Energy supply in the smallest space

Innovation project: Extremely compact chargers for electric vehicles

In light of limited resources, electric vehicles can make it possible to achieve a sustainable and efficient form of mobility. The vehicle charger has an important function in electric vehicles. It transforms the alternating current supplied by charging stations into direct current, and adapts the voltage level to the vehicle’s battery. The present relatively high weight and overall installed size of the charger have a negative effect on the energy consumption of electric vehicles and reduce their range and efficiency.

The aim of the innovation project is therefore to develop a powerful and compact charger for electric vehicles. Optimizing the flow of electricity should increase the efficiency of the energy used and reduce the volume of the device as well as its weight. Moreover, part of the project involves developing a model-based design process, making it possible to individually assemble the components of a charger for different vehicles.

The first step is to develop innovative charger switching cells with semiconductor switches where direct current is transformed into alternating current. These should have increased power, while at the same time being light and low in volume. The mechanical design of the switching cells involves using technologies from areas with small chargers, e.g. mobile telephones, with adaptation to meet the higher power requirements. Moreover, innovative semiconductor materials should be used. Intelligent control and regulation of the charger ensures the best possible transfer of electricity to the battery. Mathematical modeling and simulation of the electric and thermal behavior of the components form the basis for devising a design process to enable the development of powerful and compact chargers for different vehicles. The project draws on the results of cross-sectional projects in energy efficiency and self-optimization. The project results will be evaluated based on a demonstration model.

The project will significantly increase the efficiency of chargers for electric vehicles. The aim is to achieve a 20% reduction in volume and weight. This will increase the range and thus also the overall efficiency of electric vehicles. Furthermore, the design process can help to simplify the development and integration of chargers. The project makes an important contribution to increasing the competitiveness of electromobility. In addition, the new developments can be transferred to other applications in the area of electronic current transducers for vehicle power, as well as energy supplies for server, telecommunications and computer systems.

Project duration
01 October 2014 - 31 December 2016