Top Image: KAIST and Korea Railroad Research Institute displayed wireless power transfer technology to the public on Feb. 13 by testing it on railroad tracks at Osong Station in Korea. Photo courtesy Hyung-Joon Juen/KAIST.

Wireless Electricity Transmission Being Deployed to Power Korean Mass Transit

February 15th, 2013 | by Michael Keller

Korean trams and buses are moving away from overhead power wires and high-voltage third rails—literally.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have made major advances in wireless power transfer for mass transit systems. The fruits of their labor, systems called On-line Electric Vehicles (OLEV), are already being road tested around Korea.

At it’s heart, the technology uses inductive coupling to wirelessly transmit electricity from power cables embedded in roadways to pick-up coils installed under the floor of electric vehicles.
The work was hailed as one of the year’s top 10 emerging technologies by the World Economic Forum this week.

Engineers say the transmitting technology supplies 180 kW of stable, constant power at 60 kHz to passing vehicles that are equipped with receivers. The initial OLEV models above received 100 kW of power at 20 kHz through an almost eight-inch air gap. They have recorded 85 percent transmission efficiency through testing so far.

Read more: Wireless Electricity Transmission Being Deployed to Power Korean Mass Transit — txchnologist.com.

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