EV charger makers back electromechanical fuse for higher power

July 08, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
EV charger makers back electromechanical fuse for higher power
An electromechanical fuse sub-system from Sensata Technologies in the UK has been chosen by several leading charging infrastructure OEMs to enable faster and safer DC fast charging.

Sensata’s system for EV chargers combines high voltage contactors and hermetically sealed electromechanical fuse in a module to simplify installation with safer and more effective system protection compared to traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairings. The module is combined with a mounting plate to provide overcurrent and short circuit protection.

EVs need faster charging times, so EV charging systems are quickly migrating from 400V to 1,000V and from 50kW to up to 350kW to shorten charging times to less than 20 minutes. While higher voltage and current levels reduce charging times, they increase the safety risks and design challenges for the systems.  High voltage contactors provide safe circuit continuity while fuses are required in tandem for circuit-protection in the event of a hazardous short circuit event.

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The increases in voltage and current levels not only require contactors with higher breaking capabilities, but also make the contactor and fuse pairings more technically challenging. To address these challenges, DC fast charging infrastructure OEMs are seeking safer, higher performing and more comprehensive solutions that improve on the traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairing.

The 0.15mΩ Gigafuse opens a circuit within 3ms, faster than a conventional DC thermal fuse and closer to normal operating conditions without nuisance tripping, resulting in less potential risk of damage. This pairs more easily with the contactor because of its electro-mechanical triggering mechanism and so helps prevent overloading, improving the performance of the contactor in the circuit. The lower resistance reduces the thermal aging to boost the switch life.

“Our recent wins with major charging Infrastructure OEMs demonstrate the additional value we provide to our customers as we move from being a component supplier to a leading electrification solutions provider. Working engineer-to-engineer with the most innovative companies allows us to learn and adapt to the needs of the rapidly transforming clean energy market,” said Nick Moelders, Vice President, Electrification at Sensata Technologies.

www2.sensata.com/dcfc-solutions

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