The Technological Centre for Plastics (Andaltec), Premo company, Madrid’s Institute for Science of Materials (ICMM- CSIC) and the Technical University of Madrid are working together in a project leading to the development of a wireless charging system for electric vehicle batteries. The intended aim is developing technological solutions to improve the limitations of current vehicles due to their limited autonomy. Nowadays, these batteries haven’t reached the level of energy density which would allow them to compete with traditional internal combustion vehicles.
The goal of this project, labelled “W Alma”, is the development and implementation of magnetic polymeric materials to be employed in the RFID field. The intention is that they can replace the currently used stacks of ferromagnetic material MnZn, the most fragile element and highest cause of problems on reliability, weight and volume for wireless charging systems of vehicles. This wireless charging system will provide Premo with a brand-new, high-tech product.
Andaltec’s contribution to this project is the manufacture of the magnetic platform’s prototype, which will allow the evaluation of different design alternatives for materials and geometry. Andaltec is also in charge of the manufacturing process, so that this prototype is the best and cheapest possible.
Current technology to charge batteries uses charging stations connected directly to the car through a cable. However, this system involves several drawbacks, such as the small number and high cost of cable charging stations for a future massive use in electric vehicles. Secondly, a fast charging process requires continuous high tension, as well as low current in order not to overheat the batteries. Thus, 300 to 700 VDC continuous tensions are required, which are lethal if in contact with humans. Besides, the isolation systems in the cables for these tension levels, and the needed connectors and safety plugs are very expensive.
On the other hand, the user experience related to the constant perception of the need of a continual vehicle charge deters the purchase and massive adoption of this electrical technology. As a result, the automotive industry is willing to improve the duration and autonomy of batteries and also simplify the charging process to the point that it is completely invisible and autonomous from the user. This is the ultimate aim of W Alma project.