E-bike owners know the struggle with a dead battery. Remove the battery, where is the plug, or hurry, and find out in the shed that the battery is still in the charger. With TILER, all that hassle is a thing of the past. This time in the Technical Service section: Parking a bicycle is charging the battery.
Many brilliant ideas excel in simplicity and raise the question: why hasn't this been around for a long time? In this column we portray start-ups and their genius ideas. How did they come up with this plan and what was needed to realize it?
TILER is run by Olivier Coops and Christiaan van Nispen and was created in collaboration with TU Delft. Simply put, TILER is a charging tile that, when in contact with a special bicycle stand, charges the battery of the electric bicycle. The technology is known as wireless power transfer. Many people will know it from their electric toothbrush. Or the wireless charging of a smartphone. “At the moment we mainly focus on the business market”, explains Van Nispen. “This system is ideal for electric bicycles that are widely used, such as shared bicycles, bicycles from meal delivery companies and healthcare institutions or bicycle rental companies. But it could certainly also be interesting for private individuals in the future.”
The idea for TILER arose at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at TU Delft. The patent is now being marketed by Coops and Van Nispen, together with the other six employees of TILER. “From the first concept, we continued to develop for at least another year,” says Van Nispen. “As a result, our charging tile can now charge different types of batteries and it is safe to use. We can program the tile to charge quickly, or slower when the battery is almost full. In other words, we've brought the idea to the 'real world'. A beautiful saying goes: In theory, practice and theory are the same. But not in practice.”