Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems transfer electric energy from a source to a load without any wired connection. WPTs are attractive for many industrial applications because of their advantages compared to the wired counterpart, such as no exposed wires, ease of charging, and fearless transmission of power in adverse environmental conditions. Adoption of WPTs to charge the on-board batteries of an electric vehicle (EV) has got attention from some companies, and efforts are being made for development and improvement of the various associated topologies. WPT is achieved through the affordable inductive coupling between two coils termed as transmitter and receiver coil. In EV charging applications, transmitter coils are buried in the road and receiver coils are placed in the vehicle. Inductive WPT of resonant type is commonly used for medium-high power transfer applications like EV charging because it exhibits a greater efficiency.
This thesis refers to a WPT system to charge the on-board batteries of an electric city-car considered as a study case. The electric city-car uses four series connected 12V, 100A•h VRLA batteries and two in-wheel motors fitted in the rear wheels, each of them able to develop a peak power of 4 kW to propel the car. The work done has been carried out mainly in three different stages; at first an overview on the wired EV battery chargers and the charging methodologies was carried out. Afterwards, background of different WPT technologies are discussed; a full set of Figures of Merit (FOM) have been defined and are used to characterize the resonant WPTs to the variations in resistive load and coupling coefficient. In the second stage, the WPT system for the study case has been designed. In the third stage, a prototypal of the WPT system has been developed and tested.
Design of the WPT system is started by assessing the parameters of the various sections and by estimating the impact of the parameters of the system on its performance. The design process of the coil-coupling has come after an analysis of different structures for the windings, namely helix and spiral, and different shapes for the magnetic core; further to the preliminary results that have shown the advantages of the spiral structure, a more detailed analysis has then been executed on this structure. The coil design has encompassed the determination of the inductive parameters of the two-coil coupling as a function of the coil distance and axial misalignment. Both the analysis and the design was assisted by a FEM-approach based on the COMSOL code.
Design of the power supply stages of the WPT system has consisted of the assessment of values and ratings of a) the capacitors that make resonant the coil-coupling, b) the power devices of the PFC rectifier and of the high frequency inverter (HF) that feeds the transmitting coil, c) the power devices of the converters supplied by the receiver coil: the rectifier diode and the in-cascade chopper that feeds the battery in a controlled way. For the converters that operate at high frequency (inverter and the rectifier in the receiver section), power electronic devices of the latest generation (the so-called Wide Band Gap (WBG) devices) have been used in order to maximize the efficiency of the WPT system.
A prototypal WPT battery charger was arranged by using available cards with the power and signal circuits. Relevant experimental activities were: a) measurement of the parameters of the coils, b) desk assembling of the prototype, and c) conducting tests to verify proper operation of the prototype.
The thesis work includes also a brief overview of i) emerging topics on WPT systems such as on-line electric vehicle (OLEV), ii) shielding of the magnetic fields produced by a WPT system, and iii) standards on WPT operation. These three issues play a significant role in the advancement of the WPT technology.
The thesis work has been carried out at the Laboratory of “Electric systems for automation and automotive” headed by Prof. Giuseppe Buja. The laboratory belongs to the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Padova, Italy.
Dr. Mude Kishore Naik, “Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicle”, 2015.