GaN-based electric vehicle charger boast over 97% efficiency, 2.6 kW/l power density

February 09, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Automotive electronics specialist HELLA, in collaboration with provider of gallium nitride power transistors GaN Systems, and charging technology researchers at Kettering University's Advanced Power Electronics Lab, have developed a Level-2 electric vehicle (EV) charger prototype with efficiencies exceeding 97% at an unprecedented 2.6 kW/l power density.

Prior to this achievement, Level-2 EV chargers reached maximum efficiencies of 94%, the researchers claim. Using GaN Systems’ 60 A, 650 V GS66516T switches in an innovative two-stage architecture, the Kettering University research team, led by Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Dr. Kevin Bai, were able to increase the wall-to-battery efficiency to more than 3% greater than previously obtained.

“The switching performance we observed with the GaN Systems’ parts was marvelous. Using these devices our power electronics exhibited a power density greater than 2.6 kW/l. This is a significant milestone with important implications for charging electric vehicles, among other charging applications”, stated Dr. Bai, characterizing this new development as a 'game changer’ for the EV charging industry.

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