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Shimano to Introduce Wi-fi Charging of Elements Whereas Driving?






Will Shimano’s next-generation Di2 componentry re-charge wirelessly throughout driving? The model’s newest patent titled “Bicycle Element, Non-Contact Charging System and Non-Contact Charging Methodology”, suggests it isn’t outdoors the realms of chance.

US Patent 20230021733 A1 describes a non-contact charging system for bicycle parts that is ready to use electromagnetic induction or magnetic resonance to wirelessly cost an digital dropper seatpost, suspension adjuster, lamp, and a entrance derailleur.

It spells out a state of affairs whereby an eBike’s most important battery (known as the non-contact charging machine), housed throughout the downtube, is ready to wirelessly cost the batteries of the aforementioned digital parts throughout driving. The implications of that? First off, your top-end full suspension eMTB with its electronically adjustable suspension damping, digital dropper seat submit, and even its built-in lights, could possibly be recharged wirelessly, such that you simply’d solely ever want to recollect to recharge a single battery. And, there are loads extra advantages available from such a system…

We await Shimano’s touch upon the proposed expertise. Within the meantime, right here’s an summary of the disclosed invention.

Characteristic picture annotation by Cory Benson

The one parts that Shimano’s newest patent excludes is a rear derailleur and the eBike motor itself. Shimano does have a patent on a self-charging rear derailleur (EP2535257 A1), although. So, being self-sufficient, it wouldn’t necessitate the non-contact charging system described herein.

shimano non contact charging ebike components road front derailleur lamp

I digress. This newest patent, printed twenty sixth January 2023, depicts the implementation of the wi-fi charging system on each a street bike and a full suspension mountain bike however acknowledges potential use on any bicycle, equivalent to a cargo bike, gravel bike, commuter bike, and so forth. For the street bike, a entrance derailleur and lamp are talked about because the digital gadgets that could possibly be charged in a non-contact method. On the mountain bike, the checklist of parts that stand to learn additionally features a lamp, along with an digital dropper seat submit, and an electronically adjustable suspension (fork and shock).

Let’s take the digital suspension adjustment (Fig. 6) for instance.

shimano non contact charging electronic suspension damping adjustment module

We beforehand coated Shimano’s patent on an digital suspension management module with the power to regulate the suspension stroke. That very same expertise is alluded to on this newest patent, nevertheless it goes additional to counsel the module would additionally be capable to alter the softness/firmness of the suspension. That will properly seek advice from the damping traits, or certainly the sag. No matter might come of it, the purpose right here is that the suspension adjustment module is likely one of the parts described as chargeable in a non-contact method, i.e., wirelessly.

In Fig. 6, you may see a telescopic suspension fork with a chargeable battery unit (102) coupled to an electrical actuator or electrical motor (100a). Inside that meeting, the Shimano patent describes a hypothetical sequence of “parts”, together with an influence receiver, a non-contact charging portion, a non-contact charging coil, a controller, a wi-fi communicator, an AC/DC Converter, and a chargeable energy supply. That is diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 3.

shimano non contact charging method logic diagram
Fig. 3: A schematic block diagram of a bicycle part system (e.g. digital suspension adjuster or digital dropper seat submit) and a non-contact charging machine (e.g. the eBike’s most important battery)

Right here’s the place it will get fascinating.

The patent reads, “non-contact charging transmits energy by electromagnetic induction utilizing a frequency in a band between roughly 100 kHz and 200 kHz”. Now, induction charging requires the charging machine and component-to-be-charged to be in shut proximity to 1 one other. So, whereas there can be no direct wire connection for the precise charging, a wire would nonetheless be required to route a movement of electrons from the eBike’s most important battery to the non-contact charging coil housed close to the suspension adjustment module, whether or not it’s positioned on a fork or a rear shock damper.

What are the advantages of that? Properly, the rider received’t have to recharge the battery individually. Nonetheless, you might be truly including wires as in comparison with the present crop of RockShox Flight Attendant forks, or a present digital dropper seat submit, each of which merely home a detachable rechargeable battery. Extra wires imply extra inner routing to take care of, better potential for rattle, a much bigger headache for the mechanic… and so forth. The flip aspect of that’s that the battery (or rechargeable energy supply as it’s referred to) could possibly be lots smaller, on condition that its cost can be continually replenished by the electromagnetic induction. That has the potential to make the part itself lighter.

Magnetic Resonance Non-Contact Charging of Bike Elements?

Right here’s the place it will get far more fascinating.

The patent goes on, “Then again, the at the very least non-contact charging coil will be configured to make use of magnetic resonance in order that the non-contact charging gadgets will be one or two meters away from the bicycle parts. When the non-contact charging coil receives electrical energy by way of magnetic resonance, the wi-fi communicator is used to speak info to and from the non-contact charging gadgets”.

The Shimano patent mentions an digital dropper seat submit that may be recharged in a non-contact trend, housing a battery unit (86) and an electrical drive mechanism (84) and motor (84a). Herein, the ability receiver and AC/DC converter are housed by the electrical drive mechanism.

Subsequent-level, proper? In such a situation, you can have truly-wireless recharging of your digital parts. A serious profit? Solely needing to recharge one battery – the principle battery of your eBike.

That stated, it appears possible this expertise could possibly be utilized on an everyday bike, too. In any case, it’s not simply eBikes that profit from digital dropper seat posts, suspension adjusters, built-in lights, and so forth. If Shimano had been to make the magnetic resonance-mediated non-contact charging methodology a actuality, they might nonetheless apply it on an everyday bike. There would nonetheless be a most important battery which might be the non-contact charging machine – it might merely be lots smaller and lighter.

The place is Shimano going with this?

Towards a future of higher built-in digital parts that require much less enter from the rider, on bikes and e-bikes which might be lighter and cleverer than ever… I assume? Sure, I can hear the mechanics choking on their dinner. I do apologize, I meant you no hurt. Jokes apart, it appears the potential is actually there. The idea is sort of marvelous, however any advantages can be contingent upon equally marvelous execution.

I’ll end up by saying that this patent is merely an outline of a proposed invention. We aren’t saying that Shimano is engaged on this non-contact charging system proper now, nor are we saying that it’ll ever make it to the market within the format described herein, or every other format for that matter. If we hear again from Shimano, we’ll replace you guys straight away.

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