Improved charging of electric vehicles with energy-efficient on-board charger


To reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and thus global warming - a massive switch to electric vehicles is needed. To smooth that transition, battery charging needs to be further fine-tuned.

Solution: Compact and energy-efficient on-board charger for EVs

Together with Powerdale, a specialist in electromobility and energy management technology, we therefore developed a compact and energy-efficient on-board charger for electric cars. An on-board charger is a device built into an electric car that converts alternating current into direct current. For this, the partners used GaN technology, with gallium nitride instead of the more common silicon. This makes chargers smaller, more energy-efficient and faster. This development is part of the European HiPERFORM project.

Specifically, we jointly designed advanced switching and charging topology (modular design) of an on-board charger. We optimised the design of circuit boards (mother and daughter board) and a cooling system. A smart enclosure design was drawn out. Using an EV Charging Analyzer Tester, we verified the operation of the device and recorded all anomalies.

Result: on-board charger with 97% energy efficiency

The result exceeded expectations. We managed to increase energy efficiency to an average of 97%, some 4% higher than a usual on-board charger working silicon. The benefits for original equipment manufacturers and end users: smart configuration, energy savings by increasing efficiency and modular design (slow or fast charging systems).

The potential customers for this promising innovation are charging solution providers, car manufacturers and battery system companies. Meanwhile, we are already continuing to work together in another European project, building on the results of HiPERFORM: HiEFFICIENT.

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Kristof Vrancken, Communication Officer

Kristof Vrancken is Digital Communication Officer at Flanders Make since 2019. As Digital Marketeer with experience in both B2B and B2C environments he writes with a fresh view on technological innovation, about what literally and figuratively moves within our research centre.