:40 pm)

    Mark Z: Maybe Taser should make a version of the J1772 handle and cord that prevents tampering.

    Since to tamper with a car is analogous to horse rustling in the 19th century, maybe we should punish automotive vandals the same way… Swiftly and harshly!


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:46 pm)

    Rick: I said bag that and I helped her research Tony Posawatz and how he came up with the Chevy Volt concept car

    Great idea to feature Volt team members in the report, and nothing at all against Tony… but it was actually Jon Lauckner (brainstorming with Bob Lutz) that came up with the Voltec concept.


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    Mark Z

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    Jan 18th, 2011 (11:58 pm)

    After the dust has settled, I have concluded:

    Make induction charging a dealer installed item that manufacturers build in support for.

    You buy it only if you need it.

    Market it to:

    1. People who don’t want to plug in at home.
    2. Those who need to charge in public areas without a cord.

    Everyone else can plug in and save money.


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    Mark Z

     

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    Jan 19th, 2011 (12:24 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: I just wonder if the mat would be sensitive to rain. We get a lot in Florida. Take Care, TED    

    No problem. Disney designers thought underwater wireless power transfer would be their biggest headache on one of their new rides, but it worked perfectly the first day and continues to power the subs that had huge diesel electric generators back in 1959. They needed the space for show equipment, so out went the diesel generator and they use induction power instead!

    http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/finding-nemo-submarine-voyage/

    Quote: “Submarine Magical Magnets – The submarines are powered by something called Inductive Power Transfer (IPT). A magnetically coupled pair of coils transfers the power without physical contact, eliminating electrical contacts under water. One coil travels with the sub as it draws power from an electrical grid. While this kind of system has been used for other rides, this is the first time it has been used long-term under water!”


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    Vinayababu

     

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    Jan 19th, 2011 (5:31 am)

    Inductive power transfer(IPT), the science of transmitting electric power from a coil to a nearby coil ,of course is not some thing new.The problem was that an increase in the distance between coils was accompanied with increase of of power loss.

    The recent development in the field is important , because they could increase the distance between the inducing coil which is buried in the ground and the induced coil which is attached to the vehicle significantly with considerable reduction in the power losses. A gap of 4 to 6 inches has been achieved, making it practical to apply the technology to moving vehicles on the road.

    The recent proposal to have Mobile phone charging in GM cars, also employ IPT where the gap is very small.

    http://electric-vehicles-cars-bikes.blogspot.com/2010/10/haloipt-launches-first-wireless.html
    http://electric-vehicles-cars-bikes.blogspot.com/2009/10/inductive-road-wireless-charging-for.html


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jan 19th, 2011 (5:42 am)

    Mark Z: Market it to:

    1. People who don’t want to plug in at home.
    2. Those who need to charge in public areas without a cord.

    I would add:
    Utilities that want to sell more power (make more money) by having electrified stopping points.


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    mark ysmith

     

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    Jan 19th, 2011 (6:07 am)

    The loss of energy even if it’s <10% is still going to add up to gigawatts once cars take off – I don't think anyone would want that loss of efficiency except electric companies (who will earn more money) as they have to increase production to 110% to account for the loss. And god knows what effect those currents in the air would have on the human body and electrical devices – anything on a HDD when you're transferring 3000-6000 watts! The power used to run 30 big LCD TV's!!! That's nuts! People worry about electrical and other radiation from cellphones… this is something else… and something stupid.


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    Storm

     

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    Jan 19th, 2011 (12:48 pm)

    We started out with a vehicle that could be plugged in anywhere there is electric power (most everywhere!) then added a requirement for a “charging station” instead of an extension cord, and now we want to make it even more unlikely to be able to charge a vehicle. It certainly sounds like a succession of steps backward to me. Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

    Anybody want an allocation for a Volt in CT? I put a $1000 deposit on a Volt at two dealerships. The second wants an order placed now.