The very first opening topic of the Tech & Engineering first season goes about electric mobility. Firstly because everybody is involved with mobility; secondly, because it is reducing CO2 emissions to zero. The Bombardier Primove technology consists of integrating wireless charging batteries on electric rails, roads, and public transportation stops.
The wireless charging is made possible by the electromagnetical induction principle - the word might sound scary to some of you, but it only consists of energy transfer between two magnetic components: an alternative current in a primary circuit (let us take a coil here, because it yields the most eficient power transfers) always generates an electromagnetic field, and, as you can imagine, this field will influence a secondary circuit (the iron core, matching the coil), if both circuits are close enough. The influence is mainly characterised as voltage (called electromotive force in the case of induction), which is actually one of the form under which energy can be used: YES, a car with an iron core in its battery can be wirelessly charged by a coil integrated in the road right below !
Concretely, the Primove has already been installed in different cities around the world and via different transportation means:
- An e-bus line in Berlin, since 2015 - where batteries have been integrated to buses, end stations and buses stops on a line. The zero-emission buses are able to cover the 6.1km bus line by charging at each stop for several minutes, and a longer time at the end stations. Other cities in Germany, Belgium, and Scandinavia are successfully using Bombardier Primove e-buses to this day.
- An entire tram system is functionning in Nanjing, China.
- In Lommel, Belgium, a research project is running on a public transportation bus as well as on a Volvo C30 car.
The main appeal to Bombardier Primove is the substantial reduction of downtime powering, in addition to the flexibility that this e-technology offers: batteries are optimised in size, weight and efficiency, and are easily replaceable.