Renewables

BrightLoop Converters launches high performance H2 fuel cell applications

29th October 2021
James Anstee

With its new DCHV320 DC DC converter, BrightLoop Converters is aiming to provide the best off-the-shelf DC DC conversion solution to fuel cell vehicles by focusing on extreme power density and versatility.

With its new DCHV320 DC DC converter, BrightLoop Converters is aiming to provide the best off-the-shelf DC DC conversion solution to fuel cell vehicles by focusing on extreme power density and versatility.

In a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), the fuel cell produces electricity to power the high-voltage batteries needed to run the electric motor. However, fuel cells do not provide a constant voltage: it varies according to the type and number of cells and their conditions of use.

Moreover, in order to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen in electric mobility applications, it is essential to be able to adapt fuel cell systems to existing electric architectures, without having to redevelop an entire dedicated powertrain. The DC DC converter is therefore a key element of the system.

BrightLoop Converters launches a new standard HV<->HV DC DC converter to interface with fuel cells of all levels of power: the DCHV320. Like its existing product ranges, BrightLoop Converters offers the DCHV320 as an ultra size and weight optimized converter with an extreme level of versatility. The DCHV320 is fully reversible, operates in buck or boost mode, and multiple converters can be paralleled to meet the needs of higher power fuel cells.

A few characteristics of the product:

  • Voltage range: 50-900VDC
  • Maximum current: 320A
  • Maximum power: 200kW (parallelizable for increased power)
  • Auxiliary power supply: 9-56 V
  • Efficiency: 99% (for step ratio of 1:2)
  • CAN remote communication and monitoring
  • Liquid cooling
  • Weight: <10kg

The first units will be available from Q1 2022.

The DCHV320 is the first member of a new product line that will be including higher and lower current ratings, buck-boost configurations for overlapping input and output voltages ranges, and galvanic isolation option. Other versions will be released from Q2 2022.

BrightLoop Converters also already offers a range of lower voltage converters perfectly optimised for fuel cell applications offering the following characteristics:

  • Output power from 1kW to 30kW+ (parallelizable for increased power)
  • Optimized for low voltage operation, between 0 and 160V
  • Reversible current operation, and fuel cell current control possible
  • Buck-boost topology for overlapping input-output voltage
  • Best-in-class power density
  • CAN remote communication and monitoring

 

Florent Liffran, CEO of BrightLoop Converters commented: “We have found that it was hard for both fuel cell and for vehicle manufacturers to find DC DC converter options on the market which would meet their power and/or weight constraints. The DCHV320 is extremely lightweight for a converter of this power, which allows it to be (almost) forgotten in the system, compared to the current state of the art converters. We are therefore thrilled to contribute to the development of fuel cell adoption in electric mobility with this launch.”

 

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