KYOTO – A Kyoto University team has started a demonstration test in Kyoto Prefecture of a motor-assisted bicycle that is designed to charge wirelessly just by parking it in front of a charger stand.
The bicycle, equipped with a receiver on the front basket and a battery pack below the saddle, draws power in the form of microwaves from a 120-centimeter-tall charging stand when its front wheel is docked in a rack at the front of the stand.
Municipal employees in the town of Seika began testing out the bicycle in early March when running official errands. The bike is parked at a parking space at the municipal office and charged only during late night hours to avoid any accidental contact with microwaves that equal 100 watts.
“We would like to help people charge things they use in everyday life, such as mobile phones and electric vehicles,” said Naoki Shinohara, a professor at the university who heads the research team.
Microwaves can heat water if they are strong and could have an impact on the health of humans if they come into contact with the waves. Charging is therefore designed to stop automatically if a person comes within a certain range of the stand.
Plans are afoot to use wireless power transmission technology to send power to Earth from a solar power station floating in space. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and companies have been experimenting with the technology.