Past opportunity

Wireless Charging for Elevators with KONE

Wireless charging
Contactless
Elevator car

Industry

People, Material & Robotics Flow

Revenue

2021

€10.5B

Employees

2021

60,000+

Countries

2021

60+

What are we looking for?

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, is constantly looking for more efficient and sustainable electrification systems for elevators. To reach these goals and to serve KONE’s customers in new value-adding ways, we are looking for solution providers developing innovative wireless power transmission systems to help KONE charge elevator car batteries at higher power, with more energy and better cost-efficiency than current systems.

Your wireless charging solution in KONE elevators

Modern elevators may include batteries that provide electricity to appliances in the car. Charging this battery should happen without disturbing the normal operation of the elevator. One solution for this is wireless charging: a fast-growing and innovative technology segment, which is gaining traction among KONE customers. However, so far, we have seen only limited applications for wireless charging technologies in elevator systems due to insufficient power generation and cost-efficiency.

To overcome these and other challenges, we are looking for innovative wireless power transfer systems for elevators. Solutions are needed to deliver operating power wirelessly to one or more batteries of the elevator car without using cables or other direct connections to power the elevator car subsystems. The need for these solutions is highlighted in KONE's high-end customer projects such as major landmark buildings.

The charging systems KONE is looking for should preferably be fully contactless, or alternatively offer e.g. a non-sliding galvanic contact with an actuator. The elevator car battery would be charged when the elevator stops on the main floor for approximately 30-60 seconds. The technology should allow a sufficient air gap to allow normal elevator movement. The solution would preferable also offer scalability by connecting multiple smaller chargers in parallel, a long lifetime up to millions of cycles with high reliability and minimized maintenance needs, with cost-efficiency and commercial competitiveness also in mind.

KONE elevator lobby in Leadenhall Building, London, UK
KONE elevator at the top of Leadenhall Building, London, UK

Your opportunity with KONE

Working with KONE provides an opportunity to partner up with an innovative global company on a mission to improve the flow of urban life together with customers and partners, and benefit from KONE’s extensive industry know-how and large operational volumes.

In the short term, potential proof-of-concepts are to be delivered in the high-end elevator segment or special KONE projects. Here, KONE is looking for the capability to develop and adapt a solution to fit KONE requirements. The selected solution providers will get technical and financial support from KONE to develop concept prototypes for further evaluation.

In the long term, if desired requirements and cost-competitiveness are achieved, expansion to volume business segments is possible. In the scaling-up phase, KONE is most interested in a supplier relationship. However, in larger volumes, licensing of the technology is also an alternative.

Focus Areas

Examples of solutions we’re interested in

Wireless charging system

We are looking for a contactless CCCV charging system for a 48 V Li-ion battery, delivering 40-60 VDC and up to 4-5 kW of power transmission. Scalability is considered a benefit, including e.g. installments of 3 x 1.5 kW or 2 x 2 kW in parallel. The air gap should also be sufficient to allow normal elevator movement, a minimum of 5mm and preferably at least 10mm. The primary unit is stationary, fixed on e.g. the elevator shaft wall, and operating with 230/400 VAC supply.

Riverside Center, Brisbane, Australia

Galvanic contact with an actuator

An alternative way to provide the charging is for example through galvanic contact including an actuator. In such a case, sliding, galvanic contact, where contact is made each time elevator passes the charger possibly at high speeds, is not allowed.

Durability and cost-efficiency

The solutions we are looking for should provide a long-lasting lifetime of preferably millions of cycles. In addition, the system should tolerate vertical car movement up to +/- 100 mm. Vertical movement of +/- 20 mm shall not have significant effect for charging power. Furthermore, the proposed solutions should preferably offer cost-efficiency and commercial competitiveness against existing solutions in the market.

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