Fastcharge consortium presents prototype for 450 kW charging station; Porsche research vehicle charges at 400 kW
In Germany, the FastCharge research consortium (earlier post) has presented a prototype for a charging station with an output of up to 450 kW in Jettingen-Scheppach, located near the A8 motorway between Ulm and Augsburg. The new charging station is suitable for electric models of all brands with the European standard Type 2 variant of the widely used Combined Charging System (CCS), and is now available for use free of charge.
A Porsche research vehicle with a net battery capacity of approximately 90 kWh achieved a charging capacity of more than 400 kW on the new charging station, allowing for charging times of less than 3 minutes for the first 100 km range. An innovative cooling system makes this possible by ensuring even gentle temperature control in the battery cells.
BMW also had an i3 research vehicle at the inauguration.
Initiated in July 2016, the Fast Charge research project has received €7.8 million (US$8.9 million) in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The implementation of the funding guidelines is being coordinated by the German National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).
The industrial consortium includes automotive manufacturers the BMW Group and Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG, as well as operators Allego GmbH, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH (charging technology) and Siemens AG (electrical engineering).
Increasing the available charging capacity to up to 450 kW allows charging times to be significantly reduced. The charging capacity of the new FastChargers is three to nine times as high as what is currently possible with DC rapid-charging stations. The FastCharge project examines what technical conditions need to be fulfilled in terms of vehicles and infrastructure in order to allow extremely high charging capacities to be applied.
The energy supply system from Siemens used in the project makes it possible to test the limits of the fast charging capability of vehicle batteries. It can already work with higher voltages of up to 920 volts, as expected in future electric vehicles.
Both the high-performance electronics for the charging connections and the communication interface to the electric vehicles were integrated into the system. This charging controller automatically adjusts the power to be delivered so that different electric cars can be charged with an infrastructure.
The flexible, modular architecture of the system also allows multiple vehicles to be loaded simultaneously. Due to charging with high currents and voltages, it allows a variety of different applications, such as for fleet charging solutions or, as in this case, charging on highways.
For the connection to the public power grid in Jettingen-Scheppach, a loading container with two charging connections was realized in the project: one connection has a charging capacity of max. 450 kW, the second gives up to 175 kW.
To meet the requirements of fast charging with particularly high performance, cooled HPC charging cables (High Power Charging) from Phoenix Contact are used, which are fully CCS-compatible. The cooling liquid is an environmentally friendly water-glycol mixture used, making the cooling circuit can be made semi-open. As a result maintenance, in contrast to hermetically sealed systems that work with oil, is simple—for example, when coolant is replenished.
One challenge was not to squeeze the cooling hoses in the charging line when connecting to the charging station, as would happen with a conventional cable, as this would affect the cooling flow and thus the cooling capacity. This problem was solved by Phoenix Contact with a specially developed wall duct with defined interfaces for power transmission, communication and cooling as well as integrated strain relief.
The Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 variant that is standard for Europe has already proven itself in a wide range of electrified vehicles and is used in many parts of the world.
The two Jettinger charging stations are currently available for use with all CCS-enabled vehicles, free of charge. Depending on the model of vehicle, the new ultra-fast charging station can be used for vehicles with 400-volt and those with 800-volt battery systems. In each case the charging capacity provided automatically adjusts to the vehicle’s maximum permitted charging capacity.