The engineers of Purdue University — West Lafayette, Indiana, have developed a novel charging station cable capable of recharging certain electric vehicles in less than five minutes.
Due to the risk of overheating, chargers can only recharge an electric vehicle’s battery at a specific rate. A larger amount of current must travel through a charging wire to charge an EV faster. The higher the current, the more heat must be dissipated from the charging cable to function.
Purdue researchers have developed a charging cable that can supply the current 4.6 times faster than any other EV charger available in today’s market. And it can also eliminate up to 24.22 kilowatts of heat using an alternate cooling mechanism. The funding for this project came from a research and development partnership between Ford Motor Company and Purdue University.
Today, charging times for electric vehicles vary depending on the types of electric chargers used. A commercial fast charger can fully charge an EV in less than twenty minutes, while a charger installed at your home can take up to several hours.
Issam Mudawar, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Department at Purdue University, said, “My lab focuses on coming up with solutions for certain situations where the amount of heat produced is significantly above the capability of today’s technology to remove.”
Ford’s head of charging, energy services, and business development, Matt Stover, stated, “Ford is dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition to electrification.” He also said, “We’re pleased to contribute to Purdue’s study, which has the potential to make electric vehicle and commercial fleet ownership more compelling and manageable.”
Although the prototype has yet to be tested on electric vehicles, Mudawar and his students showed in the lab that it can handle currents of over 2,400 amperes. This amount of current is considerably above the 1,400-ampere mark required to decrease charging periods for big commercial EVs to five minutes. Most mainstream chargers support currents of less than 150 amperes, while the most advanced chargers in the business only give up to 520 amperes.
Charge times will ultimately be determined by the power output ratings of the charging cable and power supply, as well as the power input rating of the electric vehicle’s battery. All three components must be rated at 2,500 amperes to achieve a charge time of lesser than five minutes.
Mudawar’s lab plans to cooperate with EV or charging cable makers to test the prototype on EVs within the next two years. The tests will reveal more information about charging speeds for particular EVs.
Getting rid of excessive heat to reduce EV charging time
Liquid cooling systems are primarily used to remove heat from the cables of EV charging stations and other electronics. This approach of increasing current through a charging cable would necessitate thicker conductive wires and more liquid coolant, making the cable heavier and more challenging to handle for consumers.
A liquid-to-vapor cooling system can eliminate at least ten times more heat than pure liquid cooling by absorbing heat in both liquid and vapor phases. Due to these cooling benefits, a wire with a smaller diameter can be used inside the charging cable while transmitting a larger current.