Health, Science & Technology

Design of Next-Generation On-Board Charger of Electric Vehicle using State of-the-Art Wide Bandgap Technology

AAU Energy, Aalborg University, Denmark
Revolutionising Electric Vehicle Charging
Dr. Freddy Tan Kheng Suan, a Ph.D. holder in Power Electronics, is dedicated to the research proposal that centers on designing the next-generation onboard charger for electric vehicles, employing cutting-edge wide-bandgap technology. 
The 35-year-old Senior Lecturer at Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) is recognised as one of Malaysia’s brightest minds and talents. Dr Freddy explains, “Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity and predicted to dominate the automobile market by 2040 or earlier. As this is an emerging study area, it lacks local experts for research and development. Securing this grant allows me to learn from an overseas expert and to foster potential collaboration.”
The Role of Wide-Bandgap OBCs in Dr. Freedy's Research
Despite their environmental benefits, the widespread adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is hindered by challenges such as high selling prices, limited driving range, slow charging rates, and inadequate charging infrastructure. To address these issues, significant investments from major automakers are directed toward the research and development of batteries and on-board chargers (OBCs). Notably, the OBC, crucial for charging, must be compact and lightweight, while also functioning effectively in high-temperature conditions.
The “wide-bandgap” technology Dr Freedy leverages for the onboard charger for electric vehicles research refers to higher-energy electronic band gaps. The difference in energy levels creates the semiconductor action as electrons switch between the two levels. As such, it permits devices to operate at much higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than conventional semiconductor materials. 
Charging forward in Denmark
Dr. Freddy had hoped that his 2-month attachment at AAU Energy would enable him to learn from globally renowned professors and work at world-class laboratories, both of which he was able to realise. While at AAU Energy, Dr. Freddy worked closely with Professor Frede Blaabjerg, attended several courses by various subject matter experts and conducted experiments in world-class research laboratories.
He also had major breakthroughs in his research when he developed a preliminary design for the photovoltaic converter and on-board charger, and went on to present his preliminary findings at the 13th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems (PEDG 2022) at Kiel, Germany.
He has served as consultant for photovoltaic converters and electric mobility projects from MIMOS, Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
Lessons to be learnt
While academic achievement is important, Dr. Freddy admired the work-life balance in Denmark. To his young students at APU, he advised  them to go beyond and contribute to their chosen profession by sharing expertise, exchanging knowledge and working together with experts from different fields for greater achievements.  
The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile

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