Delta Developing Super-Lightweight 95% Efficient 6.6-kW Bi-Directional Onboard Charger

MAR 14 2015 BY MARK KANE 24

Delta EV Quick Charger

Delta EV Quick Charger

Delta Products Corporation, headquartered in Fremont, CA, was recently awarded $3.0 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for a new project of developing a high-efficiency, high-density, 6.6kW bidirectional on-board charger.

This one will be special not only because of its bidirectional capability, but also its use of Gallium Nitride (GaN) power switches.

At least 95% energy efficiency and volume/mass reduction by 30% to 50% (“compared to today’s technology“) is the target.

“The EERE research program will be a collaboration platform for industry leaders in different fields and a world-renowned research university. Delta, as a Tier-1 automotive supplier, will be partnering with FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies, Transphorm, a pioneering company in GaN power devices, and Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems.”

M.S. Huang, president of Delta Products Corporation stated:

“Delta is pleased to be working closely with EERE and our partners on this project to develop and commercialize the next generation of on-board EV chargers. The development of a smaller, lighter, less expensive and more efficient bidirectional on-board charger will be an enabling technology for affordable, fuel efficient plug-in electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid applications.”

Delta Group has for several years been engaged in electric mobility supplying fast chargers and other equipment like on-board chargers and DC-DC converters.

Categories: Charging


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24 Comments on "Delta Developing Super-Lightweight 95% Efficient 6.6-kW Bi-Directional Onboard Charger"

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Bi-directional charger? Vehicle-to-grid electricity transfer?

Sure, that’s just what EV owners need… a method of wearing out their battery packs faster.

Oh, wait…

Meh. No one is forcing you to be in such a program. And as long as you get compensated, a lot of people would be happy with such a program that helps pay for their EV.

And things like frequency regulation tend to be just short term little draws that won’t affect the car much but will greatly help the grid.

“Helps pay for their EV” by reducing its range along with its resale value? Talk about being penny-wise and pound foolish!

If the local electric utility wants to be able to control what hours a plug-in EV charges in someone’s garage, turning off the charger when it needs to, that seems reasonable so long as the car does eventually get charged. But if they want to use a battery pack for temporary storage of grid power, they should buy their own!

What if an EV driver decides that the price the utility is willing to pay them for use of their battery is worthwhile? This is obviously never going to work unless utilities find an appropriate way to pass the value down to the EV driver, and the utilities know this. If there’s a business case to build dedicated new stationary batteries, than you can bet there would be a business case to pay people adequately enough to use their existing batteries.

Some quick back of the envelope calculations:
Typical distance driven: 12,500 miles/year, 35/day
That would require about 10kWh of charging a day. Assume average onboard charger power of 5kW, so on average, each car needs to charge for maybe 2 hours a day.
Meanwhile, the average car probably spends about 8 hours parked at work, and 12 hours parked at home. That’s a lot of downtime where your vehicle could be connected to the grid, essentially doing nothing.

Take battery degradation into account, and build a system that can accommodate drivers needs with regards to range, charge time, and potential unexpected trips, and you could find a way to give EV drivers another way for their EVs to pay for themselves compared to initially cheaper conventional vehicles.

This is not at all farfetched.
The no-longer-with-us Project Better Place had discussions on this with the Israeli electric utility. Their generation is primarily from (imported) coal, plus natural gas. Due to our climate, peak load tends to be early afternoon A/C.

I saw the numbers, and they would have been willing to offer pretty deep discounts to able to use V2G to even out load, and lessen the number of gas turbines they need online.
You also have to think ahead, once BEV ranges stretch to 150-200, most people won’t need a lot of the vehicles’ range during day-to-day driving.

It would have been an opt-in program of course, with a threshold of how much min charge to leave in the car, and drivers notified via SMS if the capability was used; there would also have baan a “temporary opt out” clause — say, 10 times a year, if you needed to make an unexpected long range trip.

Kind of a knee-jerk reaction??? Small cycling is CONSTANTLY going on in my Volt’s battery in CS mode- in fact, ALL hybrids have current CONSTANTLY going in and out as you drive the car around. Or maybe you buy an EV to not drive it around?? Properly done, small amounts of charge into AND out of the battery will have minimal effect on the life of the battery overall. It is those FULL charge/discharge cycles that wear out the battery.

…and even those FULL discharge cycles are occasionally necessary in the grand scheme…read about ‘equalization charges’ on good old lead-acid batteries
…or what I had to do to get my other Volt’s anemic battery back to health

Delta’s EV chargers (EVSE) look just like they put their bi-directional designs into another EVSE brand’s box.

Their level-2 (L2) fast EVSE box looks just like a Bosch

And their L3 quick EVSe looks just like an ABB

The U.S. tax-payer money was to develop bi-directional ability in public EVSE (which could help smooth power demand, help in emergencies, etc. = good for the country).

But you do not need or want bi-directional ability (power can go in to charge the EV or out of the EV to power the grid), than spend some time to do your homework/research, and save some money.

This is an article about bi-directional onboard chargers, not EVSEs. This is a component that is built into the vehicle, and the EVSE would be more or less a pass-through. Bi-directional off-board chargers are also a possibility, connecting to the vehicle’s DC port as we’ve seen in Japan from Nissan and Mitsubishi, but that’s not what this article is about. It is a bit confusing that they’ve included photos of Level 2 EVSEs and DC Fast Chargers with the article, a photo of a regular onboard charger (which delta already makes) would have made more sense.

Good input. I missed that.

Yeah, experienced editors know you need some sort of picture with every story. Too bad these are the pictures they ran with. Gee, if they were familiar with Zero, they would have a Delta onboard charger photo right at their fingertips.

You’re thinking about Delta-Q, they make on-board chargers for motorcycles and folklifts in the 1kW range. Detla’s a different company, much larger automotive supplier.

I would like to get a fuller explanation of the bi-directional product. Does it work through the J1772 port? I thought that port was one-way, as it puts electricity directly into the charger on the car. Therefore, how could electricity come out of the J1772 port, because I don’t think electricity can flow out of the battery into and then out of the charger. I would love it if there were a product that could pull electricity out of the J1772 port, because I only need a couple of KW of power per hour to cover the expensive hours on our time of use rate schedule.

This article is about the component on the car that would be able to push AC power back out of the J1772 port. The EVSE or charging station just acts like a fancy extension cord, and is not part of this announcement.

Haha, I see I’m not the only one who spotted these are the same products as Bosch is remarketing and now Pass&Seymour/Legrande has dumped their EVSE and using these things.

Whether these are EVSE’s or chargers doesn’t make any difference to me. My question is how much are they?

If they are trivial in price, someone might want an arrangement where they can have emergency power off the car.

I wouldn’t want it but someone might, depending on the EVSE and Charger combo which I assume is not shown don’t cost much.

95% efficiency is acceptible, but is that charging or discharging? and is it synchronous or asynchronous (in other words, can u have a utility tie if u want one)?

The purpose here is making large-scale V2G a possibility, not additional utility for individuals. That said, I’m not sure there’s justification for public funding for this.

There’s never going to be enough EV’s to make a need for V2G for normal everyday power supply to the “grid”. Load sheding arrangements with large customers are far more cost effective. Oh, there’s plenty of “TALK” about all of this. But that just provides jobs for plenty of ‘consultants’. None of this would seriously be done by anyone that has to actually pay for it. Regarding the Smart Grid, there’s been very interesting news for Californians that your WHOLE CPUC is effectively working for PG&E, and is ENTIRELY CORRUPT. There actually has been no benefit to the $7 billion or whatever they’ve committed to this program. This isn’t just my opinion. THe former head of the CPUC Loretta Lynch says the same thing! That the CPUC is a ‘Rogue Agency’. THe solution is to refund customer’s money (not just the CPUC officials who noticed their vacation home’s billings doubled!!), and provide a free opt-out.. Oh and there’s a company (ElectaHealth) offering analog meters for around $50 from Hialeah Meter that cost me exactly $15.50 plus shipping. They even use Hialeah’s photo! So, even the “kill smart meter crusaders” are chiseling the unsuspecting public. But its nice to know that… Read more »

They are not all PG&e, don’t forget So Cal Edison. They just purposly changed my charge times so that when my solar power is on I cant charge back at the highest rate. I realize they are a private company but The PUC is in their pocket. I pay almost .50c a kilowatt at peak

Hey no argument from me Ted. I just found that one little article, which to me is GROUNDBREAKING since it has links to all those private emails (I hope their whistleblower health insurance is paid up), man its amazing they got that incriminating information. Every californian REMOTELY interested in electrical things such as EV’s should read that link carefully. It basically explains the extortion racket you’ve all been subjected to. I pay 12 cents / kwh in a very corrupt state myself, with my Utility constantly harranguing our Public Service Commission to be allowed to increase rates to implement a Smart Meter program. But one of National Grid’s competitors in massachusetts said they see no reason for Smart Metering or a Smart Grid under any scenario, and they can deal with wind mills and solar panels using old-fashioned equipment just as cheaply, accurately and reliably. Just think about that: I live in a green ‘ no carbon emissions ‘ state. Our utility business was already RUINED by ‘supposed free competition’ 30 years ago. But my rates, exhorbitant though they are, are 12 cents/ kwh 24/7/365. Some Californians have to put up with 50 cents /kwh and over at times. So… Read more »

Delta Electronics is a huge company with its global headquarters in Taipei City, Taiwan. It is just their USA subsidiary that has its offices in Fremont, CA. They are most famous for personal computer and server power supplies, but as noted they have gained significant market share in automotive DC/DC converters.

Although Texas has a fairly stable grid, power outages occur quite frequently. Mostly due to storms.

I wouldn’t mind having a way to leverage my EV rather than spending time and money to maintain a backup generator.

Ditto – would be nice to have that option in an emergency.

A decent fraction of Japanese LEAFers have the vehicle-to-home system, plus at least one other manufacturer has something, and Honda has test units.

I asked a Nissan staffer if we’ll get a version. They wouldn’t commit.