Smaller, lighter, more powerful

In this article Heilind Electronics introduces some of the challenges engineers face when designing charging infrastructure and how TE Connectivity technology offers solutions


Together with TE Connectivity, Heilind Electronics is working towards a greener world by empowering the future of e-mobility infrastructure. TE Connectivity’s portfolio of EV charging products is designed to answer the challenges engineers face, fitting the needs of AC and DC charging stations regardless of power level or charging speed requirements.


Main challenges designers face are faster and safer charging stations. Areas of innovation holding promise for future EV charging infrastructure include solutions for higher voltages/currents, components supporting miniaturisation and improved thermal management.


Key components in EV chargers include board/signal connectors, contactors, power resistors and terminal blocks. If these components can be miniaturized, manufacturers have the opportunity to develop more compact, flexible charging solutions.


One of the biggest challenges to widespread adoption of electric vehicles is charging speed. Currently, fast-charging stations can charge up to 80 per cent in 20 to 30 minutes.


The increasing number of fast charging stations available and the charging speed they offer pose engineering challenges. Fast charging stations must be designed for high power output and wide-ranging current regulation. This requires the selection of high-quality, reliable components that can safely connect and protect the power flow. For example, relays and contactors designed for higher power ratings contribute to reliable charging circuit design and solid protection in fast charging mode.


Charging systems built for higher voltages and currents increase thermal load, which increases the temperature of the battery and all connecting components between it and the charger. Thus, each component must be dimensioned to carry the rated current without overheating. However, they should not be over specified to prevent increasing system weight, misallocating limited space and adding unnecessary cost.


To address thermal loading and ensure specification of properly sized and reliable components, TE Connectivity has developed thermal modeling techniques for analyzing the performance of internal connections and components exposed to elevated temperatures during charging.