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  • Writer's pictureImpedyme Team

Ultra-Fast EV Charging: Common Topologies

Updated: Jun 18

The reliance on fossil fuels has significantly increased greenhouse gas concentrations, resulting in global warming and ecological disruptions. The transportation sector, identified as a key area for achieving net-zero emission goals, has seen accelerated transitions toward electric mobility (e-mobility). Challenges to electric vehicle (EV) adoption, including high purchase prices, range anxiety, and inadequate charging infrastructure, have been addressed through advancements in battery technology and more.

The exponential growth in EVs poses challenges to low-voltage distribution networks, necessitating upgrades to meet increasing charging demands. To address these challenges, the development of ultra-fast (UF) charging infrastructure with dedicated medium-voltage (MV) grid connections is essential. State-of-the-art DC fast chargers and solid-state transformers (SSTs) offer promising solutions to meet the demands of UF charging stations (UFCSs). UFCS architectures, renewable energy integration, and hierarchical control structures for dynamic response are discussed to facilitate a seamless transition toward e-mobility.

Power electronics converters play a crucial role in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) by converting AC voltage from the grid into appropriate DC voltage for charging electric vehicles (EVs). Various converter topologies are utilized for this purpose, including front-end AC/DC converters and back-end DC/DC converters. Front-end AC/DC converters, responsible for connecting the electrical grid to a UFCS's regulated DC bus, employ different topologies such as the Vienna type-T three-level rectifier and buck topology to ensure high power quality on both AC and DC sides. For bidirectional power flow, boost-type converters like the 3-phase active PWM converter are commonly used. In MV applications, popular front-end topologies include neutral point clamp (NPC), cascaded HB (CHB), and modular multilevel converter (MMC). These topologies offer modularity and scalability, with MMC being directly interconnected with the grid either as a rectifier or inverter.

Apart from these, back-end DC/DC converters regulate DC voltage and interconnect renewable energy sources (RESs), energy storage systems (ESSs), and EVs to the common DC bus. Topologies such as PS full-bridge (PSFB), LLC resonant, and dual active bridge (DAB) converters are commonly used. These converters provide galvanic isolation and high-power density, essential for EV charging applications. For MV/LV isolation, traditional line frequency transformers (LFTs) are being replaced by medium/high-frequency transformers (M/HFTs) in solid-state transformer (SST) solutions. M/HFT-based SSTs offer higher power density and efficiency, although practical limitations and cost considerations remain challenges for their widespread adoption.

Power Hardware-In-the-Loop (PHIL) Solutions: Tackling Instability Issues in Microgrids

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