EV charging will soon go wireless with HEVO
Wireless charging system from ORNL for EV infrastructure Metal Tech News – September 1, 2021
Last updated 8/31/2021 at 3:09pm
U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed its wireless charging technology – a technology that could one day enable electric vehicles to be charged as they are driven at highway speeds – to Brooklyn-based HEVO to continue development of this groundbreaking system.
Founded in 2011, HEVO has long been in the process of seeking ways to eliminate global reliance on fossil fuels. Built upon the values inherent to its name – honest, empathy, value, and optimism – HEVO has spent nearly a decade on developing a cost competitive, third-party certified, manufacturable, and highly efficient wireless EV charging product suite.
Now, with the addition of ORNL's findings, HEVO could be the first to provide a system that enables EVs to charge wirelessly anywhere.
The license covers ORNL's unique polyphase electromagnetic coil that delivers the highest surface power density available, 1.5 megawatts per square meter – eight to 10 times higher than current available technology. This surface power density can support higher power levels in thinner, lighter coil, resolving the issue of adding range-sapping weight to electric vehicles.
"Highly efficient wireless charging is a breakthrough technology that can alleviate EV range anxiety and facilitate the U.S. effort to decarbonize the transportation sector," said Xin Sun, associate laboratory director for energy science and technology at ORNL. "We are excited to see another one of our technologies move in the private sector where it can create new green jobs and support the nation's clean energy goals."
The license also includes ORNL's Oak Ridge Convertor, which eliminates one of the power conversion stages needed for wireless power transfer, resulting in more compact and less costly stationary infrastructure.
Another important challenge in the work is resolving the issue of stray electromagnetic emissions around the coils. ORNL is developing advanced shielding technology using nano-crystalline materials together with aluminum to create a magnetic-metallic hybrid shielding technology to control those emissions and the heat they can produce.
Under the license, HEVO will work with ORNL to further develop the technology, including making it ready for commercial manufacturing.
"EV charging must be simple, seamless and safe in order to accelerate mass adoption and prepare for the autonomous future," said HEVO CEO Jeremy McCool. "Our collaboration with ORNL utilizes HEVO's strength in designing, developing and commercializing wireless charging technology and software as the first and only company in the world that is compliant with both SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and UL (once Underwriters Laboratories) safety and performance standards."
DOE has set a goal to develop hands-free, automated wireless electric vehicle charging that is at least as fast as conventional refueling as it seeks to decarbonize the nation's transportation sector.
"Together, we are developing the fastest and most universal wireless charging platform in the world," McCool said. "From only one device mounted on the vehicle, a driver will now have the advantage of wirelessly charging at all levels up to 300-kilowatts, powering their home through a vehicle-to-grid interface, and even charging while driving at highway speeds with grid-to-battery efficiency of 90-96.5%."
High-power charging may also encourage buy-in by consumers concerned about driving range and the availability of charging infrastructure. In wireless charging, EV batteries are energized when vehicles are parked over a charging pad or driven over specially outfitted roadways while power is transferred across an air gap between magnetic coils embedded in the ground and installed on the vehicle.
"All of the functionality is built into a vehicle-side package the size of a medium pizza box and the ready-made capability to charge electric vehicles without a human behind the steering wheel," the HEVO founder and CEO added.