Sensata Technologies, an industrial technology company and provider of sensor-rich solutions that create insight for customers, has announced that its new power disconnect solution has been chosen by several leading charging infrastructure OEMs to enable faster and safer DC fast charging. Sensata’s unique solution combines contactors and GigaFuses from its leading Gigavac product brand to provide customers with a value-added contactor module, simplifying their installations while delivering safer and more effective system protection compared to the traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairings.
To compete with traditional internal combustion engines, EVs need faster charging times, so EV Charging Systems are quickly migrating from 400V to 1,000V and from 50kW to up to 350kW to shorten charging times to less than 20 minutes. While higher voltage and current levels reduce charging times, they increase the safety risks and design challenges for the systems. High voltage contactors provide safe circuit continuity while fuses are required in tandem for circuit protection in the event of a hazardous short circuit event.
The increases in voltage and current levels not only require contactors with higher breaking capabilities but also make the contactor and fuse pairings more technically challenging. To address these challenges, DC fast charging infrastructure OEMs are seeking safer, higher performing and more comprehensive solutions that improve on the traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairing.
Sensata’s GigaFuse offers several advantages compared to a conventional DC thermal fuse, including the ability to:
- Open a circuit within 3 ms; faster than a conventional DC thermal fuse
- Open a circuit closer to normal operating conditions without nuisance tripping, resulting in a less potential risk of damage
- Pair more easily with the contactor because of its unique electro-mechanical triggering mechanism
- Help prevent overloading, improving the performance of the contactor in the circuit
- Reduce thermal resistance; typically, 0.15 mohm
- Eliminate thermal aging due to low heat generation
Sensata’s packaged power disconnect module includes high voltage contactors and GigaFuses that are harnessed to a mounting plate. The solution delivers overcurrent and short circuit protection and provides the following benefits for the whole charging system:
- Increases safety/reduces the risk of damage
- Increases thermal performance/system efficiency
- Provides fast and reliable circuit protection
Nick Moelders, Vice President, Electrification at Sensata Technologies said that their recent wins with major Charging Infrastructure OEMs demonstrate the additional value they provide to their customers as they move from being a component supplier to a leading electrification solutions provider. Working engineer-to-engineer with the most innovative companies allows them to learn and adapt to the needs of the rapidly transforming clean energy market.