Wireless charging for ICPT trams (Inductive Coupling Power Transfer)
Lines of specialisation
The challenge posed by CAF is to develop a wireless charging system for trams that do not require any type of direct electrical contact such as catenaries, cables or sockets, to recharge the trains’ batteries.
IKERLAN and CAF have developed a wireless charging demonstrator, also called an inductive charger, which allows recharging the tram batteries. The equipment consists of a coil buried under the ground and another installed in the lower part of the tram, in addition to the necessary power converters to guarantee the transfer of energy between them.
The system allows the batteries to charge automatically, without the need for any action from the driver, such when waiting at a traffic light, while passengers get off at a stop or while in the parking garage.
Through this development, which has been tested on a CAF RUBES tram, the feasibility of wireless charging (50 kW) has been proven. This technology, which is compatible with the rest of the loading methods that CAF uses in its trams with energy storage systems, provides great comfort in the usage, and does not require additional safety measures that avoid electrical contacts.