(Image courtesy of STMicroelectronics).
The ZapCharger Portable electric-car charging station from Zaptec, an start-up transformer company, was built with silicon-carbide (SiC) power electronics from STMicroelectronics.
The portable electric-car charger with built-in electronic transformer, ZapCharger works with any electric car on any grid. Excellent power-conversion capabilities of ST's SiC MOSFETs have enabled Zaptec engineers to design a portable, yet powerful piece of equipment. Ten times smaller and lighter than products with the comparable performance, the 3kg, 45 x 10 x 10cm charger delivers an energy efficiency of 97%.
Uncompromising on safety, the water- and weather-proof ZapCharger is fully galvanically insulated and continuously monitors the grid it is connected to. It dynamically adjusts the amount of power it delivers and can shut down immediately if it detects a fault, to protect the car. The charger offers GPRS connectivity and operates over an extended temperature range from -40°C to +55°C.
Inside the ZapCharger, 32 high-voltage SiC Power MOSFETs from ST deliver efficient power conversion with minimum losses. Compared with traditional (silicon) solutions, these components can sustain much higher voltages, currents, and temperatures, and their power-conversion circuits operate faster, enabling smaller, lighter designs, higher system efficiency, and reduced cooling requirements.
In addition to electric-car charging, Zaptec's patented electronic-transformer technology targets new applications in industrial, marine, and space. After successful field tests, the Zap Charger is starting pilot production now, with volume ramp-up scheduled at the end of Q3 2016.