Health, Science & Technology

Design of Next-Generation On-Board Charger of Electric Vehicle using State of-the-Art Wide Bandgap Technology
Institution:  AAU Energy, Aalborg, University Denmark

Ir Dr Freddy Tan Kheng Suan, 35, Senior Lecturer, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU). 

In the Paris COP21 meeting, Malaysia pledged to reduce 45% of its CO2 emission by 2030, as part of the global commitment to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. The accomplishment of this target calls for the electrification of the transport system including Electric Vehicles (EVs). 


Despite being a cleaner mode of transport, the adoption rate of EVs are slow. The major challenges facing EVs are selling price, driving range, charging rate and charging infrastructure. Since battery constitutes more than 30% of the overall cost of the EV, major automakers have been investing in the research and development of battery and the on-board charger (OBC). While the OBC is mounted inside the vehicle, the size and weight of which should be minimized. Furthermore, the OBC is expected to operate at high temperature conditions.


To meet these requirements, the state-of-the-art wide-bandgap (WBG) materials, i.e., Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitrite (GaN), have emerged recently as alternative power devices. Decades of research have demonstrated that the WBG device has a higher breakdown voltage, lower on-state resistance, and is able to operate at higher temperatures as compared to its silicon counterparts. These attributes make the WBG an attractive solution for next-generation OBC design. Although much research has been conducted for WBG power devices, most of which are device-level research. In other words, the implementation of WBG devices in OBC (system-level research) has not been properly investigated. 


The main concerns of WBG materials are electromagnetic interference, thermal issue and cost which complicate the OBC design. Therefore, this project intends to bridge the gap between characteristics of WBG materials and OBC design. In this project, the state-of-the-art WBG devices are first analysed to investigate the latest WBG devices characteristics. The relevant standards for OBC design are then reviewed. Based on the characteristics of WBG devices and standards requirements, OBC using WBG materials will be developed which are expected to be smaller, lighter and higher in efficiency. The performance characteristics of WBG-based OBC will be assessed and evaluated via Matlab/Simulink simulation and be validated via experimental results. 

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