Now they are looking to take their charging system to market.
Lead researcher at the uni’s School of Engineering, Dr Seyedfoad Taghizadeh, tells us their bidirectional charger would suit electric motorcycles as well as other electric vehicles.
“We have built the laboratory prototype of the device, and currently working to reduce its size to be acceptable for commercialisation,” the Doc says.
“The size of the device can be reduced to be applied for both cars and motorbikes, although this requires financial support from an investor/manufacturer.”
Power grid issues
One of the biggest concerns about mandating a proportion of new vehicles as electric is the load they might have on an already overstretched power grid.
However, Dr Taghizadeh points out that this charger would have the opposite effect and a actually support the electricity grid.
“Our charger creates less anxiety on the power network than existing systems,” he says.
In some ways it is like the Nissan Leaf electric car charger that puts power back into the grid and only charges when there is low load on the grid.
If there were a lot of these electric vehicles putting power back into the grid during early evening peak load times, it would prevent brownouts.
“It means that for houses that rely on batteries for storage, the fully charged vehicle is also capable of feeding power in the other direction, thus becoming a back-up system,” the Doc says.
“Furthermore, while the device is used for charging/discharging the electric vehicle at home, it is capable of improving the power quality of the local power grid (household grid) via reducing the harmonics and improving the voltage profile of the local grid.
“The device uses an advanced control system which minimises the output transients of the chargers operation.”
This is yet another step toward making electric vehicles more appealing to motorists.