Ultra Compact Cost Effective Fast Charger Stations

A fast charger station can charge the vehicle battery in 5-10 minutes but they are very expensive and massive. For instance Terra 53 is a 50 kW fast charger station manufactured by ABB which has a weight of 400 kg and a dimension of 760 mmx525 mmx1900 mm. The cost of these chargers is in the range of half a. Recent advancements in the device developments and design tools enables one to have a higher power density (power divided by volume or mass) chargers that is equivalent to a smaller size and weight. Semiconductors based on Silicon Carbid (SiC), magnetic materials based on Nanocrystallin and modern design tools like FEM simulators are examples of these advancements. In the new designs the power density can be as high as 1 kW/Liter whish is a considerable reduction in the charger volume, mass and in the long run consequently on the price. The aim of this project is to design, simulate, implement, verify an ultra compact cost effective fast charger station with a power level of 50 kW.

Start date 01/07/2015
End date The project is closed: 30/12/2017
​Battery and battery charger are one of the main limiting factor for further usage of electric or hybrid electric vehicles, passenger cars or buses for example. Fast charger stations can help the vehicle users to reduce the charging time. For example, it is desirable to have a charger powerful enough to charge the battery in 5-10 minute. Volvo V60 has a 3 kW plugin charger that may take 6 hours to fully charge the battery. If charge can be performed by a 50 kW charger, the charging time can be 15 times shorter.

Available fast charger system are bulky and costly. Usually these products are constructed by large companies like ABB and Siemens. The medium size companies are not very active in this market because of several reasons such as development investment and cost, market requirement and so on.   

Recent advancements in technology, especially SiC based semiconductors and Nano-crystalline magnetic materials, provides the capability of building smaller, more efficient and probably cheaper power electronics converter. The finite element method (FEM) software tools make is feasible to optimize a system with a large number of equations. Those techniques can be utilized with a new materials to improve the design.   

Another solution to reach a low price charger is to use available traction motor component like the motor and inverter inside the vehicle to have an integrated motor drive and battery charger. At Chalmers, Elteknik we have developed several integrated chargers that is a well-established topic these days. 

This time we have concentrated on the classical fast charger stations to demonstrate an example by utilizing the recent materials and tools. The aim of this project is to design, simulate, implement, verify an ultra compact cost effective fast charger station prototype with a power level of 50 kW. The idea is to reduce the charger size to make it more favorable for installation inside the city.

Funded by

  • Swedish Energy Agency (Public, Sweden)

Published: Thu 31 May 2018.