Researchers develop Intelligent Charger to make EV charging a two-way street

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A Macquarie University research team led by Seyedfoad Taghizadeh has developed a new smart electric vehicle (EV) charging device and published their research in Applied Energy. 

The multi-functional device, called the Intelligent Charger, is installed inside the EV and charged from the household circuit or a household battery. The Intelligent Charger can also feed energy back in the reverse direction, meaning one of its various functions is as a back-up system. 

This particular function may seem rather conventional at first, but the two-way capacity is a great way to lessen anxiety and stress on the network. The Macquarie Uni researchers predict this device will reduce concerns among energy providers and power utilities about any drain on available resources brought about by the transition to EVs. 

The Intelligent Charger can simultaneously perform four functions: charging/discharging the EV’s battery, reactive power compensation, voltage regulation; and, harmonic reduction. The introduction of the Intelligent Charger to any EV-integrated-household will, therefore, improve its voltage profile, power quality, and reliability. Moreover, the device reduces stress on the EV’s battery, extending its lifetime. 

“It is also useful on the road,” added Taghizadeh. “If the car runs out of power and is nowhere near a charging station, the device lets the driver plug into another electric vehicle and boost the battery that way.” 

Considering range-anxiety is one of the main hindrances to EV uptake in Australia, and the charging network is yet to extend itself nationally, devices like the Intelligent Charger may just provide the necessary bridge in Australia’s transition to EVs. 

Taghizadeh’s team is now looking to commercialise the Intelligent Charger, which they hope will boost the appeal of EVs in Australia.