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Understanding Automotive-Grade On-Board Charging Components

May 13,2024 | TCcharger

When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), one of the critical aspects that determine their feasibility in daily use is their charging infrastructure. The On-Board Charger (OBC) is at the heart of this infrastructure, essentially acting as the bridge that allows the safe transfer of AC electricity from the grid to the DC batteries in the car.


OBCs are typically available in two primary forms: single-phase and three-phase. The standard capacity for a single-phase OBC lies between 7.2kW to 11kW, while a three-phase OBC offers a capacity of 22kW. The capacity of an OBC is integral as it directly influences the time taken to fully charge the vehicle.


The charging system of a vehicle consists of three main components: the battery, the alternator, and the voltage regulator. The battery powers the car, the alternator supplies additional electricity to not strain the battery, and the voltage regulator ensures the alternator doesn't overcharge the battery.


Moreover, EV chargers come in three different levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The higher the level, the faster the charger’s output power will be, meaning a quicker charging time.


The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has issued numerous standards related to EV charging. They include IEC 61851-23, which covers DC EV charging stations; IEC 61851-24 which focuses on digital communication between the DC EV charging station and the EV; and IEC 61851-25 which ensures the protective safety measures for DC EV supply equipment.


In sum, the world of EV charging might be complicated, but all these components play a crucial role in the broader efficacy of electric mobility. As we progress, further improvements in these standards and technologies promise a smoother, more efficient EV charging experience.