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01 Sep 2014 Science

Contactless connectors development for application in high power based on inductive coupling resonant

The project involves the creation of a system of contactless (non-conductive) connectors based on resonant inductive coupling (resonant transformer), which aimed to be used in heating  textiles, including heating towels for thermotherapy and other medical or household devices in the power range of  100 W to 1000 W. These towels contain resistances (heating by Joule effect), which are intended to be fed through a contactless connector.

In this innovative concept, the towel is fed through a clamp, which is placed in a specific area of ​​the towel, under which lies the secondary winding of the transformer. The primary winding and respective shielding reside in the circular plates of the clamp.

The primary consists of two series-connected planar coils, so that the respective magnetic fluxes are additive; it can be viewed as a center-tapped primary. The size of the clamp is intended to be as small as possible, envisaging a functional system. This requirement forces the maximization of the power density (W / m2) in the energy-transfer region.

The described paradigm is not limited to the textile application field, extending to special applications involving intense mechanical and/or chemical wear, due to the frequent use and/or chemically harsh environments. Examples of such applications are connectors for charging the batteries of vehicles or power tools, and connectors for corrosive, sterilized, explosive or underwater non-conductive environments.

Another important topic is the study of appropriate screening and shielding, for minimizing the radiated power into electromagnetic waves (radio waves, in this case), an important aspect to ensure system security. Finally, an experimental system will be built, for obtaining experimental data and assessing the actual performance.

This project is funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the doctoral fellowship with reference SFRH / BD / 80551/2011, within the framework of the PhD research work of Carlos Marques under the guidance of Professor José Gerardo Vieira da Rocha,  from Centro Algoritmi, with co-supervision of Professor Raul Fangueiro.

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