Power

Charging station controller for all DC charging functions

24th February 2021
Alex Lynn

Intelligent charging stations made easy to develop: The new vSECC charging station controller from Vector is a charge control unit for the DC fast charging market, which performs all communication and control functions in the charging station. This future-proof solution enables developers and manufacturers of smart DC charging stations to control and monitor the charging process with just one device.

The controller handles both the communication with the vehicle and back end as well as the management of the power electronics.

The vSECC (Supply Equipment Communication Controller) charging station controller is a Vector series-produced charge control unit that handles the entire charging communication to electric vehicles. With vSECC, developers get one single device that takes over the communication of the charging station with the vehicle and the back end and also the control of the power electronics via CAN or Ethernet. Until now, several devices were necessary for this purpose.

The main functions of a DC charging station are to communicate with the vehicle during charging, to monitor the continuous vehicle connection and to control the power electronics depending on vehicle requirements. All these functions are performed by the Vector controller. It thus offers enormous potential for faster expansion of the charging infrastructure by reducing development times.

The controller has both the interfaces and the computing power to completely control the charging station. No additional controller or intelligence is required to handle the charging process. This saves space in the charging station and also reduces the integration effort. Developers and manufacturers of charging stations benefit significantly from this development.

Via the CAN and Ethernet interfaces, the device can both control and monitor the power electronics in the charging stations required for DC charging. This gives developers and manufacturers of charging equipment and facilities great freedom in the selection of power electronics. In addition, they can address all functions – including the important electrical safety features such as securing and monitoring vehicle contact.

For example, the integrated hardware monitoring allows a dangerous voltage to be switched off very quickly in the event of a fault. The controller communicates with the vehicle, power electronics and user interface. All peripheral components such as RFID readers, sensors and smart meters in the charging station can be connected directly to the controller, which thereby becomes the heart of every DC charging station.

Manufacturers of power electronics in the renewable energy sector, such as photovoltaics, also benefit from this charging station controller. Because on the basis of today's technology, vSECC makes it easy to implement a DC charge point, as the practical application of the University of Bochum shows. In a pilot project, a mobile charging container for e-vehicles is being built, which has photovoltaic cells on the roof and a charging interface.

Thanks to the quick and easy integration of the Vector controller, the charging container is ready for use in a short time. This innovative application, as well as other pilot projects, demonstrates a high potential for industrialisation that can give a significant boost to the whole field of electromobility.

The vSECC controller for charging stations is available within one week and can be quickly and easily installed in any DC charging station with little effort. Vector is also currently working on a compact vSECC version (114.5x27x99mm) to meet the growing demand for small DC charging stations with a charging connection for private and commercial garages and parking lots.

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