Qualcomm Sees Licensing Model in Wireless EV Charging Technology

5/15/12Follow @bvbigelow

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more apparent as Qualcomm and HaloIPT move forward this year with their plan to deploy wireless recharging stations and compatible EVs in London.

There are at least four key areas to explore in terms of setting standards, according to Anthony Thomson, a Qualcomm vice president (and the founding CEO of HaloIPT) who accompanied Gilbert to San Diego:

—Frequency. Thomson says charging systems typically operate at frequencies that range from 10 kilohertz to 150 kilohertz. It’s obviously impractical for different EV models to require different frequencies to recharge.

—Receiver location. Inductive power transfer transmits energy from an electromagnet in a mat or pad on the ground (or mounted on a wall) to a receiver in the EV. The location of the receiver on the car needs to be standardized, though, so the power transmitter and receiver can be aligned. Qualcomm maintains that its HaloIPT technology provides significantly greater lateral leeway in this alignment.

Anthony Thomson

—Communication systems. The charging system communicates extensively with both the EV and the power grid, which necessitates standards for the myriad systems that communicate from the charger to the car controller, battery management system, user interface, and other modules.

—The size and shape of the charging pad itself.

Gilbert said the innovations that differentiate Qualcomm’s HaloIPT system from other wireless charging technologies lie primarily with its lateral tolerance in aligning the charging system with the car—and with the high efficiency of its power transfer technology. A Rolls Royce EV prototype system operates with an end-to-end energy transfer efficiency of better than 90 percent, Gilbert said. Thomson added that the design of the electromagnet in HaloIPT’s charging system also is unique, and the company holds many other patents as well.

As Gilbert and Thomson explained all this, however, it also became apparent that their technology is competing not only with other wireless recharging technologies, but with conventional plug-in EV charging systems that also are being … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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