KEPCO, Daihen Use Solar Electricity to Wirelessly Charge Electric Carts in Park

2020/02/17 18:32
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The "Aozora Konsento" wireless charging system equipped with a solar power generation system (source: KEPCO)
The electric cart made by recycling a used hybrid vehicle (source: KEPCO)

The Kansai Electric Power Co Inc (KEPCO) and Daihen Corp started a demonstration test of a next-generation mobility service by using a wireless charging station equipped with solar panels to charge electric carts in the Expo'70 Commemorative Park (Suita City, Osaka Prefecture).

The period of the test is from Feb 13 to 18, 2020. It is a demonstration test aimed at enabling visitors to move around the park more conveniently. The two companies aim to realize a service that enables visitors to call an electric cart by using the "On-demand Vehicle Allocation Reservation System" iPhone-compatible application and use the cart as a measure to go to the destination.

The electric cart is made by removing basic components such as motors and batteries from used hybrid vehicles and recycling them. It is a five-seat (including the driver) vehicle. Its maximum speed, drive range and charging time are 19km/h, about 30km and about three hours, respectively.

The wireless charging system, "Aozora Konsento (blue sky outlet)," is equipped with 930W of solar panels and a 4.8kWh storage battery. It starts charging an electric cart when the user places the cart on the wireless charging station. The system was set up at two places in the park.

The Aozora Konsento was developed by TPlan Inc (Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture), which runs an ultra-small mobility business in Himeshima, Oita Prefecture, etc. The wireless charging station is manufactured by Daihen (See related article).

Also, in the demonstration test, the two companies will (1) use two-seat ultra-small vehicles to improve business convenience for managers in the park, (2) evaluate the potential of car sharing, (3) test a monitoring service using "Ottade!," which enables to use a smartphone to check the locations of beacons being carried by children and elderly people, and (4) analyze the flow of people.

To carry out the test, the two companies received help from "Demonstration Project Promotion Team Osaka," which consists of Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City and the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The organization supports demonstration tests by, for example, adjusting/supplying demonstration fields with a view to Expo 2025, whose concept is "Test Site for Future Society."