Emerging technologies face hurdles that slow down progress towards widespread adoption, most of which develop over time as the systems become more elaborate. Consumer demand drives interest in the technology as a solution to a problem, then the technology improves over time by addressing customer complaints and dissatisfaction if and when it arises. While many consumer complaints are easy to forecast in advance, as the technology becomes accepted and embraced by more people the tolerance levels for shortcomings becomes less and less. Simply put, the more people use an emerging technology, the faster they demand that it evolve to be more user-friendly. This is the case with the emerging technologies involved in electric vehicles (EV).
EV’s are the vehicle of choice for those who want to do their part to reduce emissions, and therefore have a lesser impact on global pollution. For many years, those who chose to drive an electric vehicle understand that there would be aspects of that form of transportation that would prove to be problematic, namely that they cannot travel the long distances that gas powered vehicles can without charging, and the availability of publicly available fast charging stations was and is minimal. As more people adopt electrical vehicles as their transportation choice, more charging stations will become available, even in less populated areas. Additionally, higher capacities for batteries will be developed in order to assure longer travel distances. Long charging times is of particular importance to consumers, because the more rapidly that a station can deliver a charge to an electric vehicle, the more expensive the equipment necessary to do it is. EV rectifiers cannot handle the high AC load that is delivered by most buildings, and as a result the development of a widespread DC grid system of ultra-fast charging stations is the goal among those vested in the success of electrical vehicles. Through the development of technologies that make the vehicle more convenient and efficient, more widespread adoption is expected.
One major hurdle to the widespread implementation of charging stations across the country is the potential for damage as a result of power surges. The transformers, inverters and cooling components of these ultra-fast chargers can be positioned up to 100 meters apart. This significantly increases the footprint of the station equipment, and makes lightning strikes to the general vicinity more dangerous. A lightning strike results in a power surge which can couple into connectivity and transfer lines in these charging systems, ultimately traveling along these lines and destroying equipment connected to them, even some distance away. The larger the capacities of the fast charging systems, the more expensive the equipment used in the process, ultimately making the rollout of large amounts of charging stations more economically risky than many will find acceptable. Through the integration of more advanced surge protection devices and systems, these setups become less of a financial risk to operate, and ultimately move forward the progression towards mass adoption of electrical vehicles as the primary mode of transport. Progress is being made slowly, but it is eventually going to be the standard and Raycap will be there to help protect the charging stations and vehicles.