Industrial Engineering

Quickly Powered Electric Vehicles

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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 47, NUMBER 7

Charging stations reduce time, eliminate cables
Industrial engineers in northern Spain have helped develop a wireless station that can charge electric cars or vans in 20 minutes. Lengthy charging times are one of the technical challenges that must be overcome before electric vehicles have any chance to replace gas and diesel-fueled cars. Lourdes García, an industrial engineer with Endesa, said the position of the coils is key. The system uses inductive technology and works with coils that are buried under the tarmac of the charging station.

“When the vehicle is positioned correctly on the charging station, a connection is made between the coils and the car. The coils transfer energy to the car. Charging times for electric vehicles vary. Tesla says its Supercharger stations can recharge 80 percent of the battery in a Model S in as little as 40 minutes. But using a 120-volt outlet to recharge a Nissan Leaf completely takes 20 hours. A 240-volt outlet and a charging station reduce that time to eight hours, according to Plug In America.

José Francisco Sanz Osorio, an industrial engineer with the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, said the Unplugged project now is turning to industry to help complete the testing, Euronews reported.

“As far as electronics are concerned, we’ve developed 99 percent of its full pot-ential, and we have what is needed to produce an efficient wireless charging station,” he said. “The remaining work concerns coils. That is where we are lagging behind. We need to find coil manufacturers interested in this product. But these coils are so innovative that it is still hard to find those manufacturers.”