Swiss Company Proposes Cooled Cable And Connector For High-Power Charging

OCT 18 2016 BY MARK KANE 39

Swiss company HUBER+SUHNER has announced its cooled cable and connector products for high-power charging.

As of today, HUBER+SUHNER has developed a version of the Combined Charging System (CCS) type-1 and type-2 connectors with an integrated cooling circuit.

Tesla Model S and Model X at Supercharger

Tesla Model S and Model X at Supercharger

That enables to charge at 500 A, which is even more than 350 A targeted by the CCS alliance for 350 kW DC charging.

The big advantage of cooling the cable is the possibility to send several times more power without increasing the cross-section and weight of the cable compared to 50 kW versions.

We’ve heard about liquid cooled Tesla Superchargers (see video below) a year ago, and we believe it’s just matter of time until we see it in use for all high-power chargers as a necessity.

“Leading international manufacturer of components and systems for optical and electrical connectivity, HUBER+SUHNER, has developed a cooled cable and connector that enables High Power Charging of electric vehicles.

This development can multiply the power-throughput of a charging cable and keep charging times below 20 minutes (80% State of Charge) even with big battery packs of new electric vehicles and trucks. With the release of the next generation of long range electric vehicles present, fast-charging stations running with a power of 50 kW and a current of 120 A will lead to charging times up to one hour. With the new cooled cable system by HUBER+SUHNER, currents of up to 500A or higher are possible while still providing a flexible, small-diameter and low-weight cable solution. This perfectly matches the High Power Charging stations currently under development that are said to provide 350 kW with charging currents of 350 A or more.

HUBER+SUHNER is convinced that the cooled cable and connector will support and accelerate the demand for environmentally friendly electric vehicles, as long charge times are a key factor in negatively influencing a person’s decision to purchase one.”

“HUBER+SUHNER’s cooled cables are highly flexible, lightweight and easy to handle – traits that traditional high-current cables lack. Thanks to an integrated cooling circuit, they also offer a much smaller cable cross section than the traditional option.”

Frank Rothe, Head of the Automotive Market Unit at HUBER+SUHNER said:

“Our cooled cables and connectors will make rapid charge times for all electric cars absolutely feasible. With environmentally conscious vehicles becoming more and more popular in the mainstream, this is the next step in making purchasing an electric vehicle the norm.”

“We are excited to offer the cooled cable with Combined Charging System (CCS) type-1 and type-2 connectors and, since HUBER+SUHNER is committed to tailoring the best possible solution for each individual situation, we are always happy to discuss custom designs with our partners.”.

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39 Comments on "Swiss Company Proposes Cooled Cable And Connector For High-Power Charging"

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1000 volts to the car even beats Porsche…I’m assuming this is going to be a glycol cooler, with a fan-forced radiator in the base of the charger assembly, since the total amount of heat to be released isn’t that huge – but then – this may have only shown the ‘Stall’ which, a la Tesla, all the heat is released back at the shrouded equipment corral.

In my country – what with demand charges being what they are – there still needs to be monies set aside for that, or extra ancillary equipment such as ‘Dump Battery’ packs and extra electronics to lessen peak utility loads.

And as far as the car goes – that car must have one hell of an airconditioner.

I for one, wouldn’t think such schemes would reach any huge degree of popularity, but the NEXT thing of course for those clammering for 1000 kw charge rates would be to continue the anti-freeze loop to INSIDE THE CAR, to get rid of the huge amount of heat necessarily generated.

That’s what I am thinking. How are they gonna keep the battieries cool throughout or will there be some warning telling you that you will permanently damage your battery for the convenience?

Will have to be part of the design.

Don’t forget buses and trucks that need to use higher capacity batteries.

Buses are charged using massively high current, as compared to charging ordinary passenger car EVs.

The problem with overheating cables, wiring etc. can be solved simply by using a heavier gauge (larger cross-section) of wire or cable, and a larger surface area on the contacts. Greater cross section or surface area means lower resistance, which means less waste heat generated; it also means more thermal mass to absorb what heat is gnerated. That’s why bus chargers don’t need this sort of liquid cooling system.

The other issue with faster and faster charging is the battery cells themselves heating up. Again, that’s less of an issue with larger battery packs, such as those installed in buses.

Ultimately, superfast charging will need batteries with less internal resistance; batteries which can be charged rapidly without overheating. While such batteries have been demonstrated in the lab, unfortunately the advancement(s) needed to mass produce those have yet to appear.

I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to have the car’s own cooling system take care of the battery heat like it would do normally. That is, unless it’s like a Leaf. They’d add a cooling circuit for the charger and software to turn it on.

Bill:

I know that there has been a lot of commotion about the Bolt EV having fast enough QC capability, but 1000 kw seems like overkill for sure. Nobody relishes sitting in a line waiting for a QC, but I wonder if there is a strong need for this kind of speed?

Lou

Once you go out of enthusiast market when people are ready to go long way for their beloved tech, yes, over 1 MW is what you need to get usual 3-5 minute refueling speeds and avoid long lines at busy times.

“1000 kw … overkill” Yeah, this was for Priusmaniac’s sake, who seems to think that it is no harder than the 116 kw (at least according to the recent Tesla graphs) that the best tesla model/battery combo has to date (the others are close but a bit less). I had thought, around 7 years ago now, that 150 kw would be the practical limit for passenger cars, and so far, I haven’t had to modify that. 350 kw of course can be made to work, if costs are no object. Of course, where I live personally, costs are ALWAYS the object – within a 150 mile radius of me in the states there is 1 ricketty CCS charger that sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t in Ithaca. Doesn’t seem likely there will be, in addition, even a 350 kw charger there anytime soon. I wonder about the longevity of the 50 kw unit currently since I have no idea who is actually paying the freight. At the EV car club in Hamilton, Ontario Canada earlier this evening, it seems there are several members who want to donate 30 amp wallboxes to various non-profits, such as hospitals, etc, but they can find… Read more »

I don’t see Porsche creating another system.

Audi, Porsche (VW) will likely all adopt this 150 / 350 kW system (CCS 2.0 or 3.0).

It’s simply an evolution of the current CCS (same plug, another important advantage):

http://insideevs.com/abb-joins-charin-150-kw-charging-coming-soon-350-kw-targeted-future/

PS: 350 kW is likely overkill even as battery sizes increase imho.

I see 150 kW as the sweet spot for most locations (cheaper installation costs) with 350 kW reserved for high-traffic / highway spots for years to come.

As mentioned above – with a 150kW max – where are busses and trucks going to charge?

Well that’s the question isn’t it?

Some bus companies may feel that at the end of an 8 hour freeway shift it is easier to have passengers and luggage switch busses than it is to attempt to ‘fast charge’ a non-stop trip.

But 500-700 mile range busses should be relatively easy, since there’s no shortage of space for batteries.

Or, if the switch happens back at the bus depot, then use a guy with a loader to swap out the ‘hot-swap’ battery packs, with fresh ones.

Gives the janitor one more job to do, I know.

sveno asked:

“…where are busses and trucks going to charge?”

Presumably there will be EV truck stops, just as now there are diesel truck stops, which are set up to service larger vehicles.

And we can be pretty sure those EV truck stops won’t be limited to “low voltage” 150 kW charging. Municipal EV bus chargers already use higher charging rates.

NICE VERY NICE…all that is needed is increased demand for electric vehicles.

Initial Ultra-E 350 kW network charging project just started:
https://www.allego.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/18102016-Ultra-E-Press-Release-1.pdf
25 350 kW chargers – 16 million euros. Utility participation mentioned, so I guess they know what they are doing, but demand power peak for multi-charger station would be in megawatt ballpark. Who wants to pay even more or prepare a costs study for true mass market deployment?

Sorry should have been 13 mln instead of 16.

Nice to see Europe really now starting to take EVs seriously!

Cooled Cable Combine Charging System, CCCCS, sounds like someone w/a stutter.

If they subdivide the Model S battery in 4 parts and arrange them in a serial configuration, there you have a times four voltage and a much thinner cable with no more heat loses than a standard low speed charging. At 1600 v it would still be relatively low voltage and not to much problems with contacts or insulation. It is a real solution waiting to be applied. The good thing is that you can still charge at a lower 400 v config if you really want to.

This will only have an effect to the Cable and charger, but won’t change the current per cell in the pack of the car.(c-rate is at the same limit!)

Yes that is true, but at least the charger part will be ready immediately once those high C rate cells arrive; otherwise they will first have to change all the chargers before they can use those new cells.
Chargers is an infrastructure and like any other, it takes permits, work and hardware to implement them, so if they can be made ready for the future in advance, you win time and money.
It also help increase the arrival of faster charging cars since you solve the chicken and egg problem by immediately providing them with the chargers that are able to charge them.

I hope this design is more robust and higher quality than the RF cables that I have dealt with as far as HUBER+SUHNER is concerned…

That heat could be useful here in Canada (for part of the year anyway).

This is about trucks and busses.

Yes, but not only that.

Porsche and others were also talking about this for 2018-2020 and later as a high-end charging option for their upcoming EVs…

Cooled cable and connector is a simple technical solution to a problem that FUDsters have posed as a show stopper for high power charging.

In reality the only problem on charger side is cost. There is solutions to deliver high power safely and conveniently as soon as we have batteries that can take it.

Definitely. Municipal EV bus chargers use much higher current without any problem.

The engineering and the safety procedures for high current and high voltage systems were worked out decades ago. It’s not like anything new needs to be developed or invented just for the charging side.

As you say, it’s just anti-EV FUD to suggest otherwise.

http://insideevs.com/proterra-opens-electric-bus-fast-charging-technology/

That’s a stupid idea meant for folks who don’t understand physics. Increasing the cross section is the smartest thing to do. Cooling it is unreliable and u can’t improve the power by much.

Heat waiste from cable P = I^2 * R
I ist curent. R is resistance of cable.
Charging power P = V * I.
V is voltage.

Doubling the power means doubling current, that means quadrupling the heat waiste. Voltage is fixed.
Imagine what heat waiste u have by increasing the power several times. It will be several times square.
And the cooling construction does not make it lighter, nor cheaper.

They should better develope cheap fast charging stations, instead of inventing the rectangular wheel.

It’s a good idea for folks that really understand physics. Energy lost as heat is linearly dependent on current, not squared (power loss is squared, but charging time is shorter). Increasing cross-section too much makes cables expensive and difficult to handle. Properly designed liquid cooling is not unreliable and can be cheaper than extra copper.

Its worse than that. The conductor is run hotter when watercooled, since the thing limiting the temperature is the insulation – so the conductor can get hotter.

Unfortunately, this also increases the resistance, and, since you are charging the battery at a faster rate causes much more losses on the car end by similar rationale.

Yeah, that’s the problem with dealing with overheating in a charging cable by just running a cooling loop along the cable: It’s treating the symptom, not the cause. The real solution is to lower the resistance, and as ____ pointed out, that means increasing the cross section of the cable. It also means increasing the surface area of the contacts. Sure, it’s more expensive to use a larger charging cable. But then, you can replace copper with aluminum, altho that does make the cable even larger and therefore unwieldy and stiffer, altho lighter since aluminum is so much lighter than copper. Ultimately, charging will be wireless. But until that happens, we do need a stopgap solution to deal with charging cables becoming too stiff and unwieldy to use without mechanical assistance. As I’ve said in the past, I think that what is needed is a robot-controlled, segmented arm carrying the current, rather than a (not so) flexible cable. Tesla has been working on that with its “metal snake” prototype, but I’m not sure that’s the best approach. They have developed a robot-controlled filling station; why not an EV charging station? (Well, for one thing, because it’s a lot more expensive.… Read more »

Edit:

As bogdan pointed out…

You obviously miss the point.
They cool the power cord in order to get more power to charge, and not to improve efficiency.
We’re talking about temperature rise in the power cord, not energy efficiency. Temperature rises linear with power loss, I^2 * R.
And Bill is right, the temperature rise in the copper increases its own resistance by factor 1.4 / 100°K. That goes on top of it all.

Up to 630 amperes for heavy-duty vehicles:

HUBER+SUHNER press release: Cooled charging cable wins award
http://www.hubersuhner.com/en/Company/Media/News/2788

Quote: “Thanks to the new cooled cable system, charging currents of 500 amperes and higher are possible. This promising new system is an ideal fit for high-power charging stations, which are currently still in the development stage. They will operate with an output of 400 kilowatts and charging currents of over 400 amperes for passenger cars and up to 630 amperes for heavy-duty vehicles.”

And regarding cable diameter.

Quote: “Thanks to the integrated cooling these charging cables are slimmer in diameter than a petrol hose at a conventional filling station.”

Tesla has been testing this also. This article sounds like they quit the public testing for now, but might use it later.

https://electrek.co/2016/07/21/tesla-ends-its-thin-liquid-cooled-supercharger-wire-experiment-in-mountain-view-but-the-tech-lives-on/

Liquid cooled cables are old technology. The welding industry has been making and using these cables for 50+ years. A 250 amp cable including its water jacket is no bigger around than a pencil.