In January 2021, the research and development project Dynacov, wireless dynamic charging started, the first of its kind in the UK. Coventry City Council leads the DynaCov project, alongside key delivery partners Cenex and Coventry University. Funded by Ofgem and WPD (Western Power Distribution), the total budget amounts £475.000 (approx. €546.500) for the study.
Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) exists in three forms: 1) static wireless charging, 2) stationary wireless charging, and 3) dynamic wireless charging. Static wireless charging is performed while a car is parked using a pod on the ground. If a vehicle is charged briefly during its trip, for example at traffic lights, it is called stationary charging and if it is charging whilst driving it is called dynamic wireless charging.
The DynaCov study revolves around dynamic wireless charging. The technology could be used in various applications, which could benefit the transition to zero-emission mobility. For example, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) or city busses can top up their battery during their work cycles instead of having to drive to a specific charge station site. But it could also help the power network by charging vehicles at moments during their journeys, instead of plugging in at peak power demand moments such as in the early evening when people come home from work.
The technology works through magnetic inductive power transfer. Energy flows from one coil to another through electromagnetic induction, a technology you might already be using every day by charging your electric toothbrush. A strip of coils would need to be installed beneath or on the tarmac, and a receiver pad would need to be retrofitted under the vehicle.
Together with our strategic partner in the UK, Cenex Nederland is undertaking a literature review and a feasibility assessment of dynamic wireless charging, focussing on the present and future developments of this innovative technology. Cenex will also assess the impact of this technology on the UK’s electricity networks and assist Coventry University in modelling the grid impacts of dynamic wireless charging on Coventry’s main road.
Partners: Coventry City Council, Coventry University, National Express, Transport for West Midlands, Hubject and Midlands Connect
Funder: Western Distribution
Project timeline: January 2021 – February 2022