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Power Transportation Technology

Company Builds Fast Charging Station For Electric Cars 359

Posted by samzenpus
from the fast-as-lightning dept.
thecarchik writes "Japanese based JFE Engineering has released its ultra-fast charge station. Designed to comply with the CHAdeMo standard developed by Tokyo Electric Power Company, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota, the system is capable of charging a 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev from empty to 50% full in just three minutes. Even just three minutes plugged into the fast-charge station was enough to enable a standard 2011 Mitsubishi i-Miev to travel a further 50 miles before further charging was required."

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Company Builds Fast Charging Station For Electric Cars

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:43PM (#32835290)

    350*70=24.5 kW, not 240

  • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:50PM (#32835356)
    My Tesla Roadster launches off the line faster than any other exotic vehicle I've driven (including a Lamborghini Murcielago and the Ariel Atom). What does that? Torque, and lots of it. Electric motors have full torque from 0 rpms, unlike internal combustion engines that have a limited torque band (and hence, the need for inefficient transmissions).

    And regarding the snow? Yea, electric cars do just fine there:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH_mSJC21f8 [youtube.com]

  • by shadowblaster (1565487) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:01PM (#32835436)

    The article says it's only 62.5KW per charging station.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:01PM (#32835438)
    From TFA (close to the end):

    But for retail locations and gas stations, the 62.5 kW power requirements of each charger should not be impossible to accommodate in all but the remotest of locations.

    In addition, even the remotest location can accommodate it: just install a generator burning gas (I'm kidding but only half-kidding: remote locations in which you can currently refill your tank will have petrol and a generator will consume less per kWh generated than the car's petrol engine...be it only because it doesn't need to change gears/etc).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:06PM (#32835470)

    ...16kWh battery pack of the Mitsubishi i-Miev...

    ...charging a 2011 Mistubishi i-Miev from empty to 50% full in just three minutes

    50% of 16kWh is 28800000J. 28800000J divided by 180 seconds (3 minutes) is 160000 J/s, or 160kW.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:22PM (#32835572) Homepage

    How the heck do you do that if your primary source of energy if a battery?

    You could plug the car in... or carry around a spare container of electricity (aka a battery), or a generator and some gasoline, I suppose.

  • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:29PM (#32835608)

    Electric vehicles will become widely available starting in 2011. The current Administration supports a goal of one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. A previous PNNL study showed that America’s existing power grid could meet the needs of about 70 percent of all U.S. light-duty vehicles if battery charging was managed to avoid new peaks in electricity demand.

    http://www.pnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=365 [pnl.gov]

    I'm not that worried. There is plenty of nighttime generating capacity.

  • by iktos (166530) * on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:51PM (#32835704)

    This source also has some more technical details, like charging current, how much current the charging station will draw from the grid (20kW), that the charging station has twin batteries with different properties, that car makers need to adopt new battery types for it to work:

    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20100621/183598/ [nikkeibp.co.jp]

  • Re:Holy Carp... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:57PM (#32835740)

    I'm sorry, but really, hydrocarbons are not a liquid form of hydrogen, and cars are not powered on hydrogen now. Those things are just wrong!

    Your post I find amusing, as it posit a world with abundant hydrogen, looking for a way to make it useful!

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:26AM (#32835876) Homepage

    I wonder if it has some sort of means of load smoothing and a limited duty cycle

    Yes, it does. One of the charging stations described itself has a battery, for load smoothing purposes.

    That's a win for stations without heavy power available. But busy stations are going to need a high-current feeder, so that can charge one car after another during busy periods.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:34AM (#32835916)
    Some explanations from the Battery university [batteryuniversity.com]:

    Some charger manufacturers claim amazingly short charge times of 30 minutes or less. With well-balanced cells and operating at moderate room temperatures, nickel-cadmium batteries designed for fast charging can indeed be charged in a very short time. This is done by simply dumping in a high charge current during the first 70% of the charge cycle.

    In the second phase of the charge cycle, the charge current must be lowered. The efficiency to absorb charge is progressively reduced as the battery moves to a higher state-of-charge. If the charge current remains too high in the later part of the charge cycle, the excess energy turns into heat and high cell pressure. Eventually, venting will occur, releasing oxygen and hydrogen. Not only do the escaping gases deplete the electrolyte, they are highly flammable!

  • Re:Cold fusion (Score:3, Informative)

    by Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:11AM (#32836276)
    Here is a link [anl.gov] (PDF warning: 154 pages) to the ANL study. Skip to page 133 of the PDF.

    If you really, really want to go crazy, then head on over to Argonne Nation Labs and check out this [anl.gov].

    Testing has shown that the Tesla roadster is around 250 watt*hours of electricity per mile. The Rav4 EV (which uses a less efficient drive train) is around 300 watt*hours per mile. You can plug this in to the EPA Power Profiler and get CO2 per mile for various areas. But all in all, the real advantage of an electric car is that electricity comes from renewables and nukes and gas does not yet do so.
  • Re:Cold fusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by dbIII (701233) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:20AM (#32836322)
    The correct answer is actually hydroelectric power from Hokkaido. There is some nuclear power available though, and with enough warning it can be ramped up to full capacity for quite a while to provide even more.
    It makes perfect sense in the 1970s and may do again - electricity available if there is a naval blockade by China. Expensive, high maintainance, awkward waste problems but ultimately it works in that situation. That's the sort of niche nuclear advocates should be arguing for and improving to turn it from the expensive alternative energy everyone hates into a commercial reality.
  • by NeMon'ess (160583) * <flinxmid@yah o o . c om> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @02:58AM (#32836494) Homepage Journal

    I saw an article a bit ago doing the math about how many cars can move through a electric equivalent of a gas station, and something like 10x more gasoline powered cars are able to fuel up FULLY over the course of an hour.

    That's why there's an alternative proposition to use replaceable battery packs. Pull the car in to the station and a mechanical device removes the tamper-resistant-and-registered bank of batteries from the car. Then it lifts a charged pack in. This also means the owners don't have to spend thousands of dollars after so many charges for a new set of batteries.

  • Re:Holy Carp... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheLink (130905) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @06:00AM (#32837330) Journal

    http://www.google.com/search?q=hydrocarbon+fuel+cell [google.com]

    What's needed:
    1) Cheap enough source of energy (maybe newer nuclear or wind or thermal solar).
    2) Cheap source of CO2 (CO2 tends to occur in higher concentrations in water).
    3) Efficient way to get H2
    4) Cost effective hydrocarbon fuel cells that work efficiently, reliably, and can last a long enough time in the harsh environment of a car.
    5) Cost effective filters that can tolerate and filter out common undesirable impurities in the fuel, in order to protect the fuel cells.

    Is that harder than making a good enough battery (capacity + lifespan + cost)? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Lastly, jet planes aren't going to be running on batteries, and the world is not as nice without air travel, so it's probably a good idea to look for a good way of creating hydrocarbons anyway.

    Pure hydrogen jet planes might work, but retooling is going to be such a big pain, and storage space is a big problem on planes.

    So in a possible future the airplanes may burn "renewable" hydrocarbons, the long distance road vehicles may use fuel cells, or burn hydrocarbons, and short distance/commuter vehicles might use batteries.

  • The electric heater in the Tesla Roadster is a simple electric space heater type like a home space heater that draws power from the battery system. This includes the "defroster" for the windshield.... so there isn't a "warm up" period to get it to work like is found with an internal combustion engine. There is also an air-conditioner, but that is a simple electric pump with vehicle grade refrigerant... again more like something you would have at your home. To me, it would seem as though the air conditioner would be more efficient as it wouldn't have to be fighting the heat from inside of the engine compartment like it does with an internal combustion engine.

    There is a cooling system for the battery pack, and I'm not entirely sure if some of that heat energy from the charging/discharging of the batteries can be used within the cab or not. For those times you would need that heat, I'm not entirely sure it would be sufficient for heating up the cab of the car when it was useful or necessary. Based on what I've read about the Roadster, however, that doesn't seem to be used at all and what cooling is needed for the battery pack is dealt with through a separate radiator.

  • by Rei (128717) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @01:20PM (#32842930) Homepage

    noting that most electrical storage devices that work in this manner have had run-away discharges and other problems that have caused burns with even something as simple as a laptop recharger.

    Misconception: "All batteries are the same".

    Reality: Different battery chemistries have *very* different properties. Excepting Tesla and their partners, the types of batteries you find in EVs are *not* the same type you find in laptops. They're a chemistry chosen specifically for dramatically greater stability and longer life (at the cost of some energy density). And even in Tesla's case, they put *way* more safety measures into their batteries than you find in a laptop pack. Each cell is kept inside of a "can" to prevent failures from propagating to other cells, for example.

    In catastrophic failures, traditional li-ion/li-po cells burn vigorously [youtube.com], while phosphate cells smoke and manganate cells do nothing [youtube.com] (as a general rule).

  • by MattskEE (925706) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:48AM (#32848544)

    I assume you're referring to the famous two capacitor problem, where charging an empty capacitor from a charged capacitor will always lead to 50% energy loss, once steady state is reached. The trick is that in order to reach steady state there must be loss in the system. The inefficiency applies if you use only a resistance (e.g. of wiring and a relay/switch/mosfet/whatever) to limit the current into the capacitor. If on the other hand an inductance is used to limit current then efficiency can be close to 100%.

    http://www.smpstech.com/charge.htm [smpstech.com]

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