Wiferion automates charging of field robots in outdoor areas

17-11 | |
Photo: Wiferion
Photo: Wiferion

Wiferion’s fast-charging and weatherproof etaLINK charging system transfers energy automatically and is wireless according to the principle of magnetic induction.

With its etaLINK inductive fast charging system, Wiferion, the AGV wireless charging technology company from Freiburg, Germany, will show at Fira 2021 how field robot batteries can be charged automatically, even in harsh outdoor conditions.

Weatherproof charging station

Wiferion's fast-charging system transfers the energy automatically, highly efficiently and is wireless according to the principle of magnetic induction. Moisture, dirt or dust cannot harm the system which is encapsulated. - Photo: Wiferion
Wiferion’s fast-charging system transfers the energy automatically, highly efficiently and is wireless according to the principle of magnetic induction. Moisture, dirt or dust cannot harm the system which is encapsulated. – Photo: Wiferion

The etaLINK charger has an IP 65 certification and is weatherproof. Moisture, dirt or dust cannot harm the system which is encapsulated. “If agricultural robots are to work in 24/7 continuous operation in the future, they will need to be supplied with power out in the fields. In combination with a mobile charging station, our charging systems can provide the robots with fully automated energy in wind and weather,” says Julian Seume, CMO & Head of Sales at Wiferion.

According to Wiferion, there are now more than 3,000 of its chargers in use in more than 20 countries. “Our charging solution perfectly fits the requirements of agricultural applications. Due to its advantages, inductive charging has what it takes to become the standard for supplying energy to mobile agricultural robots,” Julian Seume said.

Compatible with all battery-driven robots

In general, the etaLINK system is compatible with all electrically driven field robots. According to Wiferion, it’s not so much a matter of compatibility of the robot but about the battery voltage. It’s current system supports system voltages of 15 to 60 V.

The wireless charger can be used for any kind of battery independent of cell chemistry, but Wiferion recommends Li-Ion-batteries to achieve the full potential output. etaLINK supports monitored charging mode (CC-CV) and charger controlled (CAN) automatic mode.

Plug and play

The system provides 3,000 W of charging power. Charging time will depend on the battery capacity and charging current capability of the battery. Wiferion states the system is “plug and play. The mobile component is connected to the battery and the stationary side to the grid, that’s all.”

Currently, etaLINK is available in Europe. Wiferion says it cannot disclose information regarding prices, or whether the company is working with field robot manufacturers to further develop its charging system.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming
More about