Next step in fast charging: 1000 kW

April 07, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Next step in fast charging: 1000 kW
Researchers at the Lübeck University of Technology (TH) have developed a fast-charging technology for electric cars that can fully charge such vehicles with up to 1000 kilowatts (kW) within a few minutes.

Normal wallboxes for charging electric cars overnight typically have a charging capacity of 22 kW, while DC fast charging stations today reach 350 kW, in extreme cases. With its development project, the TH Lübeck is now going far beyond these limits - the scientists want to offer a charging station with an output of 1000 kW. The special feature: The combination of an e-charging station and a buffer storage unit is intended to relieve the electricity grid and could be used as a temporary storage facility for renewable energies.

The scientists behind the fast-charging technology are Dr. Roland Tiedemann, Professor of Power Electronics, and his team around research assistant Clemens Kerssen and many students. Their goal is to technically design a charging station in such a way that several electric vehicles can be charged simultaneously and quickly. In terms of time, there should be no difference for the users compared to a conventional petrol station stop for combustion vehicles. The challenge here: How can a charging power be generated that fully charges an electric vehicle in just a few minutes?

The project team has already developed a fully functional prototype. It can charge a test vehicle - here a BMW i3 - at 100 kW in just under half an hour. "But we are also nowhere near full load," explains researcher Clemens Kerssen. Roland Tiedemann adds: "How quickly the car is fully charged always depends on its size. The Nissan Leaf, for example, has 40 kWh and would be charged in four minutes. If the batteries and cables were designed for that, then we could also charge with 1000kW of power." The vehicle determines how fast it charges. The goal of the current stage of the project is to reach 400 kW.

In order to achieve the final stage of of 1000 kW without overloading the grid, the researchers have provided a buffer storage, because "if you connect 400kW from

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