Kempower builds on SiC for its next-gen chargers
SiC generally exhibits higher efficiency in electronic devices thanks to the higher conductivity and switching frequencies than pure silicon (SI). Less energy is lost as heat, and the power electronics cooling systems can be smaller; plus, the SiC components can withstand higher temperatures. The more compact cooling systems save energy and reduce weight and costs.
This is also what Kempower is aiming for. “With the next generation charger platform, we release the Kempower Power Module Version 2, featuring silicon carbide technology,” says Kempower’s Chief Market Officer Jussi Vanhanen. “Based on the first customer pilots and accelerated endurance testing, the new technology provides grid-friendly electricity flow with extremely low THD levels, increased efficiency, and wide operating temperature range.”
THD stands for total harmonic distortion and measures the total energy that appears at system output, meaning little energy is lost during the charging process.
Indeed, Vanhanen points to the “increased efficiency and power factor up to 0.98 PF,” which may lead to cost reduction for electrical infrastructure “while delivering the same charging power to electric vehicles as with our previous design”. He further claims “improved electrical compatibility with existing sites” and increased grid resilience for large EV charger installations.
The company focuses on said larger installations since its chargers target not only electric cars but also increasingly charging scenarios for trucks, buses, and heavy-duty machines with up to 400 kW. Kempower chargers are, for example, serving e-buses in Denmark or can be found in Estonia for the petrol station network from Terminal Group, and the Finnish company supplies the truck charging joint venture Milence. In an interview with electrive, Vanhanen also put e-truck charging firmly on the agenda.
Kempower will produce the new SiC charger platform in Europe and North America at its facilities in Lahti, Finland, and Durham, North Carolina.
Deliveries will start this quarter in Europe, with North American markets to follow in Q2 2024.