ORNL Licenses Private Company for Electric Car Charging Technology



Oak Ridge National Lab has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to Brooklyn-based HEVO.

The system delivers the world’s highest power levels in the smallest package and could one day allow electric vehicles to be recharged while traveling at highway speeds, a press release said from the. ORNL.

HEVO intends to work with ORNL to further develop this critical technology to increase the power levels and efficiency of existing charging techniques.

“Highly efficient wireless charging is a breakthrough technology that can alleviate range anxiety in electric vehicles and facilitate the US effort to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Xin Sun, director of the associate laboratory of ORNL for Energy Science and Technology, in the press release. “We are excited to see another of our technologies enter the private sector where it can create new green jobs and support the country’s clean energy goals. “

The license covers ORNL’s unique polyphase electromagnetic coil that offers the highest pfd density available, 1.5 megawatts or 1,500 kilowatts per square meter, eight to ten times more than the technology currently available. This surface power density supports higher power levels in a thinner, lighter coil, which solves the problem of adding weight reducing the range of electric vehicles.

The license also includes ORNL’s Oak Ridge converter, which eliminates one of the power conversion steps required for wireless power transfer, resulting in a more compact and less expensive stationary infrastructure.

ORNL technology enables very fast hands-free charging and even charging on the move so vehicles can be re-energized when traveling at interstate speeds on specially equipped roads.

As part of the license, HEVO will work with ORNL to further develop the technology, including making it ready for commercial manufacture.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

In a recent announcement supporting the market deployment, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm unveiled an award from the DOE Technology Commercialization Fund in which HEVO and ORNL will co-develop and demonstrate a wireless charging system. 300 kW wire based on ORNL converter and associated power electronics. .

“Charging electric vehicles must be simple, transparent and safe in order to accelerate mass adoption and prepare for an autonomous future,” Jeremy McCool, founder and CEO of HEVO, said in the press release. “Our collaboration with ORNL utilizes the strength of HEVO in the design, development and commercialization of wireless charging technologies and software as the first and only company in the world to meet SAE and UL safety and performance standards.

“Together, we are developing the world’s fastest and most universal wireless charging platform,” McCool added in the statement. “From a single device mounted on the vehicle, a driver will now have the advantage of recharging wirelessly at all levels up to 300 kilowatts, of supplying his home via a vehicle-network interface and even of recharging everything. while driving at highway speeds with network-battery efficiency of 90% to 96.5%. All of these features come in a vehicle-side package the size of an average pizza box and the out-of-the-box ability to charge EVs without a human behind the wheel.

The DOE has set itself the goal of developing hands-free, automated charging of wireless electric vehicles that is at least as fast as conventional refueling, as it seeks to decarbonize the country’s transportation sector. High-power charging also encourages the support of consumers concerned about autonomy and the availability of charging infrastructure. In wireless charging, the batteries of electric vehicles are supplied with power when the vehicles are parked on a charging cradle or driven on specially prepared roads while the energy is transferred through an air gap between the magnetic coils embedded in the ground. and installed on the car.

Solve the range, infrastructure challenges

Allowing very high power levels is essential for convenient charging.

Burak Ozpineci
Veda Prakash Galigekere
Omer Onar

Most commercially available light electric vehicles today have battery packs ranging from 30 kWh to 60 kWh, and most high-end, longer-range EVs come with battery packs of 30 kWh to 60 kWh. 100 kWh. Achieving a charge time of 15-20 minutes for a 100 kWh battery requires a 300 kW charging system. Targeting an even faster charge time of 5-10 minutes means the power needs to be cranked up to half a megawatt or more. Heavy vehicles like electric semi-trailers would require batteries with an energy storage capacity of several hundred kWh, which would require charging to the megawatt level, the ORNL researchers noted.

“Opening up new parts of the transport sector to electrification is a key benefit of this technology,” said Burak Ozpineci, section chief for vehicle and mobility systems research at ORNL, in the report. communicated. “It’s not just about recharging your vehicle very quickly. It is also a question of being able to convert long-haul trucks, which burn a significant part of the fuel in vehicles used in this country, to electricity.

The dynamic charging system under development at ORNL also supports the electrification of heavy goods vehicles. “Right now, those big trucks would require massive batteries which add significant weight and cost to the vehicle,” Veda Galigekere, who heads ORNL’s electric drive research group, said in the statement. “But with dynamic wireless charging on highways, for example, you can reduce the required on-board battery capacity while reducing range anxiety. “

The Oak Ridge converter will be part of the TCF project and is included in the HEVO license agreement. It directly converts the 60 hertz alternating current of the network into high frequency alternating current without going through an intermediate conversion to direct current. The converter design reduces the weight, volume and size of stationary grid-side infrastructure by up to 50%.

“That means you could park another vehicle in the saved space in a city garage, for example, and we would need less construction to fit charging stations under roads or parking lots,” Omer Onar, head of the ORNL Vehicle Power Electronics research group, said in the release. ORNL is also actively working on shielding technologies to ensure system security and reduce interference with other vehicle components.

“With the advancements of ORNL, wireless charging is becoming more feasible, convenient and secure,” said Onar.

“The automotive world will change more rapidly this decade than during the last century, and we need a radical change in electric vehicle charging to unlock the full potential of this growing industry. multi-billion dollar, ”McCool said. “We believe this is the advanced technology that will change the way people live and do business around the world. HEVO is delighted to be at the forefront of this movement.

ORNL’s research and development team also includes Erdem Asa, Gui-Jia Su and Mostak Mohammad. The work was supported by the Vehicle Technology Office of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the research and development program led by the ORNL Lab. The researchers used the capabilities of the Grid Research Integration and Deployment Center and the ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center user facility, designated by the DOE.

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