A development by Murata Manufacturing could make electric vehicle wireless charging more flexible and efficient.
Wireless charging for could be one of the game-changing technologies that helps to increase the adoption of electric vehicles. A few products are already being tested in the field, including electric buses in England and Germany. At least one company here in the US is starting to deploy wireless charging systems that are compatible with any plug-in vehicle.
Current wireless charging systems are heavy and inefficient and only work over a short distance, typically less than a foot. They run on electrical alternating current, which generates a magnetic field. The receiving coil generates an electrical direct current when it is in range of the transmission coil. There are losses because the electricity has to be converted in voltage and current four or five times in the process.
In order to improve the flexibility and efficiency of wireless charging, Murata Manufacturing in Japan has developed a wireless charging transmission coil that is powered by direct current. The new system is much more efficient and can transfer power over a longer distance and even to multiple receiving coils. The new coils are smaller and lighter as well. For now, Murata is looking to commercialize wireless charging for low-power mobile devices, but could scale the device for use with electric vehicles.