Sven Holthusen runs the EDISON project at Siemens’ Energy Sector in the Denmark branch of the international engineering giant. The EDISON project is working on raising charging power to as much as 300 kW so that batteries can be recharged on the go, in as little as six minutes.

The idea is to replicate the familiar: filling up at a gas station in 6 minutes or so, not in order to replace long slow overnight charges in home garages but to have an alternative to meet the needs of those apartment-dwellers who don’t have garages (and those who do, but who don’t sleep at least 6 hours at night) by making on-the-go-charges as available and as quick as filling up at a gas station.

This would not be an entirely new move for the international engineering giant Siemens. Recently the company worked with Statoil-Hydro and a consortium of other engineering companies on developing off-shore wind turbine technology.

The EDISON group includes the Technical University of Denmark and its Risø-DTU research center, as well as Denmark’s Dong Energy and local electric utility Østkraft, the Eurisco R&D center, and IBM as well as Siemens.

The first step for the consortium is to develop a 43.5 kW rapid charge capability for a 20 minute charge on a 400 Volt/63 Amp connection; which is the European equivalent of the heavy duty power that runs our dryers and electric stoves in homes, and runs most industrial machinery. The idea is to use the typical power supply most European households already have wired in.

The next step is the six minute charge, which Holthusen says is as fast as is possible with current battery technology.

A key thing the consortium is looking at is seeing how constantly switching the batteries on and off affects the grid; to make sure that the harmonics this creates doesn’t knock the grid out of sync. The real-world test is to be on the Danish island of Bornholm.

That is because the island, with its relatively high percentage of wind power for its 40,000 inhabitants, provides the perfect opportunity to see how a grid powered entirely by renewable energy functions when the proportion of electric vehicles increases. Iowa is 15% wind powered and Fox Island off of Maine is 100% wind powered. That would be a good site for the next tests. The test results should be instructive.

Image: Siemens

Source: Electric Vehicle News