Thursday, May 2, 2013

No. 710: Developing a technology to charge moving electronic vehicles wirelessly using microwaves (May 2, 2013)

A total of 22 companies including Mitsubishi Heavy and Omron and a total of 13 universities including Kyoto University and Osaka University will develop a technology to charge EVs and smartphones wirelessly using microwaves. They plan to develop a technology to transmit electricity to a distant place wirelessly in five years. In the future, they plan to apply the technology to space photovoltaic power generation that transmits electricity from the solar panels in space to the earth. They have founded a consortium for joint research. Funded by investments from the participating companies, the participating universities apply the research results to the development.

Researchers plan to put a system to charge smartphones and equipment for charging moving EVs into practical use in five years. They also plan to develop a system to charge an unmanned plane that is used to survey damage in a large-scale disaster. Toward 2040, they plan to establish a technology to generate electricity with the solar panels put on an artificial satellite in space and transmit electricity to the receiver on the earth. The technology to charge electronics wirelessly using electromagnetic induction is already in practical use. Because this technology cannot be applied to charge operating equipment far away, the researchers wish to apply microwaves to the development. According to a U.S. research company, products characterized by wireless transmission technology will grow from about 97 billion yen in 2012 to 1,150 billion yen in 2020.   

Charging an EV wirelessly by TDK

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