The technology for fast charging stations
High Power Charging is a charging technology developed by Phoenix Contact and installed in fast charging stations for electric vehicles. With the technology, long charging times are a thing of the past: Electric car batteries can be charged for a driving range of 100 kilometers in just 3–5 minutes. High Power Charging technology from Phoenix Contact has set a milestone for the future of e-mobility, making electric vehicle charging at EV charging stations suitable for everyday use – and then some. The idea of charging electric cars with 500 kW at a service area will become quite commonplace.
Charging electric cars – faster than expected
Long range, extremely fast charging time Fast charging stations with High Power Charging technology
With High Power Charging, the fast charging of electric vehicles at EV charging stations will provide significant driving range and will become comparable to refueling a combustion engine vehicle. This advanced charging technology makes it possible to charge electric vehicle batteries with a charging power of 500,000 watts (half a megawatt) during a short coffee break. Our High Power Charging connectors also conform to the CCS standard, which means they are backward-compatible with electric vehicles that do not yet support the latest technology. The Combined Charging System (CCS) is already established as the charging standard for Europe and the United States.
Fast installation and great ease of maintenance The next-generation EV charging station
The people planning the charging infrastructure and manufacturing the EV charging stations of tomorrow think it is important for the corresponding technology to be simple to set up and quick to install. Right at the start of the High Power Charging development phase, Phoenix Contact focused on achieving the fastest possible installation times. To this end, a special cable feed-through was developed which allows the charging cable to be mounted on the charging station conveniently and easily. The setup time of a fast charging station with High Power Charging technology is therefore practically the same as that of conventional EV charging stations.
The technology is just as user-friendly to maintain as it is to install. In contrast to conventional charging stations, High Power Charging stations are equipped with intelligent fluid cooling to ensure that the charging connector and charging cable do not overheat due to the high charging currents. With the use of an environmentally friendly water-glycol mixture as the coolant, it is comparatively simple to service the cooling circuit. In contrast to maintenance-intensive closed systems with oil cooling, the semi-open system necessary for our charging connectors is easy to maintain.
Charging cables at public EV charging stations are subject to great mechanical strain, since they may be dropped or even driven over, for example. The mating face is subject to the highest strain. The High Power Charging connector from Phoenix Contact has therefore been designed so that the mating face frame and the power contacts can be replaced quickly. This makes repairs quick and easy, minimizing downtimes for the charging stations and avoiding the costly replacement of the entire charging cable.
Real-time analysis data transmission Intelligent charging connector with integrated sensor and microprocessor
There is even more intelligent technology installed in the charging connector interior: The integrated sensor technology provides information on the overall status of the High Power Charging connector, its usage and wear, and further analysis data. All of this information is stored in the charging connector and also transmitted to the operator in real time. To ensure the highest level of safety, the system is also monitored constantly for overheating and any potential coolant leaks. Naturally, the High Power Charging cable is CE-certified and satisfies the relevant standards. Therefore, on the cable side, there is nothing to prevent the fast charging station from being approved.
How does High Power Charging technology work?
500,000 watts in one cooled charging connector Fast charging enters a new dimension
Until now, charging currents of only up to 200 kW were technically possible with the Combined Charging System (CCS). However, significantly higher currents are necessary to achieve very short charging times. Conventional charging technology would result in dangerous overheating or would require larger, more cumbersome cable diameters.
That is why our intelligent HPC technology is based on active liquid cooling that allows charging currents of up to 500 kW without compromising safety or manageability. With it, we are revolutionizing fast charging technology.
CCS becomes HPC-capable The further development of the Combined Charging System into High Power Charging
Our High Power Charging technology is based on the Combined Charging System (CCS), the standard for which has already been developed by Phoenix Contact in cooperation with the automotive industry to drive the technology forward. One of the greatest challenges faced when developing the fast charging connector was how to design both the cross-section of the charging cable and the size and weight of the charging connector to be as practical as possible. This problem could only be overcome by developing an intelligent and efficient cooling system, as well as designing a well-thought-out cable.
Furthermore, the connectors are fitted with silver-plated contacts and a contact carrier that, thanks to its excellent thermal conductivity, also acts as a heatsink. As a result, a particularly high level of stability and exceptional cooling performance are achieved simultaneously.
How does the cooling system work? And what do the standards require?
According to the VDE-AR-E 2623-5-3 directive and the IEC TS 62196-3-1 standard, charging connectors and charging cables must not exceed a temperature that is 50 K warmer than the ambient air temperature during the charging process (ΔTmax = 50 K).
To comply with this, multiple temperature sensors integrated in the HPC system measure the heat produced directly at the charging connector power contacts and also in the charging cable in real time.
A controller evaluates the data acquired and regulates the cooling output accordingly. This reliably prevents overheating in compliance with standards and, at the same time, increases energy efficiency.
The HPC charging connector in detail Smart technology for a fast and safe charging process
The HPC system at a glance The modular HPC system from Phoenix Contact consists of several coordinated components:
- Cooled DC charging cable (CCS type 1 for North America and CCS type 2 for Europe)
- Panel feed-through with defined interfaces for power, communication, and cooling
- Cooling unit or heat exchanger for the available space
- Controller for the DC charging process and cooling
- DC power modules in system cabinets to supply charging stations with direct current
One system for many applications The HPC system from Phoenix Contact can be used flexibly
High Power Charging can be used anywhere where electric vehicle drivers are in a rush. The modular structure of our HPC system allows it to be used flexibly in various charging infrastructure concepts.
A complete HPC system can also be installed in a single, independent charging station. This means that the cooling system and the controller are integrated in the charging station to create an independent cooling circuit together with the charging connector and the charging cable.
However, our HPC system is normally used in charging parks, where several charging stations are arranged in combination. Such fast charging parks are mainly located along freeways and at main traffic hubs, but they are also found in large cities and metropolitan areas.
In charging parks, the cooling unit and its controller are normally accommodated centrally, for example in a separate building. The distributed charging stations are supplied with coolant from there and are fitted with individual heat exchangers. All charging stations therefore use a common cooling circuit.
Research project makes fast charging of electric vehicles possible High Power Charging charging connector and control technology from Phoenix Contact
Together with BMW, Porsche, Siemens, and Allego, Phoenix Contact has created and launched the world’s first High Power Charging station with a charging power of 450 kW as a part of the FastCharge research project.
The FastCharge research project is being operated by an industrial consortium managed by the BMW Group and is comprised of Allego GmbH, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, as well as Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG and Siemens AG. FastCharge is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with a total investment of 7.8 million euros. The funding guidelines are being implemented by the National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH).
Phoenix Contact supplied the cooled, CCS-compatible High Power Charging connector and the control technology.
The new fast charging stations at the Jettingen-Scheppach service area on the A8 in Germany are suitable for all brands of electric car models fitted with the European standard type 2 variant of the global Combined Charging System (CCS) and are available free of charge to drivers of electric vehicles with immediate effect.
Innovator Award for High Power Charging technology Laureate Dr. Wladimir Klitschko confers the Innovator Award
Phoenix Contact wins the “2019 Innovator of the Year” award for its High Power Charging technology. Michael Heinemann, CEO of Phoenix Contact E-Mobility, officially accepted the Business Award from “Die Deutsche Wirtschaft” (DDW), the German economy information portal, at a ceremony in Düsseldorf: “We feel honored that the jury chose us. And we simply did not expect to receive the People’s Choice Award on top of that.”
A total of 20 companies received awards, but only three were given the People’s Choice Award, which was decided by a vote among the readership. The award was personally conferred by laureate Dr. Wladimir Klitschko. More information and photographs from the award ceremony are available in our LinkedIn article.
Phoenix Contact as a driving force Founding member of e-mobility networks
Phoenix Contact has established itself as one of the leading drivers in the e-mobility market and the fast charging of electric cars – not just through products and new technologies, but also through its involvement in establishing e-mobility standards. Alongside leading German automotive manufacturers and the TÜV Süd certification body, Phoenix Contact is one of the founding members of the CharIN (Charging Interface Initiative) association, which advances and promotes the fast charging of electric vehicles. The objective of CharIN is to establish the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the global standard for electric vehicles.
Phoenix Contact is also represented in Germany‘s National Platform for the Future of Mobility (NPM), recently founded by General Manager Roland Bent. Within this platform, he is the Chairman of Working Group 6, which focuses on regulation, standardization, certification, and approval. He was previously the Vice Chairman of Working Group 4 in the predecessor organization, the National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE). In that role, he was instrumental in shaping international standards and regulations around e-mobility. He will continue to advance and develop these activities in the new NPM Working Group.
E-mobility today and in the future With customers and partners, we are traveling new roads
E-mobility is becoming increasingly important, not just nationally, but throughout the world. Furthermore, e-mobility is the environmentally sound and sustainable future of mobility as we know it today. To achieve this goal, many new approaches and innovative technologies are needed in the automotive and electricity sectors. Not least for this reason, the goal of the German Federal Government and industry is to establish Germany as the world’s leading market, and to actively shape the sea change that is underway in mobility to create a global benchmark.
With our High Power Charging technology for EV charging stations, another successful step has been taken towards making battery-powered vehicles suitable for everyday use. The ability to charge electric vehicles rapidly will shape the future of e-mobility, because if it becomes just as practical and fast as refueling conventional vehicles, it will become permanently accepted by consumers. Charging stations for electric vehicles are currently being heavily promoted by the EU and the German Federal Government, including the construction of fast charging stations featuring High Power Charging technology.
E-mobility and charging stations for electric vehicles will face many challenges in the future that must be overcome successfully with innovative ideas, technologies, and products. Phoenix Contact will travel this road together with the German Federal Government, representatives of the automotive industry, charging infrastructure operators, and other partners, and actively help to shape the future of e-mobility – not least through High Power Charging and all future developments in e-mobility.
Phoenix Contact has already proved that e-mobility is suitable for everyday use through the many times it has successfully participated in the Wave Trophy, the largest electric car rally in the world.