Far off future fiction? No fact today, and something Momentum Dynamics has working in prototype form as it quietly works with companies intent on incorporating inductive charging technology into passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
This is according to the company’s CEO, Andy Daga, who we sat down with this week for a progress report on what may be the most powerful wireless inductive technology going.
Due to nondisclosure agreements, Daga is for now mum on household name clients being worked with, but
A finalist for the SAFE Energy Choice which will announce winners July 31, Momentum Dynamics is a self-funded privately held corporation with “more business than we can handle” in prototype projects in several industries.
It’s hiring to take on more projects, and the six-year-ancient 20-plus-employee, suburban Philadelphia startup is a nominee for the SAFE (Secure America’s Future Energy) Choice because energy security hawks are looking for ways to switch from petroleum.
An electric car can be made more practical today if zapped back in under an hour, as has been demonstrated with a Nissan Leaf, or in
Momentum Dynamics’ prototype home system has up to 10 kilowatts, 50 amps of 240-volt current. It’s hands free and safe and can work through snow and ice, if needed, or embedded under concrete, or portable, as desired. Public systems have proven up to 50 kilowatts, but 25 kilowatts is a “sweet spot” at the second.
The at-home charge rate for a sub-100-mile EV like a Leaf is not much slower than 30-minute high-power DC quick charge.
How It Works
Momentum Dynamics uses wireless inductive technology with origins dating back to before Tesla – Nikola Tesla, that is.
What’s new in this area it is the company has found elegant
These start “donut” shaped waves of invisible magnetic fields. Momentum’s engineering VP Bruce Long in essence devised a way to “squash the donut” and make the system far more effective.
Daga said the system “contains” the field so it does not interact with close objects, such as a vehicle’s metallic components. This leads to higher efficiency at high power levels.
After more than five-years development, patents, and pilot projects, the company has proven its technology doesn’t heat surrounding metal, and does the job as quick or quicker than plug-in
“At 25 kilowatts continuous power throughput the overall power transfer efficiency is 91 percent,” says Daga. “We believe we can improve this to 93 percent in the near future. This is measured from the supply of the AC wall current to the battery.”
The technology conforms to international magnetic emission standards, and is harmless to humans and animals.
For commercial applications, Momentum Dynamics has invented technology enabling wireless and inductive power transmission allowing several EVS parked next to each to charge without conflict.
“It is a form of Near Field Communications,” says Daga. “It uses the existing magnetic system that is used to transfer electrical energy crosswise an
What it does is solve a dilemma stumping others wanting to charge multiple vehicles without crosstalk, potential for cyberhacking, or safety risks, and this innovation itself is also something Momentum wishes to ticket.
This and other innovations not least being its raw speed of power transfer has Momentum Dynamics on the radar, if for now mostly behind the scenes.
Who Wants to Go First?
Today wireless charging systems are not available from any automaker but the first could arrive as soon as two years from now.
At least one un-named major automaker is also evaluating the tech, and may choose Momentum as an OEM supplier. Here it could pre-configure EVs to readily bolt
The mentioned aftermarket consumer charger being tested by Momentum Dynamics may be ready within a year and would work like any level 2 charger you now buy with a receiver added under the car.
It would not be the first to market, but with 5-10 kilowatts depending on what the house is set up for, it could be quicker than anything now available.
Daga estimates 75 percent of Momentum’s business is commercial, 25 percent passenger vehicle, but the passenger car business is rising.
Certainly the need for automatic charging is perceived. As one case illustrates, Volkswagen recently unveiled a complicated robotic arm that does modest more than plug
Does Volkswagen’s robot arm essentially automating plugging in present a key, or show a glaring need for a better key?
That’s novel, perhaps a point of Teutonic engineering pride, but it could be complicated, pricey, and meanwhile VW Assemble and others are working toward getting rid of the wires and plugs altogether.
There’s a bit of a dilemma in all of this. Being a conservative bunch, some automakers are not wanting to dive in too quick with technology. They are but looking to see which competitor does what first, while simultaneously nervous that the same competitor may beat them to the punch.
If you’ve not noticed, not all automakers proffering electrified cars tentatively are
Within this climate, Daga say each automaker is at work on solutions, while hedging their bets. To date, we’ve heard nothing even from Tesla on adapting wireless charging but others including Audi and Toyota – yes, Toyota – among others are developing solutions.
While some have wondered where the electrified vehicle diligence is heading, a study by Goldman Sachs bullishly forecasts one in four cars by 2025 will be either plug-in hybrid or battery electric. Out of 120 million total vehicles, that’s 30 million PHEVs and EVs annually on a global basis.
Due fundamentally to a steady push by
Note the logo is photoshopped off of this truck. You’d recognize it instantly if you saw it.
“The auto diligence’s need to embrace technological change is more urgent now than ever before,” says Goldman Sachs in a study titled, “A disruptive new era of the Automotive Age.”
Another study by Morgan Stanley also sees a bright forecast, and also bases projections on regulations that are more predictable than fuel prices, limited consumer demand, or less than-keen manufacturer supply.
That said, 25 percent electrified market share one decade from now does sound intensely optimistic given the U.S. is presently mired at
Daga says even if the reality is only a fraction of this, it’s at least certain many more vehicles will need charging.
Making it Work
When they are not engineering prototypes, Daga and company have also washed-out time figuring ways to sell their technology into publicly accessible locations.
Charging systems costing $10,000 or more can make some prospective businesses owners wince. Attracting electrified car drivers to their business to shop can be appealing, but it’s not without complications.
Problems may include car owners who park at charger-equipped spots and hog them all day. Blink arrangement is plotting to impose a addendum to penalize such behaviors, but some businesses on the fence in this area installing chargers
In China and elsewhere in Asia, generous automated parking garages are cropping up. Wireless charging would be ultimate to replenish batteries without need a human to plug them in.
While catering to anyone, Momentum Dynamics aims to sell to businesses which do not have cars parked all day – places like convenience stores, restaurants, and shopping malls, among others. A two hour or less in-and-out time will let its high-power chargers zap some range in and the problem of public leaving a car in space after it’s fully exciting will take care of itself.
SEE ALSO: Momentum Dynamics’ Wireless Charging Could Reduce in importance Plugs To History
Beyond this, Daga foresees a budge from primarily home-based charging
Thus the need for many more public chargers to accommodate many more electric cars will make wireless all the more appealing, he postulates.
In small, seamless convenient charging dotting a convergence would help stave off range anxiety from limited-distance EVs.
A 100-200 mile EV that can quickly net an extra 15-50 miles just by parking during ordinary daily coming and going would effectively extend range, asserts Daga.
Beyond larger batteries, a much broader charging arrangement would make EVs more viable, he says.
“We should not force public to dramatically change their
Where it’s Heading
Momentum Dynamics’ technology has potential applications beyond the car business, such as in medical devices, and in other fields, but its sole focus is electrified vehicles, something Daga says he in person believes in deeply.
While the ratio of fuel pumps are enough to supply millions
While it’s impossible to perfectly predict the future, wireless charging is expected soon, and could grow in lockstep with global EV markets.
If things go to plot, it will be a natural transition of superior convenience than plugs and cords, and Momentum Dynamics aims to be there.
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