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Soon, simply drive your electric car to charge it

Washington, Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 22 (ANI): Engineers including one of Indian origin have put forward a wireless power system that could charge electric cars, while they are cruising down the highway.


A study by Stanford researchers, including associate professor Shanhui Fan, including postdocs Xiaofang Yu and Sunil Sandhu have proposed to embed metal coils several feet apart in a stretch of highway and outfit an EV with its own coil.


Then, as the vehicle drives down the road, the embedded coils would wirelessly recharge the car's battery.


The phenomenon dubbed magnetic resonance coupling functions like a secret message: When copper coils are tuned to resonate at the same frequency, one coil that's hooked up to an electric current can pass it to the other coil through a unique magnetic field.


The transfer requires special tuning so anything that is not tuned the same way including humans will not be affected, Discovery News reported.


Five years back, a group at MIT lit a 60-watt lightbulb using magnetic resonance and a spinoff from the Institute called WiTricity designed power mats that wirelessly recharge devices this way. MIT physicists also found that the efficient power transfer is harmless for humans and animals.


Fan and his colleagues used computer models to come up with a coil array that could transfer 10 kilowatts to an EV. They discovered that coils bent at 90 degrees, each with a metal plate, spaced 6.5 feet apart would do the trick. They have recently filed a patent application.


Next, the electrical engineers plan to test the unit using computer simulations in the lab and then design a real prototype to make sure the system works as expected.


The study has been published in the journal Applied Physics Letters. (ANI)


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