A charging infrastructure that is standardised, safe and fast

17th May 2019
Alex Lynn

E-mobility is gaining in importance and is set to become available to a broad user market. The expansion of the charging infrastructure is helping to boost confidence in e-mobility and reduce the current problems of range, infrastructure and price. Rittal supports the entire value chain, from power generation to the climate control of the charging station.

Together with partners and customers, Rittal is designing the central infrastructure elements needed to set up a charging station and produces components for this infrastructure, such as outdoor enclosures, containers for batteries, as well as transformer stations and cooling systems for rapid charging stations.

Rittal’s advantages, which the providers and operators of charging stations appreciate, include availability, service and accessibility.

At the very beginning is the power source: the energy sources that can be used for e-mobility are renewable energy from the sun or wind and fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Rittal supplies turnkey system solutions and control cabinets for wind farms and generator terminal boxes for solar panels. The transformer station is where the current from the medium-voltage network is converted into the electric voltage used by the low-voltage networks and fed to the storage station in the charging park.

For this energy infrastructure, Rittal offers enclosures to take the batteries, as well as pre-assembled containers for climate control, for example the VX25 that enables batteries to be quickly replaced and which can bear loads of up to 1,400kg. The Rittal outdoor enclosures satisfy the most stringent requirements and are helping introduce standardisation into the infrastructure.

A variety of infrastructure enclosures for power electronics and control modules also form part of the charging park. They safeguard the supply of multiple charging points and have to be well protected. Various climate-control concepts and structures can be implemented in one secure housing by using divider panels, mounting frames and mounting plates.

Cooling is also required, especially with powerful 350kW rapid charging stations. Rittal systems and outdoor enclosures aim to guarantee the adequate climate control of the power electronics, provide a constant heat distribution, take changing weather conditions into account, and ensure access control and personal protection.

Rittal manufactures the enclosures for the actual chargers, where electric vehicles are charged as if at a filling station, either as standard enclosures for industrial applications or in customer-specific designs. Enclosure technology is an important factor in setting up the charging infrastructure, protection categories, resistance classes, scalability and climate control all have to be taken into consideration.

Twin-walled enclosures are particularly suitable as they satisfy the impact resistance requirements for public fast chargers and can be configured with a particularly resilient design.

If the power density of a battery starts to give out to the extent that the electric vehicle can no longer rely on an adequate power supply, the battery can instead be used as an alternative power supply for a charging station, for instance. Depending on the relevant scenario, these batteries are housed in either an indoor or outdoor enclosure. Rittal is keen to collaborate with its customers on expanding the use of second-life batteries and supplying the corresponding enclosure solutions.

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