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118 comments

Not a bug (5, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768551)

"At this stage, Qualcomm is apparently worried about frying cats."

It's not a bug, it is a feature!

Re:Not a bug (4, Funny)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768717)

All cats have long moved to the Internet so need to worry about this at all.

Re:Not a bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770845)

How do you think they got in their in the first place?

Re:Not a bug (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768811)

My step-dad has been looking for years for a way to keep the neighbors' cats off his car. This just might be it.

Re:Not a bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769045)

mmm mmm mmm
Fried cat

In other completely unrelated news, Panda Garden is opening a new location next to the charging station.

Welll.... (1, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768557)

...as long as it is just cats, I think that would be acceptable.

As long as it doesn't harm dogs!!!

Re:Welll.... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768605)

I hope it gets dogs too.Hopefully people will stop letting their animals out to kill the wildlife and poop everywhere.

Re:Welll.... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769035)

Wild dogs aren't exactly decimating native bird populations anywhere.

Re:Welll.... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769411)

Wild dogs aren't exactly decimating native bird populations anywhere.

Yeah, they are notoriously bad at counting. Also, 90% of all bird populations aren't an exact multiple of ten birds anyway. ;-)

What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire? (5, Interesting)

JcMorin (930466) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768625)

I would like to know how much electricity is lost when using a wireless then a wire.... that seams important to me. Especially that people who drive plug-in car normally care about environment and efficiency. My guess? It's there is a huge chuck of electricity lost. Who care when your charging your iPhone but about a car that seems important to me.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768773)

If it is anything like wireless gasoline fueling the loss is near 100%. I'm often in a hurry and poking the gas nozzle into my car's gashole is way too time consuming, so I usually just squeeze the handle in its general direction and hope for the best.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772609)

Hey, but wireless charging is much better than that. By "much better" I mean "at least 2x more efficient".

BTW, haven't you noticed how everybody complains about these damn gas nozzles? Screw larger and cheaper batteries, we want wireless charging.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768775)

Instead of wirelessly. The car should have below the bumper at regulation height, a set of plugs, that allow to pivot up to 30 degrees and slide left and right a few cm. when it parks, it slides into a set of grooves with triangle guides on the corner, that will power the car. Once contact is made the car does a full stop, and will only go in reverse, until unplugged.
More power efficient, minimum loss of user friendless, easy to install, no fried animals, kids, or stupid adults.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768873)

Or better yet, instead of hauling around a great big battery everywhere why not have that set of plugs hang down just a little farther and contact a set of power strips embedded in the roadway, through which electricity would be transferred.

The car could then have a much smaller battery to power it short distances when not in contact with the strips, such as parking lots and such.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768925)

Or better yet, stop burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and then sending it hundreds of miles to charge a battery, and just burn them directly in an 'engine' built into the car.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769225)

would never work... what you sir speak of is a pipe dream. Energy on demand as you need it as part of an 'engine'?

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770723)

Do you think gasoline appears at the gas station by magic? It starts out as oil drilled thousands of miles away, shipped overseas by oil tankers, then refined onshore, then trucked cross-country to gas stations.

Then it's combusted in your car's engine at only 15% efficiency, with 75% of the energy lost as heat.

Compare that to an electric motor which is 85% efficient, powered by a lithium battery which is 99% efficient to charge, using power sent not hundreds of miles but preferentially from the nearest power plant (that's how the grid works) at an average 7% loss from a grid mixture that is less than half coal, not 100%.

The electric car consumes vastly less energy per mile driven and thus pollutes less, and also gets it's "fuel" from within the state rather than thousands of miles out to sea, or overseas.

What now?

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

axlr8or (889713) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772077)

Yeah, should be modded up, even if off topic. Same thing I said to a friend of mine. "But the Chevy Volt isn't all electric!" says he. I said, no car on the road today that I know of is all electric. What's the difference if the generator is sitting 5 feet from the electric batteries and motor or 500 miles. "Oh yeah."

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772535)

Except that it takes a lot of electricity to make and transport gas. You could pretty much use this electricity directly and skip the whole pointless cycle of producing, distributing and burning gas.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770867)

You just won't be able to cross the street without risk of electrocution.
You'll also need to constantly replace the contacts as they will wear down.
You'll need to constantly clean the tracks on the road too, since dirt isn't very conductive and is very abrasive, especially when it's caught between two rubbing piece of metal.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

stepho-wrs (2603473) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772479)

But will we be using the Scaletrix or the Aurora AFX standard?

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

lukeshep (581612) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772021)

Agreed. Accelerator can be a plastic trigger instead of a pedal.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768841)

My guess? It's there is a huge chuck of electricity lost.

Run the numbers and compare to a space heater. If its much above single digits loss you'll melt the car. Its really quite a bit of power.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768899)

Quick skim on Wikipedia makes it look like 60-86%, which...isn't terrible. Not great, but not terrible. I'd be more worried about the possibilities of stray EM fields frying electronic devices (or cats, as the summary mentions). It's quite a lot of power to transfer wirelessly.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770647)

Expect efficiencies in the upper 80s to probably near 90, maybe a little more under the best cases. Not terrible, but not great. Expect to pay a grand or three extra for the convenience.

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770771)

But who is going to want to plug their car in every time they park it? I see this technology being used in parking buildings. A wireless charger in every parking space. What's to stop it being embedded into the road as well, to assist the battery in powering the car while you drive?

Re:What % of electricity is lost compare to a wire (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772503)

Lower efficiency means not only about getting less energy in the battery but also getting more energy outside of it. Would be nice if the losses were just heat but they are not.

Why? (1)

trevc (1471197) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768651)

How would this be green when wireless charging is so inefficient? Is it really that much extra work to plugin or design some other simple physical connect?

Re:Why? (1)

Svippy (876087) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768771)

Coming up next: Wireless petrol stations. Just aim for the tank.

Re:Why? (1)

axlr8or (889713) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772101)

screw that, 'Mid Drive' refueling! Where the tanker just pulls up to your vehicle as you hurtle down the road. I'll bet there's a felony behind that idea!

Re:Why? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769939)

the goal is to make your driveway a recharging station so you can continue to live your life without worrying about a wired power source or living things getting fried. so yeah, it's a lot of extra work. the only thing that would make it green is if the energy source feeding the charger were derived cleanly. that hasn't happened yet for most of our power sources. it's still mostly oil, gas and coal. your electric vehicle still relies on the burning of fossil fuels.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770745)

You're assuming it's induction. This is magnetic resonance coupling, much more efficient.

Re:Why? (2)

nbsr (2343058) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772733)

Nope, strong inductive coupling is efficient and reliable. But it only works at a short distance and requires coils to be aligned. That's perfect for recharging buses at bus stops, but too cumbersome for other uses.

Resonant coupling can still be efficient at larger distances but: it stores a huge amount of energy in LC tanks (currents and voltages roughly 100 times larger than in non-resonant coupling), produces proportionally stronger magnetic field, is very sensitive to losses in the environment (paddles, metal objects), and is not suitable for high power recharging (think more of 100W-order trickle charging).

So, we are talking about an expensive, difficult to install, weak, inefficient, unreliable, interfering and dangerous solution to a very pressing problem, which is sticking a plug into a socket. I can see (inductive) wireless charging being deployed in fixed-route buses but other than that this technology is only a distraction from solving truly important problems (batteries, specialized range extending ICEs etc.).

Wires are not the issue. (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768661)

For me they seem like they are trying to solve the wrong problem. For the Electric Car, it is having locations where we can plug in the wire, which is the same as having locations to park your wireless charger. Will work pay the power bill if you park your car at work and plug it in or wireless charge it? Probably Not.

The big problem is infrastructure, not pushing a button and plugging in a big wire. Besides if the goal with electric cars is to be green, why waste so much power on transferring it wirelessly?

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768823)

Besides if the goal with electric cars is to be green, why waste so much power on transferring it wirelessly?

Because people are lazy and want things to Just Work.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768869)

Yes, but we are use to things like filling our Gas Tank, or charging our cell phone at the end of the day.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769685)

Why the hell is having a battery swap system so complicated? You pull up at the station, drop your batteries off, load in some fresh charged ones.

But then again, why is everyone obsessed with cars when 90% of the time they are making the same shitty journey back and forth to work...

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770007)

I agree. People seem to have no problem swapping propane tanks for the BBQ.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770283)

Because the batteries weight about 400 pounds, full or empty!

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770893)

...and cost $10,000 a piece. I'm not swapping my new $10,000 battery for something at the local Sip 'N Gas.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (3, Insightful)

DarkofPeace (1672314) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769021)

Cables are expensive and they wear out. Plus most people won't put them back up and they get ran over and damaged. If they figure this out, you could park and you car would automagicly charge. remember, you have to design for the stupid.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769469)

I prefer if the stupid are not able to use a car. It will make the roads much safer.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769571)

Then transportation taxes would have to go up to make up the difference, making you look stupid too.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769177)

For me they seem like they are trying to solve the wrong problem

If it's a useful intermediate step to having the technology to have roads detect EVs and charge them first when they stop at a light and later as they drive down the highway, or hell maybe I have which will be first backwards, then it's a good thing.

if the goal with electric cars is to be green, why waste so much power on transferring it wirelessly

You are well behind the times. Losses from wireless charging can now be very low. Unless, of course, there's a cat in the way.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769997)

You are well behind the times. Losses from wireless charging can now be very low. Unless, of course, there's a cat in the way.

While that is true, wireless is still less efficient than wired, so the OP's question still holds.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770079)

While that is true, wireless is still less efficient than wired, so the OP's question still holds.

It's obvious that taking the user out of the equation is a good idea, because so many users are so goddamned stupid.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (2)

Carnildo (712617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769395)

Besides if the goal with electric cars is to be green, why waste so much power on transferring it wirelessly?

The article brings up two good points:
1) Unlike a cable, the wireless transfer system is nearly vandalism-proof. Install the transmitter pad under an inch of pavement and vandals will need a backhoe to damage it.
2) The wires in the system are entirely sealed. You can use this to charge even in pouring rain without risking electrocution.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

Narrowband (2602733) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770657)

Transfer efficiency is an important point, but I might also be a bit concerned about heat generation; a lot of wireless inductive chargers I've seen for small devices like ipods and such do seem to generate a lot of heat, which doesn't always do great things for battery systems. The vandalism/weatherproofing issues are good points, though, and worth consideration.

To be fair, I admit some bias. Every time there's a push for electric cars, I can't help wanting to play Rush's "Red Barchetta" pretty loud. I can see myself at either end of that: the uncle that lovingly preserves the outlawed sports car for his nephew, or the nephew who goes on a weekly race/drive just for the fun of it and has to outwit cops along the way, who are limited by their technology.

Re:Wires are not the issue. (1)

idomagic (1324889) | about a year and a half ago | (#40771353)

For me they seem like they are trying to solve the wrong problem. For the Electric Car, it is having locations where we can plug in the wire, which is the same as having locations to park your wireless charger. Will work pay the power bill if you park your car at work and plug it in or wireless charge it? Probably Not.

Rfid/or similiar tech on car + EV-charging subscription with some electrical company + a cut of the earnings to whoever owns the pad = Problem solved? (And incentives to invest in pads)

The big problem is infrastructure, not pushing a button and plugging in a big wire.

Yes, and having something that's easy to deploy is far more likely to actually be deployed compared to the likely much higher cost, and time consuming installation, of corded charging stations.

Besides if the goal with electric cars is to be green, why waste so much power on transferring it wirelessly?

Because it is still lightyears better than fossil fuel? (And actually not so bad you make it sound like)

Re:Wires are not the issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40772959)

If can make wireless changing work, then you can just build the roads out of this stuff powering the cars as they drive. All the problems of electric cars (Range, Charge Time, etc...) go away then.

Skewing the results (3, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768667)

It should be a pretty typical month in London, so their test should get accurate results.

Re:Skewing the results (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769069)

Plus, The Halo System from Qualcomm better have paid to be an Official Wireless Charging Sponsor or they're going to have trouble!

Health effects? (1)

Skiboy941 (2692201) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768697)

What are the effects of all of that energy floating around? I think this needs more testing. Also, this sounds highly inefficient.

Re:Health effects? (2)

yanom (2512780) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769005)

"All of that energy floating around" is a magnetic field. I only affects iron materials.

Re:Health effects? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#40771011)

It effects anything that conducts electricity. Alternating magnetic fields induce electric currents in anything conductive. How do you think a basic transformer works, when they use copper wire?

Re:Health effects? (3, Interesting)

Carnildo (712617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769561)

What are the effects of all of that energy floating around?

"All that energy" is in the form of a time-varying magnetic field. The effects are well-known: electrical currents (eddy currents [wikipedia.org]) are induced in nearby conductive objects. The bulk of the current (probably around 85%) is generated in the receiving pad and gets siphoned off to charge the car's battery; the rest goes to heating up other objects. Since magnetic fields fall off as the third power of distance, the only "other object" that's likely to see much temperature rise is the lower frame of the car, and the only testing that's needed is to make sure the heating is uniform rather than generating hot spots.

Qualcomm as a technology investor (5, Interesting)

mykepredko (40154) | about a year and a half ago | (#40768779)

The most interesting aspect of the article was reading that Qualcomm regularly invests in technology that may not pay back for 10 years.

Nice to see a company that is looking long term rather than maximizing the profits for this quarter.

myke

Re:Qualcomm as a technology investor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770091)

Um, you do realize that this inductive charging is a TERRIBLE idea right? Transmitting power wirelessly takes way more power than a direct connection which is lossy as is. That tech is cute when it's a few watts more wasted to charge a phone or some other small toy, but incredibly different when it's on the order of magnitude of trying to become a standard.

Re:Qualcomm as a technology investor (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#40773009)

Is there something fundamental about physics that suggests that this is a problem that cannot be solved? Because if not, you're correct, it's inefficient... until they research more and it's not.

Wireless charging. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768809)

My idea for Wireless charging

You put this tank in the back of the car, which you fill with an organic liquid. This liquid is with air and the high temperature reaction pushes a set of pistons that turn a generator and the resulting current is used to charge the battery.

Re:Wireless charging. (2)

bpkiwi (1190575) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769459)

Let me get this straight, you want the morons that you see trying to walk in the "exit only" doors at Walmart be allowed to handling highly flammable and explosive liquids on a daily basis? Brave call.

Something else... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768839)

Is putting a plug in REALLY so hard? Is it a major problem to getting everyone electric cars? no...
having ANYPLACE to plug in is.

And the cost. And the battery replacement cost.

That battery pack has a limited lifetime. And so far its cheaper to run the gasoline car for the same duration. (so far. now that gas has gone back down)

Re:Something else... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769719)

Plugs wear out and are vulnerable to vandalism.

Barring the vandals packing jackhammers, you're not going to vandalize something embedded in the pavement.

Re:Something else... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40771333)

Barring the vandals packing jackhammers

You've met British road workers, then?

Is wireless really needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40768977)

Is wireless really needed? Even with wireless you still need to put a pad of some sort on the ground and a matching device on the car and the driver still needs to be able to have somewhat decent aim to park in the proper spot over top of it. I'm sure they could come up with a similar device that is not wireless which would work just as well without all the costs, losses and slow charging involved with a wireless system.

Fried Eggs? Fried Animals? Fried People? (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769043)

How could this be safe?

Just like CFL bulbs are not being said to cause skin damage. I'm not talking about the Mercury here either http://www.humanevents.com/2012/07/23/study-says-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-may-emit-harmful-radiation/ [humanevents.com]

Before we leap into this where is the safety checks on all this stuff. IF I had a small child that got fried there would be all hell to pay. I know the article mentions fried eggs and fried cats but still.

Re:Fried Eggs? Fried Animals? Fried People? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769691)

IF I had a small child that got fried there would be all hell to pay. I know the article mentions fried eggs and fried cats but still.

The article mentions fried eggs because this operates on the same principle as an induction cooktop: stick a pan of eggs on the charger, and the resulting eddy currents will heat the pan.

A 20-kilowatt charging pad is likely to waste about 3kW in heating various things (mostly the receiving pad and the charging pad; to a lesser extent, the frame of the car). I suspect the fried cats come from this waste heat: since both pads are in an enclosed space (the underside of the car), any small animals may not be able to escape before getting badly burned. As long as your child doesn't have a habit of crawling under the car, they're safe.

I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769161)

I thought Tesla licked this problem years ago.

Re:I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769293)

Oh yea, and he died a very poor man.

Why not do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769455)

This should work great. The efficiency issue really is not that important and I think can be improved though some additional redesign to improve the mutual inductance. I'm just concerned that somebody might figure out that putting charging coils in the roadway is a good idea. High flux magnetic fields (which this system will create) are sorta dangerous, cats not withstanding.

Of course, driving a 100% electric powered car is kind of nuts for most of us. Current offerings of EV's have very limited ranges and fairly long recharge times. The cost per mile driven in an EV (including purchase price) is higher than other options over the expected life of the car, but that's at current gas prices, so it might pay off sometime. If you have the $$ to buy one, don't ever drive very far and have time to recharge the thing, who am I to complain.

This was Nikolai Tesla's dream (1)

goffster (1104287) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769597)

He wanted to supply household current via tesla coils.
But Westinghouse asked "Where do you put the electric meters" ?

Black marker chargers (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769701)

Roll up under some high power lines and charge away. My friends dad use to capture electricity with some gizmo on his farm from the high power lines that the BC hydro had running through the property.

Re:Black marker chargers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40773225)

The family farm still have a hook and board used to power saws and similar from over head wires.

Maybe hobos and such will find ways to charge dumpster saved gadgets using these pads?

Is it really that much trouble to just (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#40769705)

plug the damned things in? Is it really worth the loss of efficiency of the wireless charging scheme?

Re:Is it really that much trouble to just (1)

rkfig (1016920) | about a year and a half ago | (#40770289)

Just slightly more trouble than it is for the teenage boy walking by to unplug it after watching you walk inside, making you not able to get to work in the morning.

Re:Is it really that much trouble to just (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40771263)

So he'll just let all the air out of your tires instead. Quit pissing off the neighbor kids, and they'll leave you alone!

Would it be so hard to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40772477)

use the subject line as such rather than the start of a sentence?

jobs online (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40769847)

as Bradley replied I didn't even know that a mother able to earn $5416 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this webpage http://nutshellurl.com/54oz

Inefficiency quite low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770421)

Wireless charging devices are used for electric razors, toothbrushes with >90% efficiency. Why we'd expect any less from a far larger/more expensive charger used for a car I don't know.

Re:Inefficiency quite low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40770593)

While there's no metal to metal contact on those devices, you still place the toothbrush into its holder to charge. The power needs to go only a fraction of an inch. If you're putting the charger that close to the car, why not just use a traditional plug? If you're not putting them that close you'll have less efficiency/

WTF to the max (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#40772335)

So a technology that at its core is electrons moving through a metal just isn't suited to have metal touching metal to charge it? WTF? And for a green energy, a big selling point is that you're going to lose a massive amount of energy in transmission through directed energy beam absorbtion? MEGA WTF. If people smoke a cigarette while pumping gasoline, they blow up. If people electrocute themselves despite like 50 safety measures while charging their electric car, they die. It's called natural selection, okay?
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