Ford and Purdue develop new EV charging cables

Lakados

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Ford and Purdue University teamed up back in 2017 to tackle charging and other issues on EV’s. The recent announcement says they have found a way to cut that down to about 5 min.

The new cables they developed can handle upwards of 2,400 Amps, they need to get it above 2,500 if they want to get it below 5 min for a modern EV.

Still a big improvement over the Tesla super charger cables that are currently only rated for 520.

https://media.ford.com/content/ford...1/11/10/ford-and-purdue-charging-station.html

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/rel...s-with-new-charging-station-cable-design.html
 
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TheSlySyl

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It's amazing to me just how many problems in technology seem to be based entirely on heat dissipation.

This is cool, I don't know if electric will be completely ready by the time I'm gonna move onto my next vehicle, but I absolutely hope it will be.
 

michalrz

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Okay, so phase change cooled cables.
If you can pump 2,5kA continuously, you could charge 10 Teslas in an hour, right?

That's pretty nice. Definitely a lot of headroom for all sorts of stuff.

It's amazing to me just how many problems in technology seem to be based entirely on heat dissipation.
Well, resistance. One of the things I'm most excited about are high temperature superconductors. Not like room temperature, but at least somewhat feasible outside of a high-tech setting.

IIRC they hit a milestone recently thanks to a superconducting electromagnet used in one of the research nuclear fusion reactors.

I think that might get us further than just focusing on power dissipation.
 

Valnar

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Dayaks

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I don't see 2,400 amps going terribly wrong if deployed in mass.

There's also the problem of batteries absorbing that current and all the electronics that regulate it... a cable is by far the easiest part.
 

THRESHIN

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We should just go with 3 phase 600V. I'm sure some smart engineer can find ways to make it safe....or close to at least lol.

I'm thinking of the line losses with 2.5kA. it's not just the cable, it's the infrastructure as well.
 

Nobu

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The cable better be shielded better than the titanic and have better ground fault detection than a blow-dryer or...wait...NVM. You can bet there will be problems, regardless.
 

Wade88

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bigdogchris

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Designing the cable is the minor issue. Getting all companies to agree to one form factor is the major issue. And a question I always wonder is, what is the charging speed limit of these batteries? I assume we'll need new types of batteries if we want to get to a point of charging up in 5 minutes.
 

michalrz

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Designing the cable is the minor issue. Getting all companies to agree to one form factor is the major issue. And a question I always wonder is, what is the charging speed limit of these batteries? I assume we'll need new types of batteries if we want to get to a point of charging up in 5 minutes.
For the last part, yeah, in the article they admit this is just one part of the problem and hint at future developments in the other areas.
 

Youn

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well I guess it'll hold me over until this style becomes the norm:

F-Zero-Power-Strip.png
 

Valnar

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Anything they come up with has to be able to be handled by an 80yr old grandma. There are design limitations from multiple directions.

The same is true with EV cars in general. Do you want one that can go 500 miles? Sure, they can make one, but expense isn't the only issue. The EV's today are already much heavier than their ICE counterparts. That envelope has already been pushed, so they can't just keep making them arbitrarily heavier.
 

NickM

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I would think you could throw magnets on the power meter wheel and use it to generate electricity while charging at that rate. Maybe even loop it into the charge circuit-free electrons!
 

Nafensoriel

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We should just go with 3 phase 600V. I'm sure some smart engineer can find ways to make it safe....or close to at least lol.

I'm thinking of the line losses with 2.5kA. it's not just the cable, it's the infrastructure as well.
We have 3 phase 600V here in Canada already. I actually prefer it in an industrial setting.
Handling it isn't any different than 480V since they have the same insulation.

Would I want the average idiot near it? Nope :D.


/edit
One of my coworkers saw the thread and looked this up. Now he's trying to do the math on if an unregulated failure would cause a person to become a lightbulb or just flash boil and explode. I love scientists.
 

michalrz

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Batteries take DC. Using AC would imply rectifying it again in the car somehow (and the losses would defeat the concept).

Pumping 2.5 kA through a wire would produce a very strong magnetic field, it would have to be turned on and off gradually to avoid creating heavy interference in surrounding equipment.
If you look at a relay or fuse's spec sheet, you'll find that their DC current rating is usually a fraction of their AC rating due to no zero crossing, so the arcing between contact surfaces on shut-down is pretty bad as well.
And then there's parasitic inductance, even for "just" wires.

Best I can do in my little home experiments is just shy of one 1kA (400V through a 0.5 Ohm inductor) for like 5 milliseconds and even that causes some weird phenomena like wires interacting electromagnetically with surrounding ferromagnetics.

So, in the end, if they can pull it off, I probably want one :D

Edit: zapped myself with a 10uF cap at 390V a few days ago. Strained a muscle in my armpit somewhere. DC cray
 

travm

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It's amazing to me just how many problems in technology seem to be based entirely on heat dissipation.

This is cool, I don't know if electric will be completely ready by the time I'm gonna move onto my next vehicle, but I absolutely hope it will be.
I've been shopping for an electric motorcycle as a commuter... Range is an issue unfortunately... I have a 150km commute, all Highway.... They just can't do it.
 

Nafensoriel

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I've been shopping for an electric motorcycle as a commuter... Range is an issue unfortunately... I have a 150km commute, all Highway.... They just can't do it.
Range is gonna be an issue for pure EV for a long long time unless someone pulls a rabbit out of their bum.

While we have nearly tripled capacity in the last decade there are few low-hanging fruits remaining. The physics of storing energy efficiently for something that needs rediculous capacity, discharge rate, charge rate, and cycle life is complex, to put it mildly. No matter how much good old Elon might wish it the physics kinda says no to a battery solution.

Realistically people need two things for EV to actually work... supercaps and a quick charging grid. Both are pipedreams at the moment though there is a ton of money being thrown at the problem.
 

travm

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Range is gonna be an issue for pure EV for a long long time unless someone pulls a rabbit out of their bum.

While we have nearly tripled capacity in the last decade there are few low-hanging fruits remaining. The physics of storing energy efficiently for something that needs rediculous capacity, discharge rate, charge rate, and cycle life is complex, to put it mildly. No matter how much good old Elon might wish it the physics kinda says no to a battery solution.

Realistically people need two things for EV to actually work... supercaps and a quick charging grid. Both are pipedreams at the moment though there is a ton of money being thrown at the problem.
Thus, it'll likely be a little 400 or 500cc ICE...
 

THRESHIN

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We have 3 phase 600V here in Canada already. I actually prefer it in an industrial setting.
Handling it isn't any different than 480V since they have the same insulation.

Would I want the average idiot near it? Nope :D.


/edit
One of my coworkers saw the thread and looked this up. Now he's trying to do the math on if an unregulated failure would cause a person to become a lightbulb or just flash boil and explode. I love scientists.

Pretty sure 3 phase 600V is quite universal around the world...fun fact, we also have 500kV for transmission in Canada :)

I'm sure with the recent advancements in superconductors they could make a cable that can handle that much amps, but the rest of the grid might have a problem. I'm thinking neighborhood distribution, a lot of that is 120V.

Who knows, maybe they'll figure out a cheap superconducting cable and we can upgrade the entire grid and kiss line losses good bye.
 

learners permit

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Thus, it'll likely be a little 400 or 500cc ICE...
Don't punish yourself that much make it 700CC vtwin at minimum unless your into dentistry visits to have your fillings replaced from vibration during transit. An older well kept honda shadow 700 would be nearly ideal.
 
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travm

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Don't punish yourself that much make it 700CC vtwin at minimum unless your into dentistry visits to have your fillings replaced from vibration during transit. An older well kept honda shadow 700 would be nearly ideal.
my 250 ninja was fine, i'm sure the newer stuff isn't worse. Just gotta keep the RPM over 10k
 
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Nafensoriel

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Pretty sure 3 phase 600V is quite universal around the world...fun fact, we also have 500kV for transmission in Canada :)

I'm sure with the recent advancements in superconductors they could make a cable that can handle that much amps, but the rest of the grid might have a problem. I'm thinking neighborhood distribution, a lot of that is 120V.

Who knows, maybe they'll figure out a cheap superconducting cable and we can upgrade the entire grid and kiss line losses good bye.
600v is far less common than you think. We are weird Canadians who like stupid things like efficiency and not caring about a little 10v drop. Hell in the USA it's mostly 480 and I know for an absolute fact that Argentina is 380v, Australia is 400v, and Egypt is 380v.

Also since it just triggered my memory F*&% any country that just randomly picks god damn colors! Humans! PICK A COLOR SCHEME ALREADY! /rant over.
 

travm

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600v is far less common than you think. We are weird Canadians who like stupid things like efficiency and not caring about a little 10v drop. Hell in the USA it's mostly 480 and I know for an absolute fact that Argentina is 380v, Australia is 400v, and Egypt is 380v.

Also since it just triggered my memory F*&% any country that just randomly picks god damn colors! Humans! PICK A COLOR SCHEME ALREADY! /rant over.
volts is kinda like HP, you can use the same equipment with less typically. but 600v gets'er done. 480 works. its saferish too... like if you're wearing proper safety equipment its less likely to turn you into a smoked taco. But might anyway.

also, please elaborate on your colour rant.
 

LodeRunner

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volts is kinda like HP, you can use the same equipment with less typically. but 600v gets'er done. 480 works. its saferish too... like if you're wearing proper safety equipment its less likely to turn you into a smoked taco. But might anyway.

also, please elaborate on your colour rant.
I suspect the color rant is related to the coding of the conductors in 3 phase. You have 3 hots, a neutral, and a ground. US has one color set, I forget what it is, but I recall that it's different than EU. I would assume Canada has their own thing. The color will tell you if it's a hot or neutral, and if hot, which phase. In the US, there are two color codes, one for 120, 208, and 240 v service, and a different one for 277/48v. Bother are defined in the NEC.

Edit: I found this useful table (attached); source: https://www.electricaltechnology.org/2020/07/electrical-wiring-color-codes-nec-iec.html
 

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THRESHIN

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600v is far less common than you think. We are weird Canadians who like stupid things like efficiency and not caring about a little 10v drop. Hell in the USA it's mostly 480 and I know for an absolute fact that Argentina is 380v, Australia is 400v, and Egypt is 380v.

Also since it just triggered my memory F*&% any country that just randomly picks god damn colors! Humans! PICK A COLOR SCHEME ALREADY! /rant over.

Ok I learned something today. I thought 600V was pretty common. Guess not. Guess I just take it for granted. I work at a power plant so I see 600V and 4.2kV daily.

Back to EVs....I feel that the way to go would either be make superconducting cables and grid or start pumping 3 phase into these things. But then there's the safety problem and how much the batteries can handle. There's no easy answer. Maybe high amps would be safer if we could pull it off.
 

cpufrost

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Like broadband internet for everyone, that dreaded "last mile" comes up again.
Good thing EVs are IOT devices because when there's a lot of 'em around, energy management is going to be crucial not just to keep the juice flowing but to ensure reliability.
In residential neighborhoods the current schema is indeed very shared and based on the fact that BIG loads used in residential settings (dryers, water heaters, central electric heating, welders) is a very intermittent load. Charging an EV pulling 50+ amps at 240VAC for hours on end is not what the systems are designed for. Not when everyone in the community has one and gets home around the same time. To avoid voltage sagging and cut outs opening from overload, they will have to manage charging rates actively. Just as back in the day with shared cable broadband service download rates plummeted in the evenings when everyone jumped on. This leads to disappointed users expecting to fast charge their EVs waking up ready for work and with only 30% charge due to power limiting! Upgrading that "last mile" is going to take a LOT of time and money for sure.
 

Dayaks

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We have 3 phase 600V here in Canada already. I actually prefer it in an industrial setting.
Handling it isn't any different than 480V since they have the same insulation.

Would I want the average idiot near it? Nope :D.


/edit
One of my coworkers saw the thread and looked this up. Now he's trying to do the math on if an unregulated failure would cause a person to become a lightbulb or just flash boil and explode. I love scientists.

The bigger risk is a short circuit and a component turning into a grenade. They’d have to make the components super heavy to be able to handle the short circuit amps of something providing 2500amps continuous. Look up panels not designed right for short circuit amps… there’s giant holes right through them and that’s at a much lower amperage / wattage.
 

sadsteve

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Batteries take DC. Using AC would imply rectifying it again in the car somehow (and the losses would defeat the concept).

Pumping 2.5 kA through a wire would produce a very strong magnetic field, it would have to be turned on and off gradually to avoid creating heavy interference in surrounding equipment.
If you look at a relay or fuse's spec sheet, you'll find that their DC current rating is usually a fraction of their AC rating due to no zero crossing, so the arcing between contact surfaces on shut-down is pretty bad as well.
And then there's parasitic inductance, even for "just" wires.

Best I can do in my little home experiments is just shy of one 1kA (400V through a 0.5 Ohm inductor) for like 5 milliseconds and even that causes some weird phenomena like wires interacting electromagnetically with surrounding ferromagnetics.

So, in the end, if they can pull it off, I probably want one :D

Edit: zapped myself with a 10uF cap at 390V a few days ago. Strained a muscle in my armpit somewhere. DC cray

Back in the early 80's I was working on a speed modification for a Philips Laser Disc player. These players used a helium-neon laser so the power supply output was around 20kV. Getting zapped by that was an experience! I could taste my metal fillings, but luckily didn't otherwise hurt myself.
 

Nafensoriel

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Ok I learned something today. I thought 600V was pretty common. Guess not. Guess I just take it for granted. I work at a power plant so I see 600V and 4.2kV daily.

Back to EVs....I feel that the way to go would either be make superconducting cables and grid or start pumping 3 phase into these things. But then there's the safety problem and how much the batteries can handle. There's no easy answer. Maybe high amps would be safer if we could pull it off.
It might be cheaper in the long term to leave the grid supply fixed and attempt a supercapacitor to supercapacitor solution.

With capacitors, you can easily break apart the charge and discharge functions asymmetrically. IE run more standard grid wires to a location and simply connect them to fewer banks while at the same time using the entire bank to dump into one to six(typical gas station setup) charging lines. Yes, there are some resistive effects of large-cap banks but as it stands right now in science capacitors look to have the theoretical advantage of 3-4 times more storage per kg than batteries theoretically. Practical real-world caps top at 50Wh/kg and I think I saw some lab samples at 150Wh/kg. Lithium-Ion is 250Wh/kg for comparison. Supercaps ain't new they've been around since before I was born but like mRNA tech no one needed it and it was shelved for decades.

They have some specific advantages when looking at this type of power cable in that they can actually handle the discharge rate without breaking a sweat. If the car also had a supercap(or more likely a supercap/Li-ion hybrid) you could charge an EV in less time than you fuel a typical car(4-5m / 600m). Using grid to cap would limit stations total daily charging capacity but that is already true for gas stations and would cost significantly less than superconductive lines I'm betting.

Also, caps are much safer. I'd rather stand next to a Gw cap failure than a Gw Li-ion failure. In most cases, an EDLC failure is just a poof it no worky anymore. Even charge failures are typically just gas releases.

Though a superconductive grid has some significant advantages in reducing transmission losses... Huh. Now I have to do more math.

@Dayaks
Electricity scares me more than anything else. I would rather play with hydrazine next to a space heater. I've seen a transformer go nova near an ATC and I swear to god at the time I thought someone somehow detonated a live warhead on the ground. When I later found out it was caused due to a dropped wrench and happened in seconds it didn't really help.
 
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