WIRELESS CHARGING OF DRONES AND AGVs

With the launch of wireless charging systems and power transfer, iN²POWER introduces unprecedented capabilities for inductive power transfer within logistics, industrial and transport applications.

AGVs are no longer immobilized during charging, which optimizes efficiency and reliability.

Inverto NV, spin off from UGent, is the company that specializes in power electronics that launched the first electric motor without permanent magnets in 2012. A stand of innovation and technical ingenuity that combines the expensive permanent magnet motors. The solid expertise in power electronics in general and inductive loading in particular gives Inverto the opportunity to step through to iN²POWER to become a leading role in Industry 4.0.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 encompasses the ‘Internet of Things’ where all parts of a factory are wirelessly connected to a network. The machines tell the network how much they produce, what their status is and what parts are going to wear. Sensors also speak the products with the system and indicate where they are and in what state they are. You can also tell the factory how to produce from the outside, after which the machines automatically adjust.

An important element in this whole story is to optimize the freight handling.

Goods and material handling by warehouse trucks and forklifts usually takes place via electric batteries

Industrial manufacturing companies and logistics companies automate the flow of semi-finished products and goods. Investments in sustainable logistics equipment are growing strongly. In Belgium, an increase of 8 percent is expected for the 3rd consecutive year compared to 2015.

The downside is that these expensive investment goods are immobilized during charging and thereby reducing the scope of operation and useful working hours. Wireless transmission of energy in logistics, industrial and transport applications is a must for these 24/24 and 7/7 forklift trucks to be used and reliable.

What brings iN²POWER’s new technology to AGVs?

The technology of iN²POWER means that batteries of electric vehicles are charged wirelessly and without charge.

Mr. Peter Besard, COO states: ‘Inferred asset transfer products are being launched today. The purpose is to build these modules so that auto-guided vehicles, at any location near their activity, are provided with the necessary energy. Or because the batteries exchange energy, either because they are charged when they park next to a pallet or make inductive contact over the floor. That way, unnecessary distances to available charging stations are disabled or restricted. This time-saving allows continuous activity, which results in increased returns so that an optimization of the investment goods is realized. ‘

Application in the healthcare sector?

AGVs can also be used in hospitals and retirement homes, for example, for the distribution of medication to patients or the provision of meals.

Humanoid robots that find more and more access to the healthcare sector, work on batteries that need to be recharged.

IN²POWER plant to set up a pilot project for the development of a hospital in Ghent. In this respect, the technological aspect is not important, but also the acceptance of the AGVs by the caregivers as well as the health and medical staff

Drones also need to refuel electrically

In the B2B market for professional drones there is a strong evolution. However, most drones can remain in the air for a limited time, a flight time of more than 30 minutes is rare. After that, the drones must land and plug in the power socket for 1 or 2 hours. These restrictions are a major breakthrough for drones in the road. A larger battery is not an answer as this results in heavier drones and that is not the ideal answer.

Peter Besard, initiator and chairman of the board of directors, clarifies: “Over the years, we have built-in technological knowledge of Inverto focused on new application markets. Now is the time to make a positive difference in the professional drone market. Wireless battery charging will translate into wider range of action radius, useful working hours and additional functionalities. ‘