University Uses Tesla Technology to Wirelessly Charge Bus

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 today; 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.

USU’s Aggie Bus has achieved several significant milestones. It is the first bus developed and designed by a North American organization that is charged with wireless power transfer technology and is the world’s first electric bus with WPT technology combining the three following performance metrics: A power level up to 25 kilowatts, greater than 90 percent efficiency from the power grid to the battery and a maximum misalignment of up to six inches.

“The unveiling of the Aggie Bus today is a historic achievement and a great leap forward in the science and engineering related to electric vehicles,” said Robert T. Behunin, Ph.D., USU vice president of commercialization and regional development. “As a result of the work done by Utah State engineers, scientists and partners, EV owners and operators will now be able to simply drive over a pad in the ground to recharge their batteries, the benefits of which reach far beyond convenience.”

WAVE Inc., a Utah State University spin-out company, worked in cooperation with the USTAR Advanced Transportation Institute to develop the Aggie Bus. WAVE tackles the problem of heavy and expensive electric vehicle batteries through wireless power that transfers electricity between vehicles and the roadway. The Aggie Bus represents a market-ready product that will be used to retire significant technical risk as WAVE moves onto full-scale projects next year.

WAVE, in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority, will launch its first commercial demonstration in mid-2013 on the University of Utah’s campus. It will feature a 40-foot transit bus on a public transit route and an increase in wireless power transfer charging from 25 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts. The project has been funded by a $2.7 million TIGGER grant from the Federal Transit Administration and the University of Utah which purchased the bus. WAVE intends to deliver a commercially ready product that operates with the same reliability as current public transit bus options, including diesel and compressed natural gas buses.

How it works:

“Current battery limitations prevent an all-electric transit bus from operating all day from an overnight charge. WAVE solves that problem by charging the bus wirelessly during its daily operations when the bus stops to load and off-load passengers,” said Wesley Smith, CEO of WAVE. “This technology makes electric buses competitive with their diesel hybrid and CNG counterparts.”

Utah State University has refashioned the way in which it conducts its technology transfer operation. The office of Commercial Enterprises, a division of Commercialization and Regional Development, provides a one-stop-shop for industry partnership and intellectual property development. The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative is an innovative and far-reaching initiative of the Utah legislature to bolster Utah’s high-tech economy by investing in university research programs and recruiting new, high caliber faculty. Utah State’s wireless power transfer team is a significant part of USU’s USTAR portfolio.

SOURCE: Utah State University and WAVE Inc

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34 Responses to "University Uses Tesla Technology to Wirelessly Charge Bus"

  1. johndjasper  December 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Sounds incredibly good. Unfortunately, there’s no mention on the amount of radiation generated by this technology and/or any health implications. Is this because there are no issues or because, as usual, such worries are always disregarded until the system is up and running?

    • Geoff  January 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      @ john d jasper, AC radiation is all around you everyday, [unless you are Amish] and i don’t believe any of it is killing you, in fact Nicola Tesla worked with it for many years and is said to have discovered frequencies that gave him relief from pain, during his experiments, and he lived to a good age as well.

    • Malvolio  April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      No radiation involved. Just magnetism, to which humans are not sensitive.

    • Eirhead  April 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      LOL @ Malvolio, “Magnetic Waves” is another word for “Radiation.” @ JohnDJasper, it’s extremely easy to measure the radiation levels… In Canada, for example, we have Safety Code 6 and the radiation levels inside and around the bus would have to conform to levels set by the standard. Pretty much all countries around the world have their own versions of Safety Code 6. I’m pretty sure the people who are working on this are well aware of the levels.

      It’s important to note, that they claim an emitter to battery efficiency at higher than 90%, and you have to drive over a pad to recharge. So you can think of it more like an air-gapped transformer. I’m guessing they’re also using a frequency below FM signals, but I’m not sure. Humans can stand quite high levels of radiation in the 10kHz – 100MHz range. Frequencies in the GHz range and upwards start to become much more dangerous more quickly at lower power levels.

    • johndjasper  April 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks, Eirhead. Very useful information

  2. Nic  December 6, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I want this to go ahead… It’s so Awesome

    2 Questions.

    1) How long will a battery last, i.e. if the bus is caught in extended traffic, will in run out of juice before hitting the next pad.

    2) Has Shell, Exxon or Caltex approached you yet?

  3. Juicy Moosey  December 6, 2012 at 3:11 am

    2) Has Shell, Exxon or Caltex approached you yet?


  4. mistercrow50000  December 6, 2012 at 5:20 am

    every time the bus stops at a bus stop the bus charges .. it would be brilliant. bring it on. in my opinion they deliberately held back this technology as they had it in 1800’s

  5. bobpixel  December 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Use it at airports for shuttle buses!

  6. Teo Rin  December 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Awesome application of one of Nickola Tesla’s ventures, unfortunatelly he couldn’t make money for J.P Morgan, his investor at the time, so the project was scrambled. His ultimate vision was not constricted by adjacency though

  7. lionellodge  December 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    There is no radiation for AC power, it is electricity.

    • linlo68  April 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      EMR is a form of radiation that is associated with a Electromagnetic Field. All electrical divices emit EMF and therefore some amount of EMR.

  8. Mandible  January 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    how will rain or snow on the ground effect the bus’s ability to charge over the charge pad?? Another likely situation: the bus can’t stop exactly over the stop pad because of whatever reason – we see this all the time (traffic, road condition) and the riders have to walk from the bus shelter to meet the bus somewhere a little down the road? How often does the bus need to be charged? Great technology, but definitely lots more kinks to work out before its feasible to apply on a large scale!

  9. David J. Kent  January 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    It’s nice to see Nikola Tesla starting to get some credit for all that he gave to humanity. I have a book on Tesla coming out this spring.

  10. alesuber  January 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Wipeout (game) age is coming :P

  11. Tetryonics101  February 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This is just the beginning. For a Tesla level understanding of Physics Tetryonics comes to the rescue. Everything you were taught in Physics stands corrected. Welcome to a new era in human achievement and understanding. THIS IS BIG NEWS!!!

  12. Mr.T  April 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    They need to rethink this technology. To install this sort of infrastructure into every bus stop will negate any cost saving from not using gasoline. Not sure what would happen if metallic debris would get between the bus and the pad during charging… fun concept, but I would rather invest in better battery and keep the charging cycle at the bus depot through wired technology.

  13. Wallace Loucks  April 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Too bad JP Morgan and the rest of those Bankster faggots didn’t allow Tesla to go ahead with his idea all those years ago. The world would be in a better place.

  14. john  April 8, 2013 at 7:11 am

    tesla’s electro magnetic generators could be in every home… ask the IBEW and GE why we don’t have them. These buses could have smaller generators on board and never need a charge! Same goes with planes look at a new engine angellabsllc com or water powered cars brownsgas com or flying cars moller com we have so many technologies that could be used to employ millions except for greed, profit and the “idiots in washington” and of course unions. click the links there for a picture

    or here

    jp morgan and edison didn’t allow tesla to give us free energy because there was no meter on his designs, morgan was a banker he needed profits and edison hated tesla after he beat edison in the ac dc wars.

  15. Justin Kemmerer  April 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    If it’s planning on having it charge every time it stops to pick up passengers this won’t work for city buses unless you’re going to install the charging pads into the streets throughout a city where you’ll get a lot of wear and tear from cars on the road.

    Could be interesting for Greyhounds though.

  16. Peter Brockhoff  April 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    This is definitely very interesting. In Europe a similar technology is already operational for 10 years. The current version from Proov and Conductix has a induction charger that only needs a couple of minutes on certain bus stops to recharge. That way the total cost of the electric bus is less than a Diesel bus.

    • José Luiz Ferreira  April 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      As far as a quick search informed me, induction charged buses are in circulation in a Dutch city. One city in The Netherlands is hardly “Europe”, but the fact itself is a good reason for hope. Can you tell me if other Dutch cities – or, better still, other European contries – are following suit?

  17. Aris  April 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Wireless power transfer…and the cancer will rules the world

  18. Sergei  November 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    It has been almost a year since this article was published. Does anybody know if there have been any updates on the performance of this technology?

    Sergei Jr.


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