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Engineers have created a new, patent-pending charging station cable that can be integrated with car charging technology being developed to make the transition to electric vehicles with seamless charging easier. The new cable will fully charge some EVs in five minutes — about the same time it takes to fill up a petrol or diesel tank.
Currently, chargers are limited in how fast they can charge EV batteries due to the danger of overheating. Researchers are focusing on another cooling method, designing a charging cable that can draw 4.6 times the current of the fastest EV chargers on the market today and remove up to 24.22 kilowatts of heat.
The cable uses a liquid as the active coolant, which helps extract more heat from the cable by changing the phase state from liquid to vapor. Liquid-to-vapor cooling systems can remove at least ten times more heat than pure liquid cooling by capturing heat in both liquid and vapor form. These cooling advantages allow the use of smaller wire diameters within the cable while drawing higher current.
In a lab demonstration, a prototype electric vehicle charging station cable with a liquid-vapor thermal management system can hold more than 2,400 amps of current—far more than the minimum 1,400 required to reduce the charging time of a large commercial electric vehicle to five ampere current min. The most advanced chargers in the industry can only deliver up to 520 amps, while most chargers available to consumers support less than 150 amps.
The industry doesn’t really need EVs to charge faster than 5 minutes, but the current can be increased further by modifying the state of the incoming liquid and the design of the cooling space around the wires in the cable.
While fast-charging cables won’t be available for a while as research continues, the past 37 years has been spent developing ways to cool electronics more efficiently, using the way liquids trap heat as they boil into steam .
The researchers intend to work with manufacturers of electric vehicles or charging cables to test prototypes on electric vehicles within the next two years. The test will determine more details about the charging speed of specific models of electric vehicles.
Another solution for charging electric vehicles is Wireless Charging.
Wireless car charging is an enhanced version of smartphone charging, with several differences. Wireless inductive charging enables electric vehicles [EVs] to charge automatically without cables.
Technically, everything is scalable; however, as power transfer rates increase, so must the complexity and size of power management electronics. What’s more, as power increases, many additional factors need to be considered, such as heat loss and thermal management. The higher the efficiency, the higher the power, the higher the heat loss, and more must be done to manage the heat.
Electric vehicle charging requires higher voltage, power, and transmitted energy. As a result, technical, safety, cost and environmental challenges are even more severe. “While wireless chargers and smartphones are often in close contact, it is difficult to accurately position the vehicle over the charger, and the distance between the charger (transmitter) and the receiver mounted on the vehicle is much greater.
This results in inefficient energy transfer under practical conditions. However, reducing cost and thermal management challenges and reducing the environmental impact of wireless charging requires high efficiency.
Furthermore, the high voltage and power required for EV refueling pose additional challenges to the safety and cost of wireless systems. Wireless systems also require the integration of additional chargers into the vehicle, which increases vehicle costs and presents many challenges to installing EV wireless chargers in public spaces. Upgrading new-generation wireless chargers is more complicated than wired chargers. Automatic recharging is often presented as a convenient or even automated charging method. In fact, self-driving cars will optimally use a kind of automatic recharging, and wireless charging seems like a promising option here. But several companies have also developed automated solutions, such as battery replacement, robotic arm charging or automated mobile charging systems. Once the need for automated solutions becomes urgent, such solutions will compete with wireless charging.
Early adopters of a wireless system will be commercial vehicles (buses, delivery vehicles, taxis) who want to use wireless charging as a way to provide quick supplemental charging to extend the range of the vehicle. These supplemental events occur during short periods of time when vehicles are parked at regular rest points. This dynamic will require higher levels of power transfer than is seen in residential wireless charging, where adding range can take place overnight at much lower power levels.
To be able to support the high power requirements of commercial supplementary charging, resonant magnetic induction must occur at relatively high frequencies, which requires faster switching devices. These requirements take full advantage of wide bandgap [WBG] semiconductor devices.
Some wireless systems claim up to 20 kW and 94 percent efficiency from plug to battery. The resonant frequency is typically up to 100 kHz, so fast switching of the WBG is suitable for these systems.
When it comes to electric vehicles, there are multiple ways to “refill” the vehicle, including battery charging, battery replacement. In the case of battery replacement, using a combination of computer vision and wireless communication, the station can identify the exact location of each battery module to be replaced.
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