(Photo: Huawei)

DTU develops world’s most efficient mobile charger

Wednesday 12 Dec 18

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Ziwei Ouyang
Associate Professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 57 64
DTU researchers have succeeded in improving charger efficiency, so that—in future—mobile phones and computers can be charged faster using significantly less power.

Mobile phones are no longer simply telephones, but complete small communications centres, which must be able to handle large volumes of data for Internet streaming, navigating with GPS, or using a health monitoring app.

This development means that mobile phones need far more power than previously. It sounds simple, but requires handling of energy, so that the mobile phone does not become overheated, and more power is also required to charge it quicker.

In collaboration with Huawei—the world’s second largest mobile phone producer—Associate Professor Ziwei Ouyang at DTU Electrical Engineering has worked on solving the two major challenges for the mobile phones of tomorrow. After a year’s work, the researchers recently succeeded in developing the most efficient charger seen in the world to date. 

"With our work, we have created the basis for the next generation of chargers for mobile phones and laptops."
Associate Professor Ziwei Ouyang

“With our work, we have created the basis for the next generation of chargers for mobile phones and laptops. We achieved this using a converter which is three to four per cent more efficient that those we know today. It may not sound like much, but it’s of huge importance to the power consumption of the charger,” says Ziwei Ouyang.

The research team also includes PhD students Prasanth Thummala and Yi Dou, and Professor Michael A.E. Andersen from DTU Electrical Engineering.

High efficiency reduces energy consumption sharply
With the high efficiency, energy consumption is reduced significantly. An efficiency improvement of just one per cent for all mobile phones globally—which total approximately 3 billion—corresponds to a consumption of 10 GW, or the energy produced by approximately 4,300 wind turbines. An increase of 3-4 per cent is therefore significant.

Precisely efficiency has—in fact—been the most important objective in the development work for Huawei.

“We started by examining where in the world we could find the leading high-frequency range experts who have previously succeeded in increasing the efficiency of electronic components. We found them at DTU, which we contacted and with which we then established a partnership,” says Senior Engineer Manager in Huawei’s Development Department Daishengyong.

Huawei was—in fact—very pleased with the result Ziwei Ouyang has arrived at. The researchers have succeeded in exploiting the frequency range to the maximum limit using new circuit topology and magnetic integration technologies. The new technology can be contained in a small chip not much bigger than a coin.

The technology has not yet been implemented in Huawei’s mobile phones, but this will happen over the coming years. Users will then find that their mobile phones no longer need an hour to be charged, but may perhaps only require 20 minutes.

Ziwei Ouyang has also headed another project which focused on developing a mobile phone adapter. It is a small, highly efficient, power distribution centre which can handle the large amount of energy necessary for the multiple functions of modern mobile phones, without causing them to overheat too much.

Power supply (illustration: DTU Electrical Engineering)

(Illustration: DTU Elektro)

(Illustration: Yi Dou, DTU Electrical Engineering)

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12 DECEMBER 2019