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fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI
10.1109/JESTPE.2014.2315997, IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics

> JESTPE-2013-12-0314.R1 <
HUANG AND ZHANG: FREQUENCY, IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2- AND 4-COIL WPT

1

Frequency, Impedance Characteristics and HF
Converters of 2-Coil and 4-Coil Wireless Power
Transfer
Runhong Huang, and Bo Zhang, Member, IEEE

Abstract—Magnetically coupled wireless power transfer (WPT)
can be roughly divided into two kinds of inductively coupled and
strongly coupled magnetic resonances. In this paper, the
frequency characteristics, impedance characteristics and high
frequency (HF) converters of 2-coil and 4-coil magnetically
coupled WPT are outlined between inductively coupled power
transfer (ICPT) and resonant coupling WPT. First, the frequency
bifurcation in ICPT and frequency splitting in resonant coupling
WPT are analyzed, and the natural similarities are explained,
which have not been pointed out before. Second, the differences of
the conventional 2-coil (often used in ICPT) and 4-coil WPT are
analyzed by their input impedance characteristics. The results
show that the 2-coil WPT is appropriate for short-range and the
4-coil WPT suitable for mid-range applications. In the end, as one
of the most important parts of magnetically coupled WPT systems,
HF converters used in WPT systems are summarized and a new
soft-switched converter is put forward, which has 70% efficiency
though it is not precisely designed.
Index Terms—Frequency bifurcation and splitting, high
frequency converter, impedance matching, magnetic coupling,
wireless power transfer (WPT).

I. INTRODUCTION

M

AGNETICALLY coupled wireless power transfer (WPT)
has been pursued by human beings for more than one
century. Beginning from Tesla’s works [1], [2], the study on
magnetically coupled WPT has never stopped. In 1960s,
Kusserow used the magnetic field to remotely power an
implantable blood pump [3]. In the meantime, Schuder et al.
began their project named Transcutaneous Energy
Transmission (TET) at the University of Missouri-Columbia,
which made a considerable progress of magnetically coupled
WPT applied to implantable devices [4]. In 1990s, the
researchers from The University of Auckland made a big
contribution to the practical applications of magnetically
coupled WPT. And they named it the inductively coupled
Manuscript received December 28, 2013; revised March 26, 2014; accepted
April 1, 2014. This work was supported in part by the Key Program of the
National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 50937001,
Guangdong Provincial Special Funds for Strategic Emerging Industries LED
Industry Project under Grant 2010A081002004 and Electric Power Research
Institute of China Southern Power Grid under Contract SEPRI2011K1168B01.
The authors are with the School of Electric Power, South China University
of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China (e-mail: huang.rh@mail.scut.edu.cn;
epbzhang@scut.edu.cn).

power transfer (ICPT) technology [5], [6]. Recently, their
works are summarized and the modern trends of ICPT for
transportation applications are pointed out [7], [8]. In 2007, the
researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
published their newest progress in magnetically coupled WPT,
which used the strongly coupled magnetic resonances, lighting
up a 60 W bulb 2 m away wirelessly [9]. And the model was
explained by coupled-mode theory (CMT) [10]-[12].
Since the great success of MIT, the studying enthusiasm of
magnetically coupled WPT was motivated [13]-[15]. Shortly
after, different from the CMT modeling, the circuit theory was
put forward to explained the resonant coupling WPT almost at
the same time in [16]-[18]. Additionally, an important concept
of frequency splitting in resonant coupling WPT was put
forward and explained by CMT [11], [19]-[21] and circuit
theory [15], [22]-[24], and addressed by impedance matching
and/or frequency tracking technology [25]-[27]. However, the
natural differences and similarities between frequency splitting
in resonant coupling WPT and frequency bifurcation in ICPT
[28], [29], are not explained clearly. In [30], the authors think
that the frequency bifurcation is related to the system stability,
but the frequency splitting focuses on the output characteristics.
However, it should be noted that the stability problem is with
respect to the zero phase angle (ZPA) controlled systems [29].
In this paper, we will explain their natural differences and
similarities both by their input impedance characteristics via
circuit theory in Part II.
Moreover, between the 2-coil WPT in the conventional ICPT
system and the 4-coil WPT in resonant coupling, there have
been many papers discussing their differences and similarities
[31]-[33]. In [33], the authors think that the two coupling
regimes are the same except for their impedance matching
methods. However, they only compare them by experiments. In
[34], [35], the authors proposed a 3-coil links and
recommended that the 2-coil links are suitable for strongly
coupled regime that needs large power, and 4-coil links are
used in the loosely coupled regime but high efficiency is
needed. In this paper, we will explain the reason why 2-coil
WPT is suitable for short-range and 4-coil for mid-range
applications by input impedance characteristics in Part III.
In addition, the power converters at kHz range operating
frequencies for ICPT are analyzed in [36]. But the converters
discussed are suitable for intermediate frequency (IF), not for
frequencies in megahertz ranges. The MHz range operating

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html for more information.1 Coupling coefficient. the Zin can be derived as ω2 M122 Zin  Z1   RS . f (Hz) frequencies are proposed for resonant coupling WPT because of the nonradiative (near-field) characteristics of magnetic [9]. [27] that the circuit models of series-series (SS) type of ICPT and 2-coil resonant coupling WPT are with the same topology.9 0. Z1  RS  R1  jωL1  Z 2  RL  R2  jωL2  1 jωC2 . (a) Model of 2-coil WPT. Meanwhile.R1 < HUANG AND ZHANG: FREQUENCY.67pF 0.05 0 frequencies of Zin will occur. See http://www. [16].95 Critically coupled 0. L2. the input impedance of the system is represented by Zin. Given RS  RL .1. 0. k12 the coupling coefficient between coil 1 and coil 2. It is beneficial for the ICPT working at ZPA frequency because the phase angle of Zin will be zero at this condition. IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2. the power amplifier (PA) topologies were discussed from Class A to Class F topologies. the frequency bifurcation phenomena refer to that when the ICPT works under some conditions or the system parameters change. 1. two or more ZPA Coupling coefficient. L1.85 0. 3. And the Class E topology was recommended for its high efficiency and simple structure. [24]. A. L1  L2  L. 1. (Ω) (a) (b) Fig.2 x 107 1. VS denotes the high frequency voltage source. (b) simplified equivalent circuit.2315997. as shown in Fig.5Ω 50Ω 10MHz RS VS Zin Zin magnitude.ieee. 2. FREQUENCY BIFURCATION AND SPLITTING It has been widely reported [14]. Frequency Bifurcation According to [28]. In Fig. but has not been fully edited. 1(b). Circuit model.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index. [38]-[42]. but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. C1  C2  C. Citation information: DOI 10. capacitance and resistance of coil 1 respectively.3 0. and mutual 1 . whose real part represents the power consumed by R2 and RL. And the conclusion is drawn in the end.2 0. The green line indicates Zin magnitude at natural frequency and red lines at bifurcated frequencies. In [37]. and M12  M . k12.This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal. In this paper. [26]. The experimental results show that the proposed converter has 70% efficiency though it is not precisely designed. (1) Z2 where ω is the angular frequency.15 0.35 0. [29]. 1. (2) 2168-6777 (c) 2013 IEEE. jωC1 inductance M12  k12 L1 L2 . k12 Fig. 1(a). In Fig. Meanwhile. the comparison of different topologies will be summarized briefly and a soft-switched converter will be proposed in Part IV. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics > JESTPE-2013-12-0314.2014. Content may change prior to final publication.25 0. C1 and R1 the equivalent inductance. RS the inner resistance of the source. C2 and R2 the equivalent inductance. Class E topology used in magnetically coupled WPT has been widely reported [24]. Personal use is permitted. In Fig. which means that it can reduce the magnetic field strength to very low level to meet the standard [37]. ZPA frequencies vs. which will improve the transfer power and efficiency.67pF R2 0.001-0. II. Zin magnitude of 2-coil WPT. .AND 4-COIL WPT Zin C1 R1 R2 C2 k12 RS L1 VS L2 RL Parameter RS L1 C1 R1 k23 TABLE I PARAMETERS OF 2-COIL WPT Value Parameter 50Ω L2 20μH C2 12. and RL the load.15 ZPA frequency. The frequency solution of Re(Zin )  0 may be one.3 f0 2 Value 20μH 12.5Ω RL 0. f(Hz) Fig. 1.1 1. the purpose of Part IV is to provide an appropriate topology to make WPT be practical. two or three. capacitance and resistance of coil 2 respectively.05 1 0. R1  R2  R. k12 Working frequency.1109/JESTPE.

LC O ve r co 3 1. satisfying (2). 3. but has not been fully edited. [43].html for more information.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index. k12 Splitting frequency. And the relationship between ZPA frequencies and k12 is shown in Fig. where the three ZPA frequencies are obviously shown.AND 4-COIL WPT Then the possible ZPA frequencies may be 2L 2L 1  ( RL  R) 2  [  ( RL  R) 2 ]2  4( L2  M 2 ) 2 C C C . 3 and Fig.2 0. ω02 L1 L2 (14) Again. Define the quality factor Q=ω0L/RL. The following analysis will illustrate that the curves in Fig. the relationship among S21 magnitude.This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal. (12)  0    jωM Z 2   I 2     12 S21  2 VL VS Then the relationship of load voltage VL and VS is Frequency. 4. k12 and f is shown in Fig. the critical coupling coefficient kc is kc |ω  ω0  ( RS  R1 )( R2  RL ) . 2168-6777 (c) 2013 IEEE. (10) L1 L2 Q B.85 0.2  1 1 1 .05 0 Fig. (8) Q 4Q 2 which is exact the same as the so called splitting coupling in [30]. In Fig. but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. Q (15) Obviously. In the over coupled region.  RS  (11)   . 2( L2  M 2 ) (3) 1 (4) ω0  . 5 are exact the same. f(Hz) Fig. (6) which is the same result as in [28].3 0. ω1  2L 2L 1  ( RL  R) 2  [  ( RL  R) 2 ]2  4( L2  M 2 ) 2 C C C . See http://www. 1. the relationship among the Zin magnitude. Personal use is permitted.05 1 0. And the S parameter was defined in [22] as (11) to analyze the frequency splitting phenomena. 5.1 1. 2( L2  M 2 ) (5) Assumed R=0. 5. S21 magnitude decreases exponentially with the decrease of k12.25 0. 3. jωk12 L1 L2 RL VL (13)  . 2(1  k 2 ) When ω1=ω2. the critically coupled point satisfies ω2 M 2 R1  0 c  RS  R1  R2 . In addition. RL2  4ω02 L2 RL2  4M 2 ω04 L2  0. The following will analyze the influence of M. VS Z1 Z 2  ω2 k122 L1 L2 As the parameters shown in Table I. Frequency Splitting According to [22]. there are two splitting frequencies can satisfy the maximum transfer power condition. Therefore. the coupling coefficient k satisfies ω1. 4. f (Hz) ω2  Cri uple tically coup d led U nd er c oup led S21 magnitude. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics > JESTPE-2013-12-0314.2014.1 Coupling coefficient. k12 0.2315997. it is the same result of (10) and (15).15 0. (9) RL  R2 Then the critical coupling coefficient kc can be derived Mc 1 kc   .15 (7) k 1/ 2 Coupling coefficient. k12. then ω1and ω2 can be represented as (2  Q 2 )  (2  Q 2 ) 2  4(1  k 2 ) . Content may change prior to final publication. the frequency splitting phenomena refer to that in the over coupled region. Once passing the critical coupled region.  RL  Taking Fig. 1(a) for example. and ω1=ω2.R1 < HUANG AND ZHANG: FREQUENCY. Splitting frequency vs.ieee. working frequency f and k12 is shown in Fig. S21 magnitude of 2-coil WPT.9 0. Citation information: DOI 10. It can be seen from the above analysis that Zin is mainly influenced by ω. RL and M. It can be seen from Fig.2 x 107 1. 2. equation (14) can be represented as kc |ωω0  1 . the system equations are jωM12   I1  VS   Z1 . indicated by the solid black line. . critically coupled and under coupled. Solving the derivative |VL/VS|/k12=0 of (13).1109/JESTPE. S21 magnitude splits into two peak values. [29]. 4 that there are three regions of over coupled. the relationship between splitting frequency and k12 is shown in Fig.95 Critically coupled 0. The simulation parameters are shown in Table I. according to KVL. IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2. equation (6) can be achieved.35 0.

k12 500 400 300 200 Critically coupled 100 0 Over coupled 100 Under coupled Mid-range 10-1 10-2 10-3 Coupling coefficient.002 0 1 1. the frequency must satisfy the two conditions as follows to achieve maximum transfer power: 1) The imaginary part of input impedance Zin equals to zero. when the distance is small. Moreover. 2) The real part of input impedance Zin equals to RS. the larger the transfer efficiency. 6.008 0. 9. jωC1 jωC2 1 1 . there are three ZPA frequencies. i.3 10MHz 900 800 700 600 Re(Zin).2014. Content may change prior to final publication.1109/JESTPE. Two-Coil WPT As for the 2-coil WPT. 8 that as for the 4-coil WPT. Personal use is permitted. (16) Z 2 Z3 Z 4  ω2 M 342 Z 2  ω2 M 232 Z 4 Parameter RS. From the analysis above. [43]. L3 1. under some conditions. the transfer power will be maximized.0μH C2. Coupling coefficient vs.01 0. Zin of 4-coil WPT at natural frequency.ieee. which means the frequency splitting Z3  R3  jωL3  2168-6777 (c) 2013 IEEE. B. if the source impedance is purely resistive. k34 Value 20μH 12. Circuit model of 4-coil WPT. In our study.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.014 0. With respect to Fig. TABLE II PARAMETERS OF 4-COIL WPT Value Parameter 50Ω L2. D (m) 2. C4 R1. It can be seen from Fig. 7. Z 4  R4  RL  jωL4  . III. both the frequency bifurcation and splitting satisfy condition 1). the green line in Fig. (Ω) 10-1 10 -2 Coupling coefficient. Natural Similarity It can be seen from Fig. The crossing coupling coefficients are ignored.012 Coupling Coefficient.This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal. 6. Once passing the critically coupled point. 8. C.5 2 Distance.67pF 0. whose parameters are shown in Table II.AND 4-COIL WPT 4 3000 C1 Zin R1 R2 C2 R3 C3 R4 k12 2500 C4 k34 RS Re(Zin). distance. According to the Maximum Transfer Power Theorem. there are two splitting frequencies can satisfy the impedance matching condition. INPUT IMPEDANCE OF 2-COIL AND 4-COIL WPT A. 8.2315997.5Ω 0. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics > JESTPE-2013-12-0314.1 f0 500 10-3 Fig. 1(b).5 3 Fig. but has not been fully edited. when the source impedance and the load impedance are conjugated matched. R3 0.1Ω k23 0.e. 6 that the real part of Zin decreases with the decrease of the coupling coefficient dramatically. k23 Invalued area 10-4 Fig. the frequency splitting phenomena can also be predicted by its input impedance characteristics. That is why the conventional ICPT works at a relatively short-range distance but high transfer power. the Zin can be derived ω2 M122 ( Z3 Z 4  ω2 M 342 ) Zin  Z1   RS . where Z1  RS  R1  jωL1  1 1 . k23 100 RL k23 1000 0 L4 L3 0.R1 < HUANG AND ZHANG: FREQUENCY.001-0. Citation information: DOI 10. it is impossible to transfer power efficiently. 5 that in the over coupled region.html for more information. which means the nearer. Zin is relatively small. 2 can be represented as Fig. R4 k12. 7. RL L1. the frequency splitting was analyzed by its output characteristics. . L4 C1. In Fig. but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. In [22]. It can be seen from Fig. 0. Zin of 2-coil WPT at natural frequency. jωC4 jωC3 Then the relationship between Zin and the coupling coefficient at natural frequency is shown in Fig. the phenomena of frequency bifurcation and splitting are the same in nature. 3 and Fig. See http://www. C4 253pF R2. (Ω) L1 VS 2000 L2 1500 Fig. 7. while there are only two splitting frequencies satisfying the maximum transfer power condition.006 0. IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2. Four-Coil WPT The 4-coil WPT was proposed in [9]. Z 2  R2  jωL2  . whose equivalent circuit model is shown in Fig.004 Invalued area 0.

the power amplifier topologies were discussed from Class A to Class F topologies. they are sensitive to the loading conditions.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index. the quality factor of the resonant coil is about 1000. half-bridge and push-pull current or voltage fed converters is analyzed in detail. 12. but it is only preferable to Class D at frequencies higher than about 3 MHz and is with the drawback of high switch voltage stress [45].5% <60% 100% ≈60% 100% 70-80% 100% 90% 100% 90% Types of PA Class A Class B Class C Class D Class E Class F Leq C0 Vin 5 S Ceq L0 Req In (18). the switching-mode power amplifiers like Class D.4 m. the expression of Zin in (16) is meaningless. 10. AB and C. In MHz range.0μH 2. On one hand. That is why the 4-coil WPT proposed by MIT is suitable for mid-range wireless power transfer. 10. In [9]. Comparison of Power Amplifiers In [36].001. the upper frequency of Class D is limited by the output capacitance of the switching device. Experimental setup of the 2-coil WPT system. When the distance is too long. Therefore.R1 < HUANG AND ZHANG: FREQUENCY. which are with the same parameters. as shown in Fig. Zin increases with the decrease of coupling coefficient. In [37]. For example. 9 (according to the formula in [44]) that the effective distance of the MIT model is about 2. Experimental results of proposed converter. HIGH FREQUENCY CONVERTERS A. And Qcoil is ( R4  RL ) L2 L3 the quality factor of the resonant coils. 11. whose solution of k23 can be k23  M 23 L2 L3  R2 R3 M 342 R2 1   . the efficiency are relatively low. E. the effective working distance of 4-coil WPT can be approximately predicted. Proposed Converter Inspired by the design idea of Class E.This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal. the Colpitts oscillator used in [9] is with very low efficiency. Fig. which has the virtues of simple structure and 100% efficiency in theory. L0 the energy storage inductance.1109/JESTPE. B. Citation information: DOI 10. IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2. See http://www. according to Zin of 4-coil WPT. Class E is the soft-switching topology and with simple structure. which make them not suitable for resonant coupling WPT. have their own virtues and drawbacks. In addition. and then the minimum coupling coefficient is 0. as the conventional linear power amplifiers like Class A. In (a) (b) (c) Fig. In addition. Class D and Class DE are also with the drawback of hard control of dead time.77nF Req Measured value 12. a soft-switched HF converter is proposed. (b) switch current IS. it is vital to find a high efficient power amplifier topology applied to resonant coupling WPT. S represents the switch. It can be seen from the relationship between coupling coefficient and distance. DE and F. At the mid-range distance. the item Fig. But they are suitable for ICPT working at kHz range operating frequencies. TABLE III COMPARISON OF EFFICIENCY Maximum efficiency Practical efficiency 50% <30% 78. Given 2 2 (17) R2 R3 ( R4  RL )  ω02 M 34 R2  ω02 M 23 ( R4  RL ). Transmitting coil Receiving coil Proposed topology DC supply LED load Drive circuit Fig. capacitance Ceq and resistance Req consist of the 2168-6777 (c) 2013 IEEE. which is consistent with the experiments.2014. but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. and reaches its maximum value. the comparison of basic full-bridge. The inductance Leq.html for more information. Proposed converter. Personal use is permitted. B. but has not been fully edited. The maximum and practical efficiencies of the power amplifiers mentioned above are shown in Table III. 2 ω0 L2 L3 ( R4  RL ) L2 L3 Qcoil (18) M 342 R2 can be ignored. C0 the shunt capacitance including the junction capacitance of the switch and added capacitance. 10.AND 4-COIL WPT phenomena occur.18nF 7Ω IV. Although Class DE and F can achieve over 90% of efficiency.ieee. Parameter Vin L0 C0 TABLE IV EXPERIMENTAL PARAMETERS Measured value Parameter 12V Leq 128μH Ceq 3. . shown in Fig. which makes it clear to choose an appropriate topology.2315997. (c) output voltage UR. Content may change prior to final publication. (a) Switch voltage US. On the other hand. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics > JESTPE-2013-12-0314.

2011. Power Electron. Mach. The experimental setup of the proposed converter applied to resonant WPT is shown in Fig. pp. vol. no. IEEE. Liu. Schuder. when S is off. 5. vol. J. 1238-1241. W.” IEEE Trans. B. pp. J. pp. Phys. 60. Elliott. “Analysis of the double-layer printed spiral coil for wireless power transfer. and S. Yu. 2013. pp. Electron. IMPEDANCE AND HF CONVERTERS OF 2. 2008. no. And a soft-switched converter is proposed and validated by experiments. 6. IEEE Veh. and J.html for more information.. 2. Boys.. pp. Green.” Artificial Organs. “Analysis of transmission mechanism and efficiency of resonance coupling wireless energy transfer system. and A. Zhou. 2009. Nov. 317.. 2163-2168. Organs. B. L. vol. vol. 339-349.2315997. Jan.” IEEE Trans. Boys. Y. Fisher. no. IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics > JESTPE-2013-12-0314. “Strong coupling optimization with planar spiral resonators. Kim. Karalis. Stielau. and R. 5. Lett. Y. and J.” Science. “Analysis. 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