British Racing Team To Test On-The-Track Electric Car Chargers

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Drayson Racing Technologies and HaloIPT have teamed up to develop a new on-the-go charging system for electric cars. HaloIPT had previously announced that they were working on the technology and have now brought Drayson Racing Technologies into the project. The technology will be tested on race cars with the technology built into the track to wirelessly provide power so drivers don’t have to stop to charge the vehicle.

According to the companies, the technology deals with misalignment over the transmitter pads, which is a common problem with on-the-go charging. Primarily developed by HaloIPT (IPT standing for inductive power transfer), the technology got its start from UniServices a University of Auckland commercial subsidiary.

IPT technology is similar to devices that can wirelessly charge toothbrushes or cellphones. For the car charger, an electricity-connected pad or mat is placed on the ground. This pad contains a coil that magnetically connects with a similar-sized pad and coil mounted on the underside of the car. The receiving pad is connected to the car’s battery and feeds it with the charge.

In previous announcements, HaloIPT has described a 3-kilowatt system that can charge a 15-kilowatt hour battery in five hours, a 7-kilowatt system, and a system that could operate between 18-25 kilowatts. However, they did not provide an update on their technological developments in this latest announcement. So far, there is no start date for the racetrack tests. In a statement Lord Paul Drayson, co-founder of Drayson Racing said:

“Motor racing is the ideal environment to fast-track the development of this promising technology and to prove its effectiveness. This is a milestone innovation that will have a dramatic effect not just on racing but on the mainstream auto industry. We’re looking forward to putting this technology through its paces as it charges electric race cars at speeds of up to 200 mph.”

HaloIPT’s other partners on the project include Rolls Royce, which is involved in trials of a stationary charging prototype, and the UK-based company Chargemaster which has agreed to manufacture the wireless charging pads.

According to HaloIPT, the technology might start out on racetracks, but it could be useful for anyone driving an electric car. One of the biggest concerns for electric car drivers is range anxiety, about running out of juice while in the middle of a road with no nearby charging station. If the technology was used on public highways, it would eliminate the need to stop and charge every 100 or so miles.

Similar technologies are also being developed by MIT, Seimens, Conductix-Wampfler, VAHLE, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Google. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see who starts manufacturing first.

(via Smartplanet, image via Racingworld Media)


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