Utah State University presented a first-of-its-kind electric bus that is charged through wireless charging technology in a demonstration Nov. 15.
The Aggie Bus rolled onto the streets carrying passengers just 16 months after USU demonstrated the first high-power, high-efficiency wireless power transfer system capable of transferring enough energy to quickly charge an electric vehicle. In July 2011, the USU Research Foundation demonstrated 90 percent electrical transfer efficiency of five kilowatts over an air gap of 10 inches. The demonstration validated that electric vehicles can efficiently be charged with wireless technology.
USU’s Wireless Power Transfer team, in cooperation with the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative’s Advanced Transportation Institute at USU, has designed a more efficient way to meet the nation’s transportation needs. By carefully applying a mix of modern advances in engineering and Nikola Tesla’s principles of induction, USU engineer Hunter Wu and his team have solved one of today’s vexing problems in WPT. Their research has led to the development of a robust prototype, which has been fitted to the Aggie Bus. The prototype transfers power over an air gap where no physical contact is required. Wireless power transfer technology delivers a multitude of benefits to consumers that include greater reliability due to no moving parts or cords, added convenience through the elimination of plug-in charging, the assurance of safety by removing the risk of electrocution and aesthetically pleasing devices as a result of no visible wiring.