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Spinning magnets make wirelessly charging electric cars easy

By / 11.01.12

Wireless charging is simple and easy, as of right now. Unfortunately, it’s also insanely dangerous because it requires powerful magnetic fields that can fry electronics and destroy your health. So some Canadian researchers have invented a wireless charging system that gets rid of the powerful magnetic fields.

magnetic rotors

YouTube/UBC


The system is simplicity itself. Let’s say you’re driving an electric car, and pull up to the charging station. Instead of getting out, your parking there triggers a magnet to start spinning. The field from the magnet grabs onto a similar magnet in your car, which also begins to spin… and starts charging your batteries, as the car converts the kinetic energy to electricity.

They don’t need to be perfectly aligned, either: You simply park your car, get out, and do what you need to do. Unfortunately, it’s not perfect: Getting a full charge on your car will take four hours or so.

But this system does mean you don’t have to fool around with power cables in the rain. It may not make electric cars worth it quite yet, but it does get rid of a major annoyance in owning one.

No Strings Attached [University of British Columbia]


TAGSElectric carsGadgetsGadgets for menmagnetic rotorsneat stuffUniversity of British Columbiawireless charging
Dan Seitz
About Dan Seitz... Dan Seitz is a semi-professional nerd (he'll have to code a homebrew game for the NES before he goes pro). He grew up fiddling with video game systems, computers, cameras, and other technology you should never hand to an eight-year-old if you want it back in pristine condition. Currently, he lives in Boston with his girlfriend, her cat, a Shih Tzu, and far too many objects with processors.

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