As a part of “Seminar Series on Challenges and Opportunities in Energy”, the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at IIT and Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation organized a lecture on “Advancements in Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) Technology”. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Srdjan Lukic of North Carolina State University and hosted by Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy of the ECE Department. The talk included recent advances in WPT in the areas of circuit topologies, mathematical modeling, and system design, control, and implementation.
Dr. Srdjan M. Lukic received his B. S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (2002, 2004, and 2007) in Electrical Engineering from IIT. Currently, he is serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Apart from that, he also serves as the distributed energy storage devices sub-thrust leader at the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Engineering Research Center.
Talking about the extensive research carried out at NCSU, Dr. Lukic gave an overview of the FRREDM center at NCSU, which is also a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Center. The FREEDM center has other prominent research centers in the campus itself, like Advanced Transportation Energy Center, NC State Nanofabrication Facility, Analytical Instrumentation Facility and North Carolina Solar Center.
Dr. Lukic’s major contribution is in the Advanced Transportation Energy Center where he focuses on Power electronics and motor drives. Starting his lecture on Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) which has been an attractive research topic since its first experimentation by Nikola Tesla, Dr. Lukic said it is becoming one of the widely accepted means of transferring power over small to medium distances. Working on the concept of magnetic coupling, this theory continues to attract interest from the scientific community. Dr. Lukic along with his research team have developed a new way to fine-tune WPT receivers, making the systems more efficient and functional. He emphasized on the fact that WPT systems hold promise for charging electric vehicles, electronic devices and other technologies.
Taking the example of vehicular arena, the WPT concept has attracted much interest for stationary electric vehicle chargers due to the convenience and safety of the non-contact approach to vehicle charging. A more visionary application would allow for vehicle on-board storage to be charged as the vehicle is moving, obviating the need for large capacity batteries. Taking on exceptions, he gave an example where current embodiments of practical WPT systems rely on tightly controlled coupling between the source and the receiver, which is usually achieved by mechanical restrictions on the movement of the receiver. But, innovative applications of WPT require that one or many receivers be freely moving and at a substantial distance from the source.
He concluded his talk by narrating about the recent advances in power electronics switching devices, where there is an opportunity to devise efficient wireless power transfer systems operating at higher frequencies and therefore, at larger distances. At the end of the talk, there was a healthy discussion where audience had numerous queries about this new advanced technology. Dr. Lukic answered all their queries and asked them to contact him for any of their future queries. The talk was well attended by ECE faculties and students.