IHI and WiTricity Sign Long-Term Collaboration Agreement for Wireless Charging
In response to growing market demand for wireless charging systems for electric vehicles and industrial systems, IHI Corp. of Tokyo, Japan has entered into a long-term collaboration and commercialization agreement with WiTricity Corporation of Watertown, Massachusetts.
As a result of this agreement, IHI is licensed by WiTricity to manufacture and supply wireless charging systems for automotive and industrial applications on a global basis. In addition, the companies will collaborate to accelerate the development of the technology, and to promote international standards for wireless charging systems.
WiTricity Corporation is the inventor of wireless energy transfer technology based on highly coupled magnetic resonance. Such systems have been demonstrated to achieve efficiency of greater than 90%, while transferring more than 3kW over a distance of 20 cm. Wireless charging systems developed by IHI based on this WiTricity technology will enable electric vehicles (EVs) to be charged simply by parking in a spot that has a wireless charging source on or below the floor. EV car makers expect that consumers will be very enthusiastic about being able to charge their vehicles without having to bother with clumsy charging cables.
IHI has begun testing of EVs equipped with wireless charging systems, for both residential settings in a garage or carport, as well as in public facilities. As IHI is very active in the field of public infrastructure for transportation and power generation and distribution, it intends to utilize its expertise in wireless charging technology to improve the efficiency and environmental friendliness of future transportation systems. IHI will leverage its experience in industrial controls and electronics to bring a high level of automation, control, and safety to such systems.
IHI is cooperating with automobile manufactures as Mitsubishi Motors on the development of lightweight and efficient wireless charging components that will be integrated with future EVs. IHI will become a Tier One supplier of both the on-vehicle power capture components, and the off-vehicle wireless charging sources.
About Highly Coupled Magnetic Resonance
The physics of highly coupled magnetic resonance can be understood by the simple example of a child propelling herself on a playground swing. The child soon learns that when she pulls the rope and kicks her feet at the right moment, she can make the swing move faster and higher. Scientifically speaking, she has learned to add energy to the swing at the natural resonant frequency of the swing. In physical systems that oscillate, like a swing, it is the case that energy can be transferred in and out of the system most efficiently at its resonant frequency. In the same manner, when an oscillating magnetic source device and capture device are precisely tuned to the same resonant frequency, their magnetic fields can couple together very efficiently. This highly coupled magnetic resonance technology, invented by WiTricity Corp., enables high efficiency energy transfer over mid-range distances.