Project #2: Electrified Roadways

April ’24 Updates

Project leads: Khurram Afridi, Cornell University, & Marv Halling, Utah State University 

Key Accomplishments for this Quarter:

  • Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Pilot formally launched, and construction was started on Monday, April 1.
  • Three-phase transmitter/receiver design rated at 230 kW peak has been adopted in the INDOT pilot. The transmitter and receiver coils were instantiated in Purdue’s lab and characterized for model validation. The receiver is being finalized.
  • The preparation of asphalt mix samples utilizing modified binders has been completed. A comparative analysis conducted between these modified samples and unmodified binders evaluated temperature differences caused by the coils. This informs our next step of testing to determine more accurate modeling of the asphalt’s behavior under stress of different temperatures.
  • An improved concrete mixture has been selected as a durable options for electrification due to its unique multiple micro-cracking property, promising reductions in crack width, and high fatigue-resistance.
  • Performed a series of testing on water diffusion and low-velocity impact (LVI) on epoxy casting materials. Rigid epoxy results were consistent with models, but further testing will be done of flexible epoxy specimens.
  • Developed a thermal model in ANSYS Fluent for power transfer scenarios of 10 kW and 6 kW, planning to validate it through experiments. They also conducted a test flight to optimize flight parameters and gather thermal images for image processing optimization. Additionally, they reviewed literature on using UAVs for thermal assessments of pavement structures.
  • Two publications to highlight are:
    • 1 paper presented at the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC):
      • High bandwidth Control of a 21 kW Unfolding-based AC-DC Converter Using Extra Element Theorem and Current Emulation Technique
      •   By Aditya Zade, Shubhangi Gurudiwan, Mahmoud Mansour, Bryce Hesterman, Dragan Maksimović, and Regan Zane
    • Another paper that’s been written and will be presented at the IEEE Wireless Power Transfer Technology Conference and Expo (WPTCE) in Kyoto, Japan in May 2024.

Industry and Innovation Highlights:

  • In addition to the construction beginning on our dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) pilot, Cummins is partnering with our team at Purdue to build a Class 8 truck that will charge while it’s driving on the renovated DWPT highway. The receiver, core, and shielding structure have been design and instantiated in the laboratory, and the receiver is currently undergoing characterization and validation.
  • Structural validation was completed at the Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) facility.
    We conducted 50,000 passes on both flexible and rigid sections. Among the two pavement sections, only the rigid pavement exhibited visible distress, identified as a mid-panel crack.
  • The team has started collecting data on the economic advantages of electrified roadways, collaborating with ASPIRE members and gathering insights from real-world ERS testbeds, with contributions from various organizations like AECOM, HDR, Cummins, and the PA Turnpike. They’re also working on establishing communication channels with technology providers to create a user-friendly cost tool focusing on construction, power infrastructure, and technology expenses across different locations.

Advancements in Alleviating Barriers or Challenges to Widespread EV Adoption:

  • Our project is helping reduce the cost of electric vehicles by reducing the size of the onboard batteries and instead delivering power to the electric vehicles (EVs) wirelessly from electrified roadways. The lower cost of EVs will help with their widespread adoption.  
  • We are working on making electrified pavements more durable. This will alleviate transportation department concerns regarding the life of electrified roadways and help with their greater adoption, which in turn will enable greater adoption of EVs.
  • We are working on reducing the cost of the electrified roadways with dynamic wireless charging capability, which will enable widespread deployment of such technology and alleviate EV range anxiety. 

Advancements of Interest to Marginalized or Underserved Communities:

  • Our work on electrified roadways will result in cost reduction of electric vehicles through the use of smaller batteries, which will enable marginalized and underserved communities to own electric vehicles.
  • Our work on longer life and lower costs of electrified roadways will enable this technology to be deployed in all communities, including marginalized and underserved communities.
  • Our work on testing electrified roadways will ensure that such technology is robust and able to serve all communities, including marginalized and underserved communities.