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The simplicity and low cost of capacitive interfaces makes them very attractive for wireless charging stations. Major benefits include low electromagnetic radiation and the amenability of combined power and data transfer over the same interface. We present a capacitive power transfer circuit using series resonance that enables efficient high frequency, moderate voltage operation through soft-switching. An included analysis predicts fundamental limitations on the maximum achievable efficiency for a given amount of coupling capacitance and is used to find the optimum circuit component values and operating point. Automatic tuning loops ensure the circuit operates at the optimum frequency and maximum efficiency over a wide range of coupling capacitance and load conditions. An example interface achieves near 80% efficiency at 3.7 W with only 63pF of coupling capacitance. An automatic tuning loop adjusts the frequency from 4.2 MHz down to 4MHz to allow for 25% variation in the nominal coupling capacitance. The duty cycle is also automatically adjusted to maintain over 70% efficiency for light loads down to 0.3 W.
Date of Conference: 6-11 March 2011