Breakthrough Battery Charger Developed for Charging EV Batteries of Present and Future Generations
Category Engineering Thursday - August 24 2023, 22:35 UTC - 6 months ago Researchers in India have made a breakthrough by creating a unique battery charger that is capable of charging battery packs from the popular EVs of today, as well as next-generation EVs with higher voltage battery packs. The charger makes use of a boost-buck configuration and offers high efficiency ratings of up to 94%. The team plans to patent the technology and commercialize the charger with industry partners, while looking to modify it to work with other kinds of automobiles.
Thursday - August 24 2023, 22:35 UTC - 6 months ago
Researchers in India have made a breakthrough by creating a unique battery charger that is capable of charging battery packs from the popular EVs of today, as well as next-generation EVs with higher voltage battery packs. The charger makes use of a boost-buck configuration and offers high efficiency ratings of up to 94%. The team plans to patent the technology and commercialize the charger with industry partners, while looking to modify it to work with other kinds of automobiles.
There's little doubt that the future of transportation is moving towards electric alternatives that offer more efficiency and pollute less. EV technologies are advancing rapidly, resulting in battery technologies that offer enhanced range and rapid-charging capabilities.
However, constant updates in the field have begun to cause practical issues in establishing the infrastructure that can handle the whole spectrum of batteries that are now accessible, much alone any future advances.
In an attempt to solve the issue, researchers in India have made a breakthrough by developing a unique battery charger that can accommodate both current and next EV battery pack generations over a wide range of voltages: anywhere between 120 and 900 volts.
According to IEEE Spectrum, in contrast to existing solutions that use numerous passive and active components for reconfiguration, the new technology introduces a new reconfigurable battery charger to charge present-day and EV battery packs of the future.
Varying power rating .
The battery pack voltages of today's popular EVs, including the Nissan Leaf S, Tesla Model X, and Mercedes-Benz EQA, range from 250V to 450V. But the Rapide E, Lucid Air, Porsche Taycan, Hyundai Ioniq, and KIA EV6 are examples of next-generation EVs that will use battery packs with voltages ranging from 600V to 800V. Such a situation presents an infrastructural challenge while installing future-proof charging infrastructure around the world.
Due to their less weight and faster charging periods, these next-generation batteries will enable EVs to reach full charge faster and go further. "However, charging these high-voltage batteries with existing chargers degrades the efficiency, due to operating at twice the rated voltage," said Deepak Ronanki, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India and an IEEE senior member who was involved in the study, to IEEE Spectrum.
Their solution to the problem is a universal charger that is adaptable. The output can be varied between 20V and 900V, fulfilling the changing needs of the current and next-gen EVs.
Boost–buck configuration .
The system makes use of a front-end boost-buck power factor correction (PFC) circuit, which is followed by a reconfigurable DC-DC converter in the battery charger. This allows the system to boost voltage when the battery voltage is higher than the input voltage and, conversely, reduce voltage when the battery voltage is lower than the input voltage.
According to the team, a series of calculations and tests have proved that the charger can securely charge batteries at any voltage between 120 and 900 V. The charger beat the efficiency of traditional chargers at all voltages evaluated, albeit exhibiting a minor decline in efficiency at lower voltage working points (in the range of 48 to 120 V). The charging efficiency stood close to 94 percent, reported IEEE Spectrum.
The researchers have filed a patent for their technology and plan to integrate with industry partners to commercialize the charger. The team is also considering modifying their charger to work with different kinds of automobiles. "The results of this work can be used in future EV applications like electric trains, aeroplanes, buses, scooters, etc.," Ronanki said to IEEE Spectrum.