UCLan Cyprus: Optimized and Innovative Techniques for Energy Efficient Operation of Electric Car Chargers (OpTec E-Charge)

On June 29th, 2023, Dr. Stelios Ioannou, Lecturer and Course Leader of BENG (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UCLan Cyprus, presented the final results of the project titled “Optimized and Innovative Techniques for Energy Efficient Operation of Electric Car Chargers (OpTec E-Charge).” This project was in collaboration with a local company, Blue Sun Automation LTD in Nicosia. The project funding comes from the European Union – NextGenerationEU and through the Cyprus Research & Innovation Foundation under the Innovation Voucher program (INNOVOUCHERS / 1022 / 0168).

The aim of this work, as recently suggested by new research studies, was to investigate the possibility that multi-cell structures or Power Supply Unit (PSU) multiplexing techniques could improve energy efficiency and minimize energy losses in power electronic converters used in chargers for electric vehicles.

After elaborate research into electric vehicles and chargers, this study identified the energy-hungry power electronic components. The theoretical charger performance and efficiency in the range of 90-95% agreed with the literature and the simulated results using the PSIM thermal module. Additionally, experimental data from a single-phase AC electric vehicle charger showed an efficiency of 93%.

Furthermore, this research proves, through theoretical and simulated work, that the efficiency of AC car chargers can be improved by following two suggested approaches:

  • Multicell rectification stage within the bridge or IAFR system (for the 3-phase case).
  • PSU multiplexing, achieved by switching ON and OFF parallel cells (for smaller chargers) based on load requirements (Float charge, stage of charge, or equalization cycle)

Simulation results demonstrate that multicell rectification and PSU multiplexing enhance system efficiency. However, both approaches require further prototype validations and experimental data.

Source: UCLan Cyprus | News (https://rb.gy/ke96r)