Australia’s Rectifier Technologies has created what it describes as a “stackable” fast charging power module that can cut costs and help address two of the biggest challenges in locating high-voltage electric car chargers – electromagnetic standards and grid compliance.
Rectifier’s RT22 are 50kW modules that can also be stacked one on top of another to be used in “ultra-fast” chargers – for example, a seven-unit stack would deliver 350kW.
It says the new technology also deals with common problems that high-powered charger installers often face, such as built-in reactive power control to meet grid requirements and compliance to electromagnetic compatibility standards – therefore being better suited to installation near homes.
As Rectifier Technologies puts it: “As High-Powered (or Ultra-Fast) DC charging networks of a similar size and power are rolled out across the world, an unprecedented strain will be placed on electricity networks as they draw large and intermittent amounts of power that can result in unwanted voltage fluctuations,” Rectifier says.
“Further, network operators are facing increasing difficulty installing HPCs without expensive network upgrades. The RT22 has been built to address these issues, with its built-in reactive power control providing a new mechanism to regulate grid voltage levels. This allows reduced network costs and greater flexibility in installation locations.”
“The RT22 can (also) start from a lower noise foundation and thus be more suitable to being installed within an urban environment where electromagnetic interference (EMI) must be limited.”
This will help charger installers consider a wider range of installation sites – helping to deal with the problem of finding suitable sites as fast chargers become more common on key routes.
The new module would allow also electric vehicle (EV) chargers installers to future-proof sites beyond that of today’s charging needs, director of sales for Rectifier Technologies Nicholas Yeoh said in the company’s announcement on Monday.
While today’s electric cars typically operate on a 400-volt architecture, the next-generation of electric vehicles such as GM’s Ultium-powered range and Hyundai’s Ioniq series will offer 800-volt architectures that will allow them to charge in a fraction of the time.
“The most powerful HPCs today sit at around 350kW, but higher capacities are being discussed and engineered to prepare for the electrification of heavier vehicles, such as freight trucks.”
The RT22 can operate at up to 1,000 volts, with an efficiency of more than 96%, the ASX-listed company states in its press release.
This article has been updated to clarify the RT22 units are modular fast charger components.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.