Analysis of electric vehicle charging architecture and safety protection solutions

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With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, charging equipment and technology have become focal points of interest, particularly concerning the safety of charging, which is crucial for ensuring the safe operation of electric vehicles. This involves selecting appropriate charging equipment, adopting reasonable operating methods, and implementing safety protection measures during the charging process.

The global electric vehicle charging application market is experiencing exponential growth

To support the environmental carbon neutrality goals of various governments, the global electric vehicle charging application market is currently experiencing exponential growth, with 250kW and 350kW chargers expected to increase by 33%. Electric vehicle charging applications have specific technical requirements, such as the need for ultra-low isolation capacitance, typically less than 5pF, preferably 3pF. Additionally, designs must consider common-mode transient immunity (CMTI) requirements. With the continuous increase in switching frequency, the new generation of silicon carbide (SiC) now requires higher levels of dV/dt immunity. In terms of partial discharge, SiC must be able to support 1200V, and certain applications may even increase to 1500V.

Furthermore, with the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, fast charging technology has significantly improved. For example, Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) technology can fully charge a battery in a short period, enhancing user convenience and experience.

Therefore, the research and application of high-efficiency battery technology are crucial. For example, the emergence of new battery technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and solid-state batteries has significantly improved energy density and charging/discharging efficiency.

To attract more consumers to purchase electric vehicles and to seize the opportunities in the charging station market, governments and companies are increasing investments in charging infrastructure. This includes expanding the number of charging stations and charging piles to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. Additionally, the application of smart charging management systems is becoming more widespread, allowing for the maximization of charging efficiency and intelligent management of charging equipment.

With the development and application of renewable energy, electric vehicle charging systems are also beginning to integrate renewable energy sources, such as solar charging stations and wind power charging facilities, further reducing the carbon emissions of the charging process. Moreover, wireless charging technology is an important future development direction. Through sensors and electromagnetic fields, it is possible to charge electric vehicles without plugging in, enhancing user convenience and charging safety.

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A comprehensive electric vehicle charging architecture ensures rapid and safe charging

The technological architecture for EV charging comprises several key components and technologies, including the charger, charging control system, charging interface, charging network and intelligent systems, and safety protection for charging equipment. These components work together to ensure that EV charging is efficient, effective, and safe.

The charger is the device that converts AC power to DC power to charge the EV battery. Charger types include home chargers, public charging stations, fast chargers, and onboard chargers. Home chargers are typically used at residences or workplaces with lower power levels and slower charging speeds. Public charging stations are located in public places or commercial areas for general use. Fast chargers have higher power outputs, allowing for quick charging to enhance efficiency and convenience. Onboard chargers are installed inside vehicles to charge the battery or internal electronic devices.

The charging control system manages the current and voltage during the charging process to ensure safe charging and normal operation of the EV battery. It monitors battery temperature, voltage, and current and adjusts the charging rate as needed to prevent overcharging or discharging.

The charging interface is the connection point between the electric vehicle and the charging equipment, typically located on the vehicle's body or charging port. Common charging interfaces include Type 1, Type 2, CHAdeMO, CCS, and other standards, which may vary by region and vehicle type.

The charging network comprises charging stations, charging points, and charging management systems, forming the entire charging infrastructure. Intelligent systems utilize internet connectivity, software, and sensors to enable smart management, remote monitoring, and user services, enhancing the efficiency and convenience of the charging system.

Charging equipment is typically equipped with safety protection features, such as overcurrent protection, overvoltage protection, and over-temperature protection, to ensure safety and reliability during the charging process. Electric vehicle charging systems often feature designs for waterproofing, dust resistance, and fire prevention to meet diverse usage demands in different environments and scenarios.

These components and technologies collectively form the technical architecture for electric vehicle charging, providing the infrastructure and safety assurance necessary for EV charging.

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Ensuring the safety and reliability of electric vehicle charging is importance

During the charging process, several critical aspects of safety and protection architecture need to be considered and addressed, including the safety of charging equipment, battery protection, fire and explosion prevention design, proper charging methods, charging environment, and operational procedures, to ensure the safety and reliability of the charging process.

Regarding the safety of charging equipment, it is essential to use qualified and certified charging devices, avoiding damaged or unauthorized equipment to ensure the safety of the charging process. Regular inspections and maintenance of charging equipment are also crucial to ensure its proper operation and safety performance, such as checking the status of charging stations, charging cables, and interfaces.

Battery safety protection is also paramount. During the charging process, it is important to ensure that the battery's temperature and voltage remain within safe ranges, avoiding overheating, overcooling, overcharging, or over-discharging. Using charging equipment equipped with Battery Management Systems (BMS) is essential, as it can monitor and regulate the current and voltage during charging, ensuring battery safety and longevity.

Additionally, charging equipment should incorporate fire and explosion prevention designs, such as safeguards against short circuits, overloads, and overvoltage, to reduce the risk of fires and explosions. Using fire-resistant and explosion-proof materials and structural designs also enhances the safety and reliability of charging equipment.

Furthermore, it is crucial to select the appropriate charging method and charging equipment based on the model and specifications of the electric vehicle to avoid safety issues caused by improper charging methods. Long-term high-speed charging or excessive discharge should be avoided to ensure battery safety and longevity.

During the charging process, it's important to ensure that both the charging equipment and battery are in a safe environment, avoiding damp, high-temperature conditions, or charging in areas with explosion risks. When operating charging equipment, it's essential to stay focused and follow operational guidelines to prevent safety hazards due to operational errors or improper handling.

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Gate drive DC-DC converter for electric vehicle chargers

Murata has introduced a range of gate driver DC-DC converters specifically designed for gate driver circuits, often used in renewable energy, motion control, mobility, and healthcare solutions. These products feature ultra-low isolation capacitance of 3pF, optimized dual output voltages for IGBT/SiC and MOS gate drives, with a maximum withstand DC link voltage of 3KV. They provide high reliability against partial discharge and high immunity to dv/dt interference, up to 80kV/µS at 1.6kV. The main products suitable for electric vehicle charging applications include the MGJ1 SIP, MGJ2B, MGJ1/MGJ2, MGJ3/MGJ6, NXE, and NXJ series.

Murata's newly introduced MGJ1 SIP series and MGJ2B series DC-DC converters are ideal for powering "high-side" and "low-side" gate drive circuits for IGBT/MOSFET, SiC, and GaN in bridge circuits. Choosing asymmetric output voltages enables optimal drive levels, resulting in optimal system efficiency and EMI control. The MGJ1 SIP and MGJ2B series are characterized by meeting high isolation and dv/dt requirements common in bridge circuits used in motor drives and inverters. Their high operating temperature ratings and robust structure provide extended lifespan and reliability.

The MGJ1 SIP series and MGJ2B series both feature continuous barrier withstand voltage of 2.4kV, along with 6mm creepage and clearance distances. The optimized output voltage is designed to meet the requirements of leading IGBT/SiC and MOSFET devices. The MGJ1 SIP series supports reinforced insulation rated at 300Vrms with 1W power, while the MGJ2B series supports reinforced insulation rated at 300Vrms with 2W power.

Both the MGJ1 SIP series and MGJ2B series offer optimized bipolar output voltages for IGBT/MOSFET, SiC, and GaN gate drivers. The reinforced insulation meets UL62368-1 approval, although compliance with standards such as ANSI/AAMI ES60601-1, 1 MOPP/2 MOOP, is still pending. The MGJ1 SIP series undergoes withstand testing at 5.2kVDC isolation voltage, while the MGJ2B series undergoes testing at 5.4kVDC isolation voltage. Both series feature ultra-low isolation capacitance and support input voltages of 5V, 12V, 15V, and 24V.

The MGJ1 SIP series offers output options such as +6V/-3V, +15V/-3V, +15V/-5V, +15V/-9V, +18V/-2.5V, and +20V/-5V. The MGJ2B series offers output options including +15V/-3V, +15V/-5V, +15V/-8.7V, +15V/-15V, +17V/-9V, +18V/-2.5V, +18V/-5V3, +20V/-3.5V, and +20V/-5V. Both series operate at temperatures up to 105°C, with Common Mode Transient Immunity (CMTI) exceeding 200kV/µS. They also support continuous barrier withstand voltage of 2.4kVDC and exhibit characteristics of partial discharge performance, utilizing SIP package form factors.

Conclusion

The safety of electric vehicle charging is a crucial aspect for ensuring the normal operation of electric vehicles and user safety. It requires comprehensive consideration of the safety of charging equipment, battery management, fire and explosion prevention design, and correct charging operations. Addressing these aspects effectively can enhance the safety and reliability of the charging process. The electric vehicle charging safety protection architecture and system described in this article can be implemented using a series of DC-DC converters from Murata.

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