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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

Power Disconnect Solution Enables Faster and Safer DC Fast Charging

Sensata Technologies has announced its new power disconnect solution has been chosen by several leading charging infrastructure OEMs to enable faster and safer DC fast charging. The company says that it offers a unique solution that combines contactors and GigaFuses from its Gigavac product brand to provide customers with a value-added contactor module. The solution aims to simplify installations while delivering safer and more effective system protection than traditional contact or thermal fuse pairings.

EVs need faster charging times to compete with traditional internal combustion engines, 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 systems' safety risks and design challenges. High voltage contactors provide safe circuit continuity while fuses are required in tandem for circuit protection in a hazardous short circuit event.

The increases in voltage and current levels require contactors with higher breaking capabilities and make the contactor and fuse pairings more technically challenging. As a result, DC fast charging infrastructure OEMs are seeking safer, higher-performing and more comprehensive solutions that improve on the traditional contactor and thermal fuse pairing to address these challenges.

Sensata say its 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 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 risk of damage

  • Increases thermal performance/system efficiency

  • Provides fast and reliable circuit protection

Nick Moelders, Vice President, Electrification at Sensata Technologies explains, "Our recent wins with major Charging Infrastructure OEMs demonstrate the additional value we provide to our customers as we move from being a component supplier to a leading electrification solutions provider. Working engineer-to-engineer with the most innovative companies allows us to learn and adapt to the needs of the rapidly transforming clean energy market."

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