|Toyota Industries’ solar charging station. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Industries Corp (TIC) has developed a solar charging station for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The municipal government of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture plans to build 21 such stations at 11 locations such as the municipal office and branch offices. Full operation of the stations will begin in April, with 20 Prius Plug-In Hybrids.
The station is grid connected, and also captures power generated by the 1.9 kW solar panel in an 8.4 kWh storage battery, for subsequent use in charging. Maximum output using grid power is 202VAC/3.2kW. Self-sustained operation using solar power from the battery pack has a maximum output of 101VAC/1.5 kVA.
Excess solar power can be used for facilities in the system, or sold to a utility company. TIC envisions that the station can also provide power to electrical equipment in a disaster.
TIC developed the EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment), which now has a communication function and the maximum 200V/16A/3.2kW output.
|Toyota Industries recharger on a stand. Click to enlarge.|
TIC has been involved with the development of charging systems for electric vehicles such as charging stands and onboard chargers since the 1990s. TIC launched its current EVSE stands in July 2009. (Earlier post.)
At the 41st Tokyo Motor Show (24 Oct - 4 Nov 2009), TIC displayed newly developed charging stands with communication devices. In addition to the basic functions of the standard charging system, the newly developed stations allow user authentication using IC card technology, and enable the collection of data such as usage conditions of the charging service and amount of power used.
During the press briefing at the show, TIC said that it aimed to increase charging functionality to respond to the needs of the charging infrastructure by developing systems that support electronic billing, and solar charging stations incorporating solar power generation to further reduce the environmental impact.
It is also concurrently, developing smaller onboard chargers with higher efficiency to meet the growing demand for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
TIC has directly a number of components to the Prius, starting with the first generation system, including converters, inverters, and car air conditioning compressors.
For the third-generation Prius, it developed and manufactured the cooling device incorporated in the Power Control Unit (PCU).
Utilizing its simultaneous brazing technology, TIC now mounts the power semiconductors directly onto the cooling device, reducing the thermal resistance to two-thirds of the prior level. By simplifying the cooling structure and improving cooling performance, it reduced the cooling device to one-third the size of the conventional model, which has greatly contributed to a reduction in the overall size and weight of the PCU.
TIC has been developing and manufacturing the DC-DC converter since the first generation Prius. The newest unit now employs a newly developed circuit that is suitable for the smaller sized converter. This advancement enables the converter size to be reduced by 30% while providing 20% higher output compared to the previous model.
By reducing the discharge capacity and integrating the inverter for the air conditioning with the electric compressor, the Electric Compressor maintains the same cooling performance as the previous model with a 20% reduction in total size and weight, making it easier to install into vehicles. This Electric compressor with integrated inverter is also being installed into other vehicles such as the Lexus RX450h or the Lexus LS600h, and a series of these compressors will be released for installation in different hybrid vehicles.