By: Zoe Crain
One of the two CE/SE/EE detail teams is led by Kristina Landen. Landen’s team’s name is WiPowT: an acronym for Wireless Power Transmission. WiPowT’s primary advisor is Professor Dennis Kodimer, with a secondary advisor being Dr. Ed Post.
The course names and numbers are SE451 Software Team Project 2 and EE421 Senior Capstone, as Landen’s team is a blended SE/EE team.
Landen’s team consists of four members; herself, Michael Buck, EE, Christina Openshaw, SE, and Paloma Symmonds, SE.
The team is proving the feasibility of wireless power transfer for the potential commercial application of in-flight drone charging.
WiPowT has two forms. Each has a coil and a loop made from magnetic wire that are separated by an air gap.
Power is transferred from one form to the other across the air gap. Says Landen, “Imagine your wireless phone charger, but lift your phone a few inches. That’s what we’re doing.”
The project idea was presented by the team’s industry sponsor, Dialog Semiconductors. The project was pitched in the hopes for Dialog to advance in a developing industry (wireless charging) that was still related to Dialog’s primary industry, the construction of power devices.
The biggest difficulty faced by WiPowT this semester, says Landen, is definitely the learning curve. “This is an EE heavy project, with a team composed of 75 percent SEs.
We have all had to learn a lot regarding basic EE concepts, as well as the theory needed to understand inductive resonant coupling, the theoretical principle behind our project.”
As of halfway through April, the team has constructed proof-of-concept prototype forms which contain a coil and a loop.
There are three different sizes for each; 10 cm, 15 cm, and 20 cm. These different sizes will allow the team to measure power transfer and efficiencies between symmetric and asymmetric designs.
The team also has a number of physical and circuit simulations in NL5, ElectroMagneticWorks with SolidWorks, and ANSYS Maxwell.
The simulations allow WiPowT to simulate their physical system and obtain physical results without ever powering on the system itself.
In order to finish their project, WiPowT still needs to complete a full power-on test before their symposium presentation.
They also need to finish obtaining values from ANSYS to conclude their simulations.
And of course, they must finalize all their documentation to release into their Configuration Management Library.
At the end of the day, WiPowT is most excited by the fact that their project has allowed them to integrate hardware and software concepts into a working physical product.
WiPowT would like to thank their advisors, Prof. Kodimer and Dr. Post, in addition to Jim Weber, Dr. Davis, Dr. Sulyman, Dr. Beck, Jeff Hiatt, Patrick David, Ryan Sutton, Dr. Hayashibara, and Dan Kowalsky for their continued support throughout the completion of the project. Without them, WiPowT would not be where they are today.