Technology

ELIX MDC: A True Wireless Charging Technology

ELIX provides all the convenience you expect of wireless power transfer The patented ELIX Magneto-Dynamic Coupling (MDC) technology uses the interaction between magnetic fields to create a “remote magnetic gear” system with full 360-degree freedom of orientation. The ELIX Transmitter generates a primary magnetic field which causes the receiver magnet to move. The active receiver magnet generates a secondary magnetic field that induces current in a nearby coil.

Low Frequency

Low Frequency

Using a low frequency of 60-400 Hz, ELIX MDC operates at 1000 times lower frequency than a resonant inductive system

High Coupling Efficiency

High Coupling Efficiency

ELIX MDC technology achieves 99% magnet-to-magnet coupling efficiency versus the ~95% coil-to-coil efficiency of resonant inductive systems

Power Transfer

Power Transfer

ELIX MDC technology transfers power via mechanical torque which maintains a high transfer efficiency independent of transmitter-receiver gap

 

ELIX is SAFE

ELIX MDC is an inherently low-frequency technology that produces much less electromagnetic interference (EMI) than a high-frequency system. It also generates less inductive heat, which can cause fires in nearby objects, making it suitable for a wider range of operating conditions. ELIX MDC can safely send power across air, water, metal, and even human tissue. ELIX MDC is ideal for use in hazardous environments as the ELIX system can be IP sealed and does not rely on electrical contact between the self-contained units.

ELIX is SCALABLE

ELIX MDC provides safe, low-frequency, wireless power at multiple power levels — from μW to hundreds of kW. The highly-efficient wireless power transfer reduces the cost of power transfer as higher power is required. ELIX maintains the same operational efficiency regardless of power transfer. The ELIX system can be adapted to meet a wide range of electrical power needs and individual transfer modules can be combined for a linear power increase to meet the demanding needs of industry and eMobility, while maintaining low-frequency and high-efficiency operation.

 
 

ELIX is ADAPTABLE

The ELIX system can automatically detect the presence of a receiver and begin charging – a true “Park-and-Charge” system. The ELIX system can also automatically react when a metallic object comes into the charging zone and, if necessary, remove some foreign objects without user intervention. The cylindrical geometry of ELIX technology is highly tolerant to misalignment. ELIX’s low-frequency charging is suited for all weather conditions and is adaptable to a wide range of applications.

Watch the ELIX MDC Technology in Action

Frequently Asked Questions

ELIX Wireless Charging systems are designed to produce as much power as a comparable corded charger. The E8K can deliver up to 7.7 kW, similar to the capacity of a Level 2 charger. That means if your vehicle takes 5 hours to charge with a Level 2 charging station then it will take 5 hours to charge with the ELIX E8K.

The ELIX E1K is a 1 kW power transfer system for small EV and battery-powered vehicles. To determine how long it will take to charge it is necessary to know the size of the battery in the vehicle.

Plugging in a vehicle is easy when there is only one vehicle that plugs into one charger (for instance at home) and when the weather is nice or you are in your own garage. As EVs gain market share, however, it is not always so simple as “plug in when you get home”. Owners may not have home charging, there may be multiple vehicles competing for the same charging space, the cable charger may not be easily accessible, or the environment may not make it desirable to stand outside to wait for the charging station to process your card. Any EV driver can appreciate how public charging has more potential problems than home charging. Additionally, car-share and EV fleets may find it desirable to eliminate any requirements for their users to interact with charging hardware. Finally, a self-driving car still needs to be charged but it is not capable of using a cable charger.

We see wireless EV charging as much more than just not needing to plug in a cable, it is an enabling technology that makes the process of charging an EV seamless and effortless. It is about providing a way to allow EVs to always charge, even if there is no driver present. It is a part of a larger evolution of transport that could have the potential to reshape our mobility.

ELIX WPT technology is based on Magneto-Dynamic Coupling (MDC) where wireless power is transferred via the coupling between a primary (transmitter) magnet and a secondary (receiver) magnet, when the two magnets are separated by an air gap. The secondary magnet is typically a permanent magnet that moves in response to the changing field produced by the primary magnet. The motion of the secondary magnet induces an electrical current in the nearby receiver windings. This output frequency from the receiver corresponds to the frequency of the coupling magnetic field and is usually in the high 10’s to low 100’s of Hz.

In contrast, inductive and resonant inductive charging are based on two coils separated by an air gap whereby the primary coil (transmitter) directly causes high-frequency electromagnetic induction in the secondary coil (receiver). The high frequency is needed to achieve sufficient coupling in a reasonably-sized device across a reasonable gap. High frequency operation requires more complex control strategies and capacitive components.

Some people may also be concerned about the safety of radiating fields in the 10’s of kHz, although current safety standards do allow for electromagnetic field exposure in both frequency ranges, however in the 100 Hz range of MDC the effect of a specified magnetic field on the body is determined to be less.

The low operating frequency of the ELIX MDC system does not heat nearby objects as much as a high-frequency inductive field will, meaning that there is no risk of fire or damage from foreign objects in the charging region.

Yes, ELIX WPT technology is safe to human exposure as it has a much lower operating frequency than induction charging systems. In the operating region, the electromagnetic field radiation is below the ICNIRP (2010) limits. The ELIX system produces only slightly more magnetic field than a similarly sized electric motor such as you would find in any industrial or residential setting.

The maximum gap depends on the strength of the magnetic coupling between the primary magnetic and secondary magnetic fields. WPT can be achieved with gaps up to 30cm however for the E1K and E8K the optimal gap is between 8-10 cm between the transmitter and receiver cases.

The noise level of the E1K is about 65 dB at 1 meter away from the installed system. The target goal of the E8K is a noise level at or below 65 dB.

The ELIX system is quite robust to any misalignment between the transmitter and receiver. The system works with misalignment in both the X (forward-backward) and Y (left-right) axes, as well as when the receiver is tilted horizontally. The amount of misalignment is different for each of these axes, but in general a up to 10 cm is allowed in the X and Y directions as well as a +/-10 degree tilt.

The Z-gap of the system is designed to be 8-10cm, however this does not affect the ground clearance of the vehicle as the transmitter is designed to be built into a parking block above the pavement.

If the system is misaligned, the total power output of the MDC receiver is reduced and the amount of the reduction is dependent on which axis is misaligned. The total system efficiency does not reduce with misalignment, including increased Z-gap.

The operating temperature depends on the components used. Practical minimum and maximum operating temperatures are -40oC and 80oC with the maximum operating temperature limited by the permanent magnets. Options to extend the maximum operating temperature to 200oC or beyond are available.

The technology is fully capable of working in outdoor environments in rain and snow as well as in an underwater environment. The MDC system has been tested in cold weather and has been installed on vehicles operating in the day-to-day driving scenario.

If the WPT receiver is mounted above the ground clearance of most vehicles, the receiver will not pick up any ferromagnetic objects. From our operational trials with electric service vehicles at the University of British Columbia, with RCMP patrol vehicles, and with our Alpha prototypes we have not encountered metallic objects stuck to the receiver.

Do you have questions that were not answered? Please don’t hesitate to let us know