Porsche Engineering has come up with a fast charging system comprising modular units in order to make the technology suitable for charge parks of different sizes. The components used can also changed depending on the nature of the grid and the visitor frequency. The fast charging system builds on the 800-Volt technology that is also offered by Porsche as part of its high power charging solution.
The packing of the new solution is such that it offers great flexibility when setting up a fast-charging station for electric cars.
The FlexBoxes (120 x 120 x 130 cm) are essentially weather-proof housings which are meant to accommodate all the other components and these can be installed out of sight from customers. One example in which a FlexBox can be used is to cover the transformer in a charge parks where there is a connection to the medium-voltage grid. The transformer steps down the medium voltage (AC) current in the grid to low voltage current which is needed at the local grid level. In the case of a transformer designed by Porsche, it is possible to fit the galvanic isolation inside instead of adding it to each individual charging pole, further reducing the space needed and the associated costs.
Another key component is what Porsche calls the PowerBox. Which converts the low-voltage alternating current received from the transformer station into the direct current (DC) that is needed for fast-charging.
The Power Box can be equipped with two sets of power electronics and can thus supply two charging points. It uses silicon carbide (SiC) modules, and the use of this material offers benefits like lower conduction, need for less space and minimal switching losses.
In the case of charging parks having a less powerful grid connection, the ChargeBox comprises in addition to a power, a buffer storage battery. It is available as an entry-level model with a 70 kWh battery and a 160 kW charging station. For locations having more visitors, electric vehicles with higher charging capacities or as a subsequent retrofit, there is a fully equipped variant with 140 kWh and two 160 kW charging stations, combinable for 320 kW.
All of these components can accommodate a distance of up to 200 meters between the transformer station and PowerBox and up to 100 meters between the PowerBox and the charging station.
Another component that is very important, especially when it comes to high power charging is the CoolingBox. It comes with liquid cooling for the charging poles and power electronics. Each CoolingBox has enough space to accommodate two cooling units. Each cooling unit has the capability to cool multiple charging points under all operating conditions, according to Porsche. The CoolingBox may be installed at some distance from the charging stations as well.
For operators with limited space at the charge park, Porsche Engineering has developed the ComboBox, a power unit that integrates a cooling unit which is sufficient for one fast-charging point for electric cars.
Porsche says that when it comes to its forthcoming Taycan model which will feature advanced lithium-ion battery packs and 800V technology, it will be possible to get 400 kilometers of range by charging the vehicle for just 20 minutes. The company also has ambitious plans to install as many as 500 charging stations across North America by the end of 2019.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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