Six-Plate Capacitive Coupler to Reduce Electric Field Emission in Large Air-Gap Capacitive Power Transfer

Hua Zhang, Fei Lu, Heath Hofmann, Weiguo Liu, Chunting Chris Mi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a six-plate capacitive coupler for large air-gap capacitive power transfer to reduce electric field emissions to the surrounding environment. Compared to the conventional four-plate horizontal structure, the six-plate coupler contains two additional plates above and below the inner four-plate coupler to provide a shielding effect. Since there is a capacitive coupling between every two plates, the six-plate coupler results in a circuit model consisting of 15 coupling capacitors. This complex model is first simplified to an equivalent three-port circuit model, and then to a two-port circuit model which is used in circuit analysis and parameter design. This six-plate coupler can eliminate the external parallel capacitor in the previous LCLC topology, which results in the LCL compensation and reduces the system cost. Due to the symmetry of the coupler structure, the voltage between shielding plates is limited, which reduces electric field emissions. Finite element analysis by Maxwell is used to simulate the coupling capacitors and electric field distribution. Compared to the four-plate horizontal and vertical structures, the six-plate coupler can significantly reduce electric field emissions and expand the safety area from 0.9 to 0.1 m away from the coupler in the well-aligned case. A 1.97 kW prototype is implemented to validate the six-plate coupler, which achieves a power density of 1.95 kW/m2 and a dc-dc efficiency of 91.6% at an air-gap of 150 mm. Experiments also show that the output power maintains 65% of the well-aligned value at 300 mm X misalignment, and 49% at 300 mm Y misalignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7839952
Pages (from-to)665-675
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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