Cable would use liquid to vapour phase change to flow more current
Could solve a major bottleneck in quicker EV charging
Electric vehicle charging keeps getting faster, but with every increase, there is a new bottleneck slowing down the flow of electrons. A new patent from Ford and Purdue University could solve one of those issues and Ford says it could leat do charging “as quickly as gas station fill-ups.”
The patent is for a new charging cable, taking power from the station to the vehicle. It uses new a new method of liquid active cooling to keep temperatures in the cable down as current increases. “Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable,” said Michael Degner, senior technical leader, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational.” More current and more voltage are needed to make charging happen more quickly.
The new cooling method would see the cooling liquid change phase to vapour, which would extract more heat from the cable before changing back to liquid outside of the cable. The phase change is the big difference compared with existing cooled cables, and it would be able to move significantly more heat out of the cable.
It won’t be a quickly introduced innovation. The announcement says testing of a prototype will start in the next two years. Ford also said that actually hitting gas-like charge speeds would require other enhancements. Professor Issam Mudawar of Purdue has been working on using phase changes to cool electronics more efficiently for 37 years.