Electro Mobility And EV Protection
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As the world moves forward toward a more widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) as the primary source of transportation within the personal vehicle market, we find that the need for reliable and safe charging infrastructure is increasing. Electric vehicles have become more powerful and stylish, leaving only the ability to charge outside of the home as the major encumbrance limiting a more widespread global adoption. Fast charging technology is rapidly emerging, and as public interest increases, we also find charging stations to be emerging as a business opportunity. There are challenges to this type of widespread adoption, the main challenge is the methods to protect both the devices themselves and the connected vehicles against electrical overvoltage. Both the cars and the charging stations are outfitted with sensitive components that are electronic in nature, which cannot withstand power surges. The protecting of the cars and the charging stations against power surges caused by both fluctuations in the network as well as lightning strikes is critical from both a safety perspective as well as an economic perspective on the business end. All grid side switching operations are potential problems for both the stations as well as the cars connected to them, and earthing faults or short circuiting can have severe impact in the form of damage to the equipment. It’s necessary to safeguard against these electrical risks in order to ensure the viability of profits, and also safety with regards to human life. Identifying the risk scenarios that surround both AC and DC charging setups is critical to the future of electrical vehicles.
Overvoltages that are caused by lightning strikes to the alternating current network need to be diminished up to the point of input of the main distributor of the charging device. Surge protection devices need to be installed directly after the main circuit breaker and need to impinge the surge current to earth. We must take into consideration that there is no way to effectively shut down charging stations during thunderstorms which may produce lightning, so instead we must provide the protection that will allow these stations to remain fully functional during such inclement weather events. It is critical that there is no chance of a surge moving past the connection point to the vehicle, considering that it would be anticipated during inclement weather that people would remain inside their cars during the charging process. While there can be no chance of the surge mishap moving through the charging station and into the structure of the vehicle, we also need the minimization of the amount of time when humans would potentially be inside of their vehicle while it is connected. Not only will shorter time frames associated with charging help to further the adoption of electric vehicles in general, it would minimize the amount of time that people would be at risk due to their presence in and around the vehicle during the charging process itself. EV surge protection can move us closer towards all these goals.
The widespread implementation of charging stations across the country exponentially increases the amount of potential damage as a result of power surges. Inverters and transformers within fast charging setups must be positioned upwards of 100 meters apart, which significantly increases the footprint that the station itself holds. With each added inch of space that is taken up by equipment that is interconnected, the chances of a lightning strike impacting the entire system increases. Providing less area where the lightning strike can happen and then couple into the system is one of the areas that is being technologically advanced every day. As the charging capacities of the stations themselves grow more significant, so does the risk of loss as a result of a single lightning strike. The more advanced the system becomes, the more expensive the equipment becomes as well. As we advance towards the goal of fast charging stations becoming able to provide a full charge to an electric vehicle in less than 30 minutes, the capacities of the delivery system must increase. The risks associated with these increases can only be mitigated through the involvement of more technologically advanced surge protection devices on an ongoing basis. While the integration of surge protection devices in addition to external shielding devices which can draw lightning strikes away from these charging stations can help to minimize the risks involved, there are still vast areas for improvement within nearly every element of the electricity delivery system for electric cars. The ultimate goal is to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of fossil fuel powered vehicles, but the rollout of these emerging technologies remains slow because we concentrate heavily on fully understanding the potential pitfalls before moving forward with widespread rollouts.
Tesla is a leader in the field of electric vehicles and has done more for the advancement of the clause than practically any other manufacturer. One of the main considerations that has drawn customers to Tesla is their proprietary charge delivery system and stations which have been installed in nearly every major city in the United States. Even Tesla which has the significant advantage over every other manufacturer still faces the problems of not being able to be everywhere, and only through the collective push for integration of cross vehicle charging stations into the existing gas station network will we be able to see a more legitimate adoption of electric vehicles as being the choice for the majority of the population. Tesla vehicles are provided with an adapter that can utilize the standard charging station hookups, but even though they are able to be charged at these types of stations the delivery of the power is not as great as within the Tesla network. The extended wait times of standard charging creates not only frustration for electric vehicle owners but also the dangers associated with the longer times they are spent in and around your car while it is connected. Through Raycap’s advancements in the surge protection industry as it applies to electric vehicles, we will see all of these issues be further mitigated with every year.