Allows Easier Combination of Electricity Sources for EV Charging
Austin-based Ideal Power Converters is promoting a 3-Port Hybrid Converter that allows electricity from multiple sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind, batteries or the grid, to be converted into power suitable for electric vehicle charging via a single unit.
To help apply the technology, IPC has a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Via their new CRADA, IPA and NREL aim to create “new system approaches that may reduce both construction and operating expenses related to charging infrastructure and create value-added capabilities such as vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-building capabilities.”
The 3-Port Hybrid Converter includes three bi-directional ports, one AC grid port and two independent DC ports, IPC says “either of which can be used for PV, battery storage, or EVs. The system is designed to allow power to flow in any mix among any ports with 96.5% estimated CEC efficiency.”
Patented Topology for Standard Reference Designs
IPC calls it “Energy Packet Switching.”
The goal of the new CRADA “is to create standard reference designs using IPC’s patented topology in the 3-Port Hybrid Converter that can readily be adopted by commercial and municipal EV fleets, military installations, and public infrastructure,” the company says.
“These reference designs seek to improve the cost, efficiency and reliability of power conversions between EVs, solar panels, storage batteries and the electric grid, as well as provide grid storage and emergency backup power capabilities.”
“NREL and IPC previously demonstrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities with the IPC Battery Converter, and this CRADA expands our successful cooperation,” NREL vehicle testing and integration facility manager Tony Markel says in an IPC release (see F&F, October 16).
V2G Capability to Come
“NREL will integrate IPC’s 3-Port Hybrid Converter and test solar energy and battery storage with high-power electric vehicle charging applications. We expect this system to improve operating cost and siting flexibility for EV fast charging,” Markel said.
According to IPC CEO Paul Bundschuh, the firm “plans to add V2G and vehicle-to-building capabilities to these reference designs, which may allow EVs to provide grid storage and emergency backup power capabilities to commercial, municipal and military customers.”
“IPC believes this product will eliminate the power conversion bottlenecks when integrating diverse power sources, and enable low-cost micro-grid solutions,” Bundschuh said.
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Source: IPC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up