Our Journey to 120kW Bi-Directional Ultra Rapid EV Charging and Beyond. Part 2



It’s some years since we started thinking about how our own technology could pivot to address what we saw would be greatest threat to EV adoption: the wide deficit of charging power in the ‘last mile’ of the network. Our 40-plus years developing world leading power systems for the rail and aerospace industries armed us with the know-how and technology to solve it. But our solution goes way beyond creating rapid chargers.

In our last article we talked about how the development of our DGI (Distribution Grid Inverter) for UK Power Networks, early adoption of Silicon Carbide technology and our ground breaking power units for London Underground’s Central Line trains combined to give us our ‘Eureka moment’. Here we share how things went bi-directional and our own sophisticated version of a DC microgrid was born.

Going Bi-Directional
Our next step was ground breaking. We realised that the power transfer capability we had created would have significant impact on the burgeoning market for EVs. With our DGI providing a bi-directional gateway between the Grid and the charging scheme and our technology developed for London Underground enabling bi-directional charging of vehicles we had the capability not just for rapid charging, but for rapid discharging vehicles too – and so the platform to deliver V2G (Vehicle to Grid). This is where we saw things get interesting. If we could charge from, and discharge back to, the Grid then we could do the same with a battery storage system. Going even further we could add power generated from local renewable sources and even consider V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) power exchange.  Now we were effectively talking Vehicle to Everything -V2X.

TPS DC Microgrid charging is born
This is where our idea for our own take on a DC microgrid began to take shape. Working with partners at Newcastle University through experimental scenarios using simulated solar energy and EV batteries we made rapid progress, and by 2019 we were running a live set-up of the real thing.
Using a Nissan LEAF, the only EV with CHAdeMO bi-directional capability at the time, we ran extensive trials rapidly charging and discharging it over and over again until we could be certain of consistency and reliability. Then we added battery storage and local renewable solar power to the DC microgrid to test the reliability of our wider eco system approach. In particular, the ability to control flows in both directions between each of the elements to create sufficient energy reserves to be able to support the Grid, both indirectly through supplemental use of renewable energy and directly through supplying power back to it from the EVs, battery storage and generation. It’s the ability to manage capacity and energy balance in this way which will solve the deficit of charging power in the ‘last mile’ of the network whilst reducing EV fleet operators’ through life costs.

Hitting 120. But there’s a long way still to go.
As EV development moved on to equip vehicles with greater and greater charging/ discharging capability, we were able to work up to achieve our 120kW transfer rate goal. But in doing so we realised this was just the tip of the iceberg. We can go a lot further and with the inevitability of the Megawatt Charging Scheme looming, we have the baseline from which to do exactly that….

Catch us next time when we share our journey into DC DC chargers, HGVs and Ultra Rapid Charging in the Megawatt world. Meanwhile, if you would like to talk to us about how our unique EV charging technology can give you all the power you need while delivering real ROI back to you, please get in touch Contact Us | Find Out How We Can Help | Turbo Power Systems

Today you need a partner that’s much more than just a charger manufacturer. You need one that understands the entire power ecosystem to provide you with the charging solution today, which will evolve, adapt, and grow as we move into the ever-changing world of tomorrow.

At TPS, we’re offering the power of tomorrow. Today.




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