Intelligent charging for longer drives

Innovation project: Self-adjusting chargers for electric vehicles

In view of rising fuel costs and political targets, the automotive industry is pressing ahead with the development of electric vehicles. At present, however, their performance is lower than vehicles with combustion engines. There is a need for improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of individual vehicle components, with chargers playing an important role. A high-performance yet small and light charger is required in order to reduce vehicle energy consumption and increase range. At the same time, guaranteed reliability is important even when dealing with different operational states and environmental conditions such as temperature and vibrations.

The aim of the research project is to develop an electric vehicle charger that constantly and automatically adjusts itself to the operating point with the lowest possible energy loss, regardless of the input voltage and battery level. The intention is to increase charger performance, reduce the size and weight, and enable autonomous adaptation to different conditions.

This entails a systematic optimization of model-based charger design. Resonance transformers are integrated to increase energy efficiency. Development also includes a component layout concept that allows for effective cooling despite the reduced space. In addition to this, a self-optimizing control and regulation system is designed so that autonomous adaptation to different conditions is possible. The project draws on deliverables from cross-sectional projects in self-optimization and energy efficiency. After developing a prototype as proof of functionality, the results are compiled into a set of tools including models, simulation environments and calculation templates that can be used to help effectively design self-adjusting chargers.

The project offers significant improvements in charger performance and efficiency. The effort and costs involved in developing and implementing chargers are reduced. The methods developed in the project are disseminated outside the cluster by engineering and consultancy firms. The project makes an important contribution to promoting the spread of electric vehicles and making them competitive.

Project duration
01 October 2012 - 30 September 2014