Electric vehicle (EV) design has shifted towards high-power components to overcome the challenges of charging time and battery capacity. However, this has led to complications of automotive electronics facing potential challenges in the form of overloads, transients, electrostatic discharge and short circuits.
As a solution, EV designers are actively integrating specialised components that can protect automotive electronics from the potential harm of higher voltages. In this article, we dive into the shift to high-power EV solutions, and the specific components needed to protect on-board electronics.
The increased demand for high-power EV
Since the beginning of EV design, manufacture and application, charging speed has been a hurdle in the way of mass adoption. For citizens, businesses and public transportation, the reality of waiting upwards of hours to reach full charge can easily dissuade from the idea of electrification.
The challenge of charging speed also goes hand-in-hand with battery capacity; the greater the capacity of the battery, the longer it takes to reach full charge. This is a particular challenge for larger fleet vehicles that require a significant battery capacity to operate effectively in their industry.
In light of these two challenges, it is no surprise that EV technology has shifted toward high-power solutions to reduce charge time and the impact of greater battery capacity. Level 3 DC chargers and ultra-rapid stations are becoming more widely available for citizens and businesses, capable of reaching highs of 350kW. For large fleet vehicles, specialised high-power technology such as Megawatt Charging Systems that can reach 1 MW are actively being developed.
The potential damage that can be caused by high-power solutions
The shift towards high-power EV solutions has led to an increased risk of component and electronic damage from overloads, transients, electrostatic discharge and short circuits. This can be particularly dangerous in the case of EVs due to the nature of their lithium-ion batteries; these batteries consist of a flammable liquid electrolyte which can combust if a cell short-circuits.
For onboard automotive electronics, voltages that go above the maximum voltage rating of components directly lead to the destruction of insulators and other sensitive circuitry. The fact is, dedicated electronics and components need to be created that can withstand higher voltages for the widespread application of high-power EV charging.
Dedicated components to protect automotive electronics in high-power EVs
Automotive connectors are vital when it comes to higher voltages in automotive electronics. They are able to transfer voltages between electronics and subsystems at particularly high currents through increasing the distances between conductive materials. As voltages increase, connectors will become a greater focus for engineers to push the limits of what EVs are able to achieve.
Contactors are multi-functional components that fulfil the requirements of various systems. A main contactor, for example, is used to connect and disconnect the traction battery from the electric drivetrain. Contactors are able to handle extremely high voltages to prevent short-circuits and enable demanding switching requirements in high-power EVs.
Relays support the connection and disconnection of the traction battery in switching assemblies for hybrid and battery electric vehicles. In high voltage machines, relays reliably disconnect the precharge circuit and traction battery to protect electronics and ensure safety.
The terminal is a connection point which conducts from the vehicle’s power source, and provides a connection to external circuits. For high-power EVs, choosing the right terminal types is vital to protect electronics, and as such need to be robustly housed with a high level of vibrational performance.
Integrate state-of-the-art components for your high-power EV design
With the shift towards high-power EV technology, the need for specialised components to protect automotive electronics has never been greater. You need components that ensure best-in-class performance at high voltages so that you can take full advantage of fast charging and increased battery capacity.
At Dalroad, we provide a wide range of state-of-the-art components that are built for a wide range of designs. These innovative parts ensure your vehicle can operate at high voltages whilst ensuring safety and durability; our components effectively future-proof your vehicle with the growing innovation in EV technologies.
To find out more about the state-of-the-art components that we offer here at Dalroad, contact a member of our team today.