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9 February 2016

HELLA, GaN Systems and Kettering University develop 2.6kW/l, 97%-efficient electric vehicle charger

Germany-based automotive electronics specialist HELLA, in collaboration with GaN Systems Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (a fabless developer of gallium nitride-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications) and charging technology researchers at the Advanced Power Electronics Lab of Kettering University in Flint, MI, USA have developed a Level-2 electric vehicle (EV) charger prototype with efficiencies exceeding 97% at what is claimed to be an unprecedented 2.6kW/l power density. Prior to this, Level-2 EV chargers reached maximum efficiencies of 94%.

Using GaN Systems' 60A, 650V GS66516T switches in a two-stage architecture, the Kettering University team - led by Dr Kevin Bai (associate professor of electrical engineering) and known for collaborating with companies to help advance their charging technology - were able to increase the wall-to-battery efficiency to more than 3% greater than that previously obtained.

The power density of more than 2.6kW/l is "a significant milestone with important implications for charging electric vehicles, among other charging applications," states Bai, who characterizes the development as a 'game changer' for the EV charging industry.

"The results of this collaboration are equally gratifying and commercially important, because they provide HELLA with a path to ultra-compact and lighter EV charger designs," comments Matt McAmmond, HELLA's manager of advanced engineering. "In addition to benefiting HELLA and our customers, this development also has a positive environmental impact, as it represents another step toward the global effort to reduce power consumption," he adds.

"HELLA and Kettering University's ultra-compact, ultra-efficient EV chargers clearly demonstrate how the performance of gallium nitride contributes to the development of important new designs," comments Julian Styles, GaN Systems' director of sales & marketing for the Americas.

Tags: GaN Systems E-mode GaN FETs Power electronics

Visit: www.gansystems.com

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