Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canadian Researchers Create Wireless Charger For Electric Cars

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the power-up dept.

Canada 179

An anonymous reader writes "University of British Columbia researchers have developed a wireless charging system for electric cars. It involves a spinning magnet beneath the parked vehicle which turns another magnet in the underside of the car. Charging takes four hours and is about 90% as efficient as plugging in. From the article: '"One of the major challenges of electric vehicles is the need to connect cords and sockets in often cramped conditions and in bad weather," says David Woodson, managing director of UBC Building Operations. "Since we began testing the system, the feedback from drivers has been overwhelmingly positive." Four wireless charging stations have been installed at UBC's building operations parking lot. Tests show the system is more than 90 per cent efficient compared to a cable charge. A full charge takes four hours and enables the vehicle to run throughout an eight-hour shift.'"

cancel ×

179 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

efficiency: 90% of cable? (4, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41796657)

OK, so it can double as a garage heater in winter. However, in the snowier parts of the country (i.e. NOT Vancouver and its suburbs), this will not be appreciated for outdoor use - lots of meltwater turning into smooth ice...

Re:efficiency: 90% of cable? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796845)

Let's see if you're right. A Tesla Roadster has a 50kWh battery. Charging that in 4 hours requires 12500W of power. 10% of that is lost compared to the cable charger. That's 1.25kW of heat in addition to the heat from the inefficiencies of the rest of the charging system and the battery. That's in heater territory, but not enough to significantly heat an uninsulated garage. Problems with molten ice and snow can't be much different from parking a car with a warm engine.

Re:efficiency: 90% of cable? (2)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | about 2 years ago | (#41796925)

OK, so it can double as a garage heater in winter. However, in the snowier parts of the country (i.e. NOT Vancouver and its suburbs), this will not be appreciated for outdoor use - lots of meltwater turning into smooth ice...

This can easily work outdoors. Both magnet sets can be encased in a non conductive cover when outdoors, so no moving parts will be exposed. I have worked with something very close to this device for charging. Wish I had thought of this first!

Er... lots are normally plowed (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 2 years ago | (#41797291)

Parking lots are normally plowed to be clear of snow. If the space was not plowed than how would the car park there to charge anyway? Your post does not make a lot of sense when you think about it.

Re:Er... lots are normally plowed (2)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#41797455)

because you can park on top of 4"-8" of snow just fine even if the lot isn't plowed.

Driving on snow... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41797999)

Parking lots are normally plowed to be clear of snow. If the space was not plowed than how would the car park there to charge anyway?

Just go to Ontario, or Maine, or Finland, or Sweden. There's lots of snow in winter, and parking lots (although plowed quite often) are rarely free of it. Cars drive on snow and can drive on quite a depth of packed snow or a few inches of unpacked snow. In fact, driving on snow is not at all difficult, especially with proper winter tires or even just with all-season radials, and nor is parking on snow.

Your post does not make a lot of sense when you think about it.

Actually, your response indicates that you have much to learn about driving in cold climates. Perhaps you should actually experience a colder climate, instead of just theorizing about it.

Re:Er... lots are normally plowed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41798137)

They are plowed intermittently. You can have snow falling continuously for a long period of time. You are bound to park often on an unplowed lot without too much snow. And parent's point was that it could easily result in nice ice sheets, which it can in-between plow trips. And the plow is not likely to be good at removing that ice stuck to the ground in a thin sheet.

Canadien researcher creates Wireless Charger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796663)

In other news, the birth rate in Canada has mysteriously dropped to close to zero. And the beer in the garage fridge doesn't seem to get as cold as it used to.

Spinning magnet in the car? (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796665)

Seriously is that the best that these engineers can come up with?

Coils should be much lighter and can accomplish the same end result. Also not new, see electric toothbrushes.

These engineers must be hacks. Wireless charging does not require turning a generator on the thing to be charged.

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796685)

Actually RTFA, it's worse then I thought.

These morons are aware of how to do it right. They are doing it wrong to placate the 'dangerous EMF' idiots.

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796785)

I think the "moron" and the "idiot" is you. Just because you can build a directional 100kW microwave, does not mean that it is safe. Even the smart people in the army know not to walk in front of a radar emitter when it is ON. I guess they must be "morons" and "idiots" too!!

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796809)

WTF are you doing on /.?

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796949)

Who modded up this moron?

The only person mentioning 100kW microwaves is the AC, who apparently thinks 100kW spinning magnetic fields is better. Please come back after you pass a physics course.

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41796989)

Fortunately charging a car wouldn't need a 100kW microwave. Both because you don't need 100kW (unless you are in a hurry of charging your car, but then, I'm not sure the battery would take that anyway), and because you'd not use microwaves to do it (after all, you don't have to remote-charge your car; instead you'd put it directly onto the charger).

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#41796703)

It doesn't but I can see how it would be easier to be efficient while doing so - you start trying to inductively couple things and you end up with magnetic field lines and EM flying all over the place. Not that it can't be done, but it's not trivial.

Whereas a pair of magnets under mutual attraction are basically locked together, and so all you're really dealing with is the mechanical efficiencies, and the second magnet can be the permanent stator of your generator.

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (2)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#41796899)

Straw man. It's no harder to close the magnetic circuit of an inductive charging system (electromagnets) than it is a pair of permanent magnets like this, if you know what you're doing. The only difference is this system will produce a much lower frequency electromagnetic oscillation--in fact, it would be easier for the inductive system, since higher frequencies require smaller and less sophisticated materials to contain. What is the radiative effect when the two spinning magnets are not centered perfectly, as compared to a non-centered inductive system?

Also, permanent magnets are expensive, and annoying. Try not to drop your credit card on the garage floor, even when it's turned off--and what is going to stick to the bottom of your car as you drive?

The only remaining question is: if there really is a power efficiency gain, is it not wholly negated by the added weight of this ridiculous, possibly unreliable mechanical contraption, compared to a standard induction charger?

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796975)

Let the AC carry a rolled up extension cord plugged into itself while walking over a rapidly spinning magnet. That would be cool.

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about 2 years ago | (#41797123)

why is the charger on when there is no car using it?

Re:Spinning magnet in the car? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41797781)

The magnetic fields are magically contained under the car? For that matter the moving magnetic fields won't overload every wire in the car?

If I was in BC I would drop a few pachinca balls into the bushes next to the prototypes. I'd love to see the experimenters shit themselves.

Why the second magnet? (1)

Latentius (2557506) | about 2 years ago | (#41796681)

I can only assume that this hopefully is a method that increases efficiency, but my first thought would be that if you have a magnet spinning nearby underneath a car, why not just put a coil in the car and generate electricity that way? Adding a second magnet just seems like it would add weight and mechanical complexity.

But if they went that route, I suppose they must've had good reason.

Re:Why the second magnet? (4, Interesting)

Latentius (2557506) | about 2 years ago | (#41796705)

Nevermind...finally read the article thoroughly. They're just placating the idiots who think that other types of wireless power transmission is black magic or something, as if quickly rotating magnetic fields (not to mention large magnetic discs) is any safer than electrical fields alone. Apparently these people have never heard of electromagnetism and aren't aware that the two are intrinsically linked.

Re:Why the second magnet? (0)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41796729)

I can only assume that this hopefully is a method that increases efficiency, but my first thought would be that if you have a magnet spinning nearby underneath a car, why not just put a coil in the car and generate electricity that way? Adding a second magnet just seems like it would add weight and mechanical complexity.

But if they went that route, I suppose they must've had good reason.

There are only bad reasons.

Re:Why the second magnet? (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41796791)

They had a bad reason. EMF is scary. Apparently higher frequencies are scarier.

Re:Why the second magnet? (0)

Latentius (2557506) | about 2 years ago | (#41796817)

They're called killa-hertz for a reason, right?

Re:Why the second magnet? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41797021)

Yeah, that's why I never use any lamps. They emit electromagnetic radiation of hundreds of terahertz, much higher frequency than mobile phones.

90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41796721)

Not if I'm paying for the electricity. I don't really feel like paying 10% extra to charge my car for the convenience of not having to plug it in. How much more does this charging system cost and how much does it add to my car's weight? Qualitatively, let's estimate that as "too much."

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (2)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41796779)

I think it would be more useful for public charging places. Less potential for vandalism is its embedded in the road.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796821)

More potential vandalism if it rotates, though.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41796869)

Less potential for vandalism is its embedded in the road.

LOL so you think. Give the 4chan-ers a box full of BBs or ball bearings and watch the fun begin. Depending on rotational freq etc this could be pretty exciting or dangerous.

Foreign conductive bodies are the bane of high power wireless charging. Womens fashion shoes with a conductive ring, finger rings like wedding rings, all issues with high power chargers. Even bycycle and motorcycle wheels are round enough to act as a shorted turn. Using rotating magnet power is no less of a hassle.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797213)

I have mental images of one of these being installed just outside a body piercing parlor, and the resulting carnage.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 2 years ago | (#41797543)

Wouldn't it only be ferrous rings that are a problem? Wedding rings would presumably be things like gold or paladium instead?

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

lurker1997 (2005954) | about 2 years ago | (#41797927)

Look up eddy currents and inductive heating

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41797947)

All conductive rings would have current induced in them. This will cause them to heat up _and_ generate their own magnetic field, which will cause torques but no net force.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41796815)

90% may not be good enough if a plug is a convenient alternative. If you're taking an efficiency hit, might as well use it to enable something new. How about this: line up magnets under the road to charge cars as they move along. (Ideally the chargers would be powered by solar panels in the median, or in the road itself).

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41796865)

90% may not be good enough if a plug is a convenient alternative. If you're taking an efficiency hit, might as well use it to enable something new. How about this: line up magnets under the road to charge cars as they move along. (Ideally the chargers would be powered by solar panels in the median, or in the road itself).

That would be a good idea if it weren't so obviously unworkable and wouldn't slow down every car on the road and cost a million times more than a stationary charger.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (2)

fikx (704101) | about 2 years ago | (#41797589)

How about an electric grid above the cars with a metal tongue to pick up the current? Problem solved.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41798173)

Maybe something with a name starting with a T and ending with 'rain'.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797697)

It doesn't slow down any cars if they're installed at traffic lights.

Think about it. First of all, electric infrastructure is already there. Number plate readers can be used to automatically send the bill home and presto: longer range without time loss. Privacy concerns? Pft. Like there aren't any speed cams at traffic lights and/or number plate reading cams at gas stations already. Speaking of which, a gas station costs a million times more than keeping a barrel of gas in your garage. Yet apparently there's enough money to be made from refueling cars that it's worth building gas stations. We're talking Big Money here, and I certainly see a business case for this.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41797079)

If the cars have to be magnetic anyway, and the road has to deliver energy through magnetism, why not go the full way and make the cars maglev units, and have the car just communicate to the road the intended movement. OK, that would be super expensive, but so would your solution, and the individual maglev solution would at least give you an advantage (more efficiency due to reduced friction; also, you could easily prevent people going over the speed limit by the street simply ignoring any command to go faster).

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#41797467)

timeOday wrote :-

90% may not be good enough if a plug is a convenient alternative.

You are dammed right it isn't. In fact it is totally unacceptable. Think of it as a 10% price hike (for which UK elecricity supply companies are taking huge flak right now www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/26/edf_energy_price_rises/). I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind and able body would pay an extra 10% for a substantial chunk of fuel just to avoid putting a lead in a socket. There are many chores in my life that are a PITA, but plugging a lead into a car would come about nowhere on the list.

How about this: line up magnets under the road to charge cars as they move along. (Ideally the chargers would be powered by solar panels in the median, or in the road itself).

Keep talking : you have nearly invented a perpetual motion machine of the first kind.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41796851)

Tesla Motors is deploying solar power charging stations. When the fuel is free the 10% loss is worth it for the simplicity of having a car park where every space automatically re-charges your car, included in the cost of the ticket.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41797011)

That's a promotion. The power is not free because somebody has to pay for the installation.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41797089)

For solar power stations, inefficiency translates into more area of solar cells needed to power the thing. Which isn't free either.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797103)

Free? You need to take a closer look at the true price of solar. Plus it would only work for about 3 hours per day, and only on sunny days.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797357)

You've found a distributor of free solar panels? Where I can contact him?

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41796903)

Especially disappointing coming from Canada where plug our gas powered cars in during the winter anyway. Is it seriously that hard to plug in your car? Why not just build in some sort of robotics and sensing system so that the charging station can maneuver the plug into the car if you are really that lazy.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797115)

Especially disappointing coming from Canada where plug our gas powered cars in during the winter anyway. Is it seriously that hard to plug in your car?

It's only happened twice in 14 years but if you forget to unplug your car before you drive away, it's a real pain in the ass.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41798207)

I hope you're talking about traditional fueled cars because I really can't imagine nobody thought of some charger detection mechanism to avoid starting the car while plugged in.

Re:90% as efficent as a plug is good enough? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 years ago | (#41797913)

Also wondering how carefully aligned one must park the car over the "charger". Would all car models have to have an identical physical "receiver"? You'll have a hard time getting every manufacturer to agree on that. You can't even get a common cell phone charger agreed on.

A four-hour charge time? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796725)

This will never work (for me!). Because people (just me!) use their cars continually, never stopping for long enough to get a charge. Everybody is a road nomad, a street shark...

Re:A four-hour charge time? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41797099)

This will never work (for me!). Because people (just me!) use their cars continually, never stopping for long enough to get a charge. Everybody is a road nomad, a street shark...

You never sleep? Or do you drive while sleeping?

Re:A four-hour charge time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797405)

It sure seems like a lot of people are driving with their eyes closed.

can i aim it at .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796733)

can i beam this at people ....no really this sounds like real fun tech
all those electrons zipping about.... /me goes off to write a sci fi movie based on it all

Is it Canada day again? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796745)

Canadian Researchers Create Wireless Charger For Electric Cars

7.7 Magnitude Quake Hits British Columbia

Canadian Police Want New Internet Surveillance Tools

Canadian Teenager Arrested For Photographing Mall Takedown

Re:Is it Canada day again? (2)

danomac (1032160) | about 2 years ago | (#41797015)

Nope, us Canadians have nothing better to do on a Saturday other than post articles to Slashdot. Y'know, we have bitter cold and snowy winters, eh?

less efficient??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796747)

And here I thought the whole point of going to an electric car was to become more efficient and green, wasting less power to random heat but now that it's been shown that people don't want to stand out in the rain, snow, overly hot weather, or in any place inconvenient, to plug in a charging cable (a task which most people would not be up to anyway unless it looked like an iPod earphone jack) we're going to give up some of that efficiency in the name of personal comfort.

Oh, the duplicity of it all.

Just needs a giant plastic-coated bar magnet (1, Redundant)

Guppy (12314) | about 2 years ago | (#41796751)

It involves a spinning magnet beneath the parked vehicle which turns another magnet in the underside of the car.

Oh wow, it's a jumbo Magnetic Stir Plate [wikipedia.org] ! Perfect for that 1000L Erlenmeyer Flask in your garage.

F-Zero (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796755)

I have visions of the recharge lane.

Re:F-Zero (4, Interesting)

Latentius (2557506) | about 2 years ago | (#41796813)

Joking aside, that's not a half-bad idea. Even if we're talking about the non-magnetic forms of wireless power transmission, it could be possible in the distant future to embed the technology in our highways and have it powered by roadside solar panels, etc.

Re:F-Zero (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41796961)

Yeah, I'll only have to drive in that lane for four hours every day while it inductively slows down my car.

Re:F-Zero (2)

Latentius (2557506) | about 2 years ago | (#41797017)

But you wouldn't drive in the lane to get a full power-up; you'd only need enough to maintain cruising speed, which is a lot less power. Or even less than that, if you're just looking for any sort of external boost to make up for the inherent issues with trying to store power onboard.

As for slowing the car down, that may be the case with a magnetic charger, but I'm not sure about inductive coupling--I'll defer to the EEs to make a ruling on that one.

Re:F-Zero (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41798109)

What would be the point? If you're going to go as far to imbed tech into the road, then just line the highways with superconductors, and have light weight floating cars. hi tech bumper cars, crashing would be fun :)

Lots of Canadian stories this weekend (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41796773)

Not that I'm complaining... I'm just a bit surprised. News for nerds north of the 49th.... If this was November, I'd suspect some sort of alliteration joke to be forthcoming.

Re:Lots of Canadian stories this weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797341)

It's already snowing in parts of canada. We have nothing better to do than sit in our igloos and post on slashdot.

Re:Lots of Canadian stories this weekend (1)

gapagos (1264716) | about 2 years ago | (#41797429)

^ if I had mod points I'd +1 you insightful.

Re:Lots of Canadian stories this weekend (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41798147)

Most people in Canada can only build quincee's. Not cold enough for igloos.

sounds hurltastic (1)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41796825)

OK now go get a snow saucer and tape a few strong magnets on some inside edges. go out to the parking lot. Put a quarter into the meter, sit, and spiiiiiin !

We're getting there (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41796863)

Well, I'm impressed that effort is being shown in the electric car 'movement', even if this isn't the best choice in re-charging.. We've come a long way since the 1990's when big oil killed off the EV1. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1 [wikipedia.org]

And now that battery powered vehicles are becoming more main-stream, we can use oil when and where it's more useful (planes, trucking, remote power generating, etc.)

What, a spinning magnet? (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41796917)

Why not make it a two-part transformer? You'd just have a spinning magnetic field with no moving parts. You would also eliminate two extra rotary electrical machines (the motor in the charger and the generator in the car).

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41796993)

Read the article. The researchers are aware of that. They are also aware that there are lots of 'OMG EMF!!!' people who still think that wifi is cooking their brains. This magnetomechanical charger's big selling point is that there is no high-frequency magnetic field to scare people.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (1, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41797025)

In what world is it a good idea to encourage idiots?

We need to be publicly humiliating these people (public double blind testing) not wasting time and money building nonsensical things to not actually work around the non-issues they have their panties in a bunch over.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41797069)

But *why* would you employ a high frequency magnetic field? You most likely don't need anything beyond 20 kHz. And with a proper core, you can keep most (virtually all) of the magnetic flux within the core, even with a dielectric/paramagnetic gap between the two parts of the core. And transformers are certainly more efficient than 90%.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (-1, Flamebait)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 2 years ago | (#41797401)

We're talking the true brainless, makes-zombies-look-smart, beer-dribbling, double-tire-gun-rack-pickup-driving, republican-voting, mouth-breathing oxygen thieves here. Kilohertz is high frequency to them, a kilometer is a long way isn't it, so it has to be, doesn't it.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797559)

Your dipshit left-wing ivory tower I know what's best for everyone else mentality is on full display in this post. Anyone who doesn't think like you simply MUST be stupid right?

Ironic ignorance.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41798181)

beer-dribbling, double-tire-gun-rack-pickup-driving, republican-voting, mouth-breathing oxygen thieves here

No. We're talking crystal wearing, pot-smoking, homeopathy using, $100k for a student loan for a degree that gets you a $20k/year job oxygen thieves. These are the idiots on the other side of the aisle. California is just *full* of these people, and sometimes they even merge in bizarre union with the other type (hippybillies, usually growers), but that's a whole different thing. Anyway, this caters to "moon beam" idiots, not "baccer chewing" idiots. Know your idiots!

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41798187)

A canadian loon would be smarter than you. We're talking about Canada here. Not everything is US and THEM. We're actually tolerant of other people's beliefs. It's also not far-fetched to believe that unnaturual emf might have an impact on something that evolved in natural emfs. You apparently know too little about science to make a proper judgement.

p.s. We also REALLY understand the metric system up here.

Re:What, a spinning magnet? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#41797515)

So these people are planning to sit in their cars all night while they are charged? If these idiots are that paranoid, why can't they just get out the car and plug it in instead? Why do we waste time on these people?

back to the future (2)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#41796937)

Thank you, Nikola Tesla.

Wind up cars return! (3, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41796943)

I knew if I waited long enough I would get my wind-up toys back. But why aren't they using a big spring?

combine this with computer driving cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796955)

And you could have recharging 'pads' which the CD car can find and recharge without human assistance.
Never mind all the other benefits of computer driven cars - make money while at work by being a taxi, driving kids to after school events, slip-streaming on motorways, less accidents and bumper to bumper in cities to reduce congestion.

For once a bunch of tech coming together to make world a safer, easier and cleaner place in 10 years time.

Re:combine this with computer driving cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797325)

And you could have recharging 'pads' which the CD car can find and recharge without human assistance.
Never mind all the other benefits of computer driven cars - make money while at work by being a taxi, driving kids to after school events, slip-streaming on motorways, less accidents and bumper to bumper in cities to reduce congestion.

For once a bunch of tech coming together to make world a safer, easier and cleaner place in 10 years time.

Oooooo sorry, these require rare-earth magnets. Not so enviro-wacko friendly.

Re:combine this with computer driving cars (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#41797549)

other benefits of computer driven cars - make money while at work by being a taxi

You are going to love it when it is returned to you at going-home time, and you find the floor swimming in some drunk's vomit, shit and condoms, discarded take-aways on the vandalised seats, and the navigator ripped out. Taxis get enough crap even with a driver present to moderate things.

Duct tape? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796997)

Depending on how much duct tape is involved this sounds more like something from the Red Green show that from a university.

"Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

Steam Engines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41796999)

How about using steam engines instead? They're lots more efficient than anything else, and with today's technology, they could probably do wonders.

Or maybe it's not possible because of those patent things, since this is USA we're talking about. No, wait, it says Canada, nevermind, same thing anyway.

Brilliant Idea, but One Suggestion (4, Funny)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about 2 years ago | (#41797083)

Brilliant. I'd make a teensy change. Replace the spinning magnet outside the car with a cable, and replace the spinning magnet and generator in the car's underbody with a plug. Run power through the cable to the plug, but only after there's been a handshake between the cable and the plug. Use the equipment that would spin the magnets to establish a physical connection between the cable and the plug.

I think the efficiency of this, compared to old techniques, will be closer to 100% of existing efficiency than to 90%.

Re:Brilliant Idea, but One Suggestion (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#41798219)

Dude! I think you're on to something but let's take it a step further. We don't really want electricity in the car. We want the car to go places. So take the spinning motion, and stretch it out along a cable. Then, have the car grab the cable. Then you've got the motion transferred directly to the car via cable, without any electricity involved. There's just a cable and a car. We could call it a "cable-car". I bet it would really safe [go.com] since there's no electro-magnetic waves at all anywhere. Just motion, trasmitted by cable as our earth-mother goddess intended.

Re:Brilliant Idea, but One Suggestion (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41798245)

Seriously though, pushing a button when your car is parked, or having a pressure switches underneath the tires that activate current in the plug, creating a carefully designed magnetic field that attracts the plug into the receptacle on the bottom of the car would be so much cooler(literally). Then when fully charged, the field breaks, and the plug disengages recoils automatically and mechanically so no electricity needed.

That 10% of 'lost' efficiency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797087)

...is more than paid for in the efficiency gained by not having to: train employees to plug their cars in; actually have employees take the time to plug them in; train the parking attendants to check the cars are plugged in, time lost to inclement weather for outdoor stations, ...

It may be "old tech" but the fact there could be a whole parking garage of wirelessly charging electric vehicles that _isn't_ a glowing electromagetic dome of inteference should be exciting.

Re:That 10% of 'lost' efficiency... (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#41797669)

AC at 16:31 wrote :-

...is more than paid for in the efficiency gained by not having to: train employees to plug their cars in;

Yes, it will require at least a week long course to learn how to put a plug in a socket - perhaps two weeks to be on the safe side.

.. actually have employees take the time to plug them in;

Yes, it must take at least 15 minutes to do that (who said anything about "employees" anyway?)

.. train the parking attendants to check the cars are plugged in,

Yes, that is going to need a degree in rocket science. (who said anything about "parking attendants" anyway?)

.. time lost to inclement weather for outdoor stations, ...

??????? The time to pluck up the courage to get out the car if it is raining? They will need to bite that bullet whether they have to plug a charger or not

a whole parking garage of wirelessly charging electric vehicles that _isn't_ a glowing electromagetic dome of inteference should be exciting.

I am sorry I was poking fun at you - now I realise you are poking fun yourself.

What on earth is the point of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797229)

This is technology rapidly pedaling backwards! Think of the wear and extra materials associated with this crazy scheme. I know that academics are under pressure to produce output of any kind, but this is an extreme example. Electric vehicles have many challenges, but plugging them in in bad weather is NOT "One of the major ones...". Roofs and other forms of shelter were a well-established human invention in pre-history.

This is a classic case of someone with a spinning magnet looking for an application. And what's worse, someone is giving him our taxes to play with it...

Re:What on earth is the point of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797317)

no the extreme example is the utter garbage coming out of MIT the last 5 or so years, shoot an asteroid with paintballs, WTF are you doing with your parents money!

Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797461)

Where is my affordable electric car that I can charge with this black magic? :\

Nothing but good news from UBC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797581)

As a former employee of the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, I can tell you this is just spin on a nothing story. The UBC Public Relations department releases very good spin press releases of very dubious quality stories (every week) just to stay in the news. This is a nothing story, other than being less efficient and heavier than commercially available induction charging systems. Just how difficult is is to plug in an electric car?

Stories like this (and low pay for staff) is why I left after 25 years (yeah, I know, should have left sooner...).

Eddy currents (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#41797643)

I foresee losses due to eddy currents induced in the chassis of many cars. Because metal (usually steel) is the predominant chassis material currently and in the foreseeable future.

10% to plug in a cable (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41797841)

I think I would go with the cable myself, you would also save a few thousand on car and wireless transmitter as well I imagine.

No kitties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41797893)

Spinning magnet under garage floor: Just don't let any pets with ferrous collars in there @ charging time. Ouch! (--> MEOWWW!)

Parking (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41797957)

So does this mean that you would need to do a 100% perfect parking job to get the 90%, and if you were off by a few inches it would go way down, be off by a half a foot and it would not work at all?
It seems to me that parking the car perfectly would be significantly more work than just getting it within reach of a cable.

Re:Parking (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#41798067)

That's why it only works in Canada. Have you seen how the average American parks??

I own an electric car - and this is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41798223)

I own a Chevy Volt. I've charged it in the rain without being killed. This is a solution in search of a problem. I'm not about to give up 10% efficiency to save about 3 seconds of time spent plugging-in (my charger is mounted on the garage wall directly adjacent to the charge port). I already lose about 14% in charging inefficiencies, and this "solution" ups that to 24% ? No thanks

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?