Silicon Carbide multiport DC-DC converter gets tested on Tata Vista electric vehicle

Article by Christian A., on July 15, 2014

A Prodrive-led consortium managed to run a silicon carbide-based multiport DC-DC converter in an electric car. The converter – which controls power flow between multiple energy sources -- has managed to return a class leading efficiency of 98.7%. This was achieved while increasing power density and cutting the converter’s size and weight.

The DC-DC converter serves as a hub that could transfer energy between key components of a car’s high voltage electrical system. The converter features four ports, two of which link to the traction motor and high voltage battery.

The third port links to a secondary energy source (super capacitor bank) while the fourth port provides power to the EV’s 12V systems. The DC-DC converter could match the voltages of the components as well as transfer energy between them when prompted by CAN commands from an external supervisory controller.

The converter was tested in a Tata Vista EV demonstrator vehicle with a 220V battery and 37kW traction motor. The EV features two 200 kJ super capacitor banks that run at 75-150 V.

Mark Willows, Prodrive electrical systems and control specialist, remarked that in normal driving, the DC-DC converter increases the battery voltage to about 400 V for an optimal motor performance.

He added the converted can supplement the battery supply with additional energy from the super-cap banks when the driving situation calls for it. The DC-DC converter transfers energy during re-generation from the motor to the battery or super-capacitor banks, as commanded by through supervisory controller.

The converter could also transfer energy directly between the battery and super capacitor ports. The system could also be configured to support other energy sources like fuel cells. It could also be configured to supply multiple traction motors.

The converter uses silicon carbide devices that could operate at a higher frequency than silicon components. It also results to lower switching losses and smaller magnetic components, enabling the converter to achieve an efficiency of 98.7%, a gravimetric power density of 10.5kW/kg and a volumetric power density of 20kW/liter. [source: Prodrive]

If you liked the article, share on:

Topics: electric car

Comments

Recommended

It has been nearly eight years since Toyota entered a new era of sports cars when it officially unveiled the production version of the Toyota 86 – also known as...
by - February 27, 2019
The new Audi TT RS – yes, the top version of the German carmaker’s facelifted TT model series – is now officially here. If you could remember, the range-topping TT...
by - February 18, 2019
Nearly half a year ago when McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren 600LT Coupe, the British carmaker is now introducing a version that lets its passengers enjoy the thrill of an...
by - January 25, 2019
German carmaker Volkswagen is now making the latest evolution of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI -- the new Golf GTI TCR. First unveiled as a concept at the annual GTI...
by - January 24, 2019
It has been three and a half years since BMW unveiled the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series. Thus, it is really about to give the 7 Series a...
by - January 17, 2019