Normally I cover Lord Drayson on ElectricRaceNews, because his company is developing an electric race car, but their electric race car program is meant to explore electric vehicle technology, including wireless charging technology. Their idea is for race tracks to have wireless charging pads scattered around the track, with electric race cars charging all throughout the race. And, if they can prove such technology in real race conditions there’s no reason wireless car charging systems couldn’t be embedded in every roadway, erasing range anxiety from our memory and leading to a wave of electric car nirvana thanks to effectively infinite driving range.
Let’s reel ourselves back to the present day, and focus on an announcement yesterday by Drayson Wireless Limited.
The new company is seeking to commercialize “wireless energy technology” developed by the Imperial College of London.
There are two forms of the technology described on the Drayson Wireless website:
The “near-field” system transfers up to 1.5 kiloWatts of power at up to 0.5 meters distance.
The “long distance power transfer system” transfers up to 10 megaWatts of power at up to 5 meters distance.
The near field system is too low a power for electric vehicles, but would be great for portable electronics devices. The long distance power system, however, would be very excellent for electric cars, and even supports proper fast charging at power levels undreamed of. Perhaps at full power the long distance system would be suitable for large trucks or trains?
That is, a 1.5 kw charging rate is only suitable in scenarios where slow charging is acceptable. A 10 megawatt charging rate is about 100x the rate of Tesla’s supercharger system, currently the reigning champion in fast charging. Most of us would be very happy with a 100 kw charging rate.
Drayson’s companies have been working with Qualcomm’s Halo wireless charging system for some time. Drayson Wireless is drawing on that collaboration, and Qualcomm is named on the website as a partner.
In launching this new venture, Drayson restructured his empire to have an umbrella company, Drayson Technologies, owning Drayson Racing and Drayson Wireless as subsidiaries.
Here’s links to some academic work by scientists that are part of the Drayson Wireless team:
M. Pinuela, D. C. Yates, S. Lucyszyn, and P. Mitcheson (2013) “Maximising DC to Load Efficiency for Inductive Power Transfer,” IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 28, no. 5, p. 1 doi: 10.1109/TPEL.2012.2215887
M. Pinuela et al. (2012) The New Wireless: Efficient Thru-Air Energy (Poster)
Borges Carvalho, N.; Georgiadis, A.; Costanzo, A.; Rogier, H.;
Collado, A.; García, J.A.; Lucyszyn, S.; Mezzanotte, P.; Kracek, J.;
Masotti, D.; Boaventura, A.J.S.; de las Nieves Ruíz Lavin, M.; Pinuela,
M.; Yates, D.C.; Mitcheson, P.D.; Mazanek, M.; Pankrac, V.“Wireless
Power Transmission: R&D Activities Within Europe” Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on vol.62, no.4, pp.1031,1045 doi: 10.1109/TMTT.2014.2303420
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