Category Archives: Mechanical Projects

Wireless Battery Charger | Inductively Coupled Universal Battery Charger | Charging Batteries Without Wires | Inductive Power Transfer | Inductive Charging

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In the future all electronic devices will be wirelessly powered. Small, battery-powered gadgets make powerful computing portable.

The battery charger should be capable of charging the most common battery types found in portable  devices today.  In addition, the charging  should be  controlled from the base station and a bidirectional communication system between  the pickups  and base  station  should be developed.

Inductive Power Systems:

Inductive Power Transfer (IPT)  refers to the concept of transferring electrical power between two isolated circuits across an air gap.  While based on the work and concepts developed by pioneers such as  Faraday and Ampere, it  is  only recently that IPT has been developed into working systems. 

Essentially, an IPT system can be divided into two parts;

  • Primary and
  • Secondary.

The primary side of the system is made up of a resonant power supply and a coil. This power supply produces a high frequency sinusoidal current in the coil.  The secondary side (or ‘pickup’) has a smaller coil, and a converter to produce a DC voltage.

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Working of Inductive Power Transfer:

In this system communications signals are encoded onto the waveform that provides power to the air gap. Communication from the primary side to the secondary is implemented by switching the power signal at the output of the resonant converter between its normal level  and a lower level which is detectable by the pickup but still provides enough power to control the pickup microcontroller. This process is called Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK). This is achieved by varying the output voltage of the buck converter which provides an input DC voltage to the resonant converter. 

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Communication from the secondary to the primary is achieved by a process called Load Shift Keying (LSK).  This involves varying the loading on the pickup.   Any load on the pickup will reflect a voltage on the primary circuit proportional to the load.  Therefore a variation in the load on the pickup can be detected by the charging station.

The communications system must provide two discrete levels of voltage reflected onto the primary side,  to represent the on and off states for digital communications. The difference must be easily detected on the primary side to provide a robust communications channel. Signals are decoded by simple filters and comparators which feed a  digital signal to the microcontrollers.

Advantages:

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IPT has a number of advantages over other power transfer methods  – it is unaffected by dirt, dust, water, or chemicals.  In situations such as coal mining IPT prevents sparks and other hazards.  As the coupling is magnetic, there is no risk of electrocution even when used in high power systems.  This makes IPT very suitable for  transport  systems where vehicles follow a fixed track,  such as  in factory materials handling.

Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) | A Pressure Switching And Sensing Material Technology | Electro Mechanics Components

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QTC is a composite made from micron-sized metallic filler particles (Silicone Rubber) mixed into an elastomeric matrix. Quantum tunnelling composite is a flexible polymer that exhibits extraordinary electrical properties. In its normal state it is a perfect insulator, but when compressed it becomes a more or less perfect conductor and able to pass very high currents.

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History:

First produced in 1996, QTC is a composite material made from conductive filler particles combined with an elastomeric binder, typically silicone rubber. The unique method of combining these raw materials results in a composite which exhibits significantly different electrical properties when compared with any other electrically conductive material.

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Types of QTC:

1. Elastomeric (Material: Silicone Rubber) (The particle move close together)

2. Ink / Coating Solvent or Aqueous Polymer

3. Granular Sensors

Working of Quantum tunnelling composite:

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QTC usually comes in the form of pills or sheet. QTC pills are just tiny little pieces of the material. The sheets are composed of one layer of QTC, one layer of a conductive material, and a third layer of a plastic insulator. While QTC sheets switch quickly between high and low resistances, QTC pills are pressure sensitive variable resistors.

Application:

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– Touch switches (sheet)
– Force/pressure sensors (pills)
– Motor speed control using force (pills)

Benefits:

  • QTC is a pressure/force sensing material. It can be easily integrated into existing products to enable force sensing opportunities and solutions.
  • Product surfaces can be incorporated, coated or impregnated with QTC to impart the properties of force sensing into or onto the host surface.
  • QTC material can be formed or moulded into virtually any size, thickness or shape, permitting redesign of product interfaces and providing improved ergonomics, aesthetics and user comfort.
  • QTC is an enabling technology which is simple and reliable to use.
  • QTC material is durable – it has no moving parts to wear out.
  • QTC material is mechanically strong.
  • QTC material can be made to withstand extreme temperatures limits.
  • QTC material is versatile, both electrically and physically e.g. Its range and sensitivity can be altered. QTC material is also intrinsically safe – the material is a contactless switch, ideal for sparkless operation.
  • QTC material can be directly interfaced to standard electronic and electrical devices.
  • QTC material and/or technology can be customized for customer requirements, applications and products.