IEEE addresses need for better DC Fast Charging standards

CHAdeMO SAE Combo Plug CCS

Standards and certifications may seem less sexy than the latest sleek electric supercar, or controversy about emerging energy-storage technologies, but better standards and certifications, especially for DC Fast Charging, are critical.

A common DC Fast Charging certification process for interoperability is sorely needed but, in part because the big automakers have funded most of the fast charging infrastructure, and have been able to work out early interoperability issues with their cars, there hasn’t been a strong push for certifications. The absence of third-party tests to tightly-defined standards has left new EVSE manufacturers and vehicle builders serving niche markets to figure it out on their own.

Recently, the industry took a big step towards a resolution by forming an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) working committee to develop a draft standard. IEEE P2030.1.1, a technical specification for DC Quick Charging, was approved in September.

The chairman of the P2030 working committee is Nissan’s Joseph Thompson. “One of the main benefits of having an IEEE standard is to formally recognize a proven technology,” Thompson told Charged. “You can have a de facto standard simply by the quantities of a product in a marketplace, but an IEEE standard is about gaining international acceptance formally and allowing easier access to the technical details. IEEE members are international and across all industries, not just automotive.”

IEEE P2030.1.1 includes technical specifications for both CHAdeMO and CCS charging systems. Thompson believes that it is detailed enough to be used as a basis for the certification process. The committee has compiled a comprehensive list of standards that should be considered when developing a charger, and added an annex about performance testing for the charging couplers with environmental screening. “Those plugs sit out in pretty tough environmental conditions, so we added a screening procedure for an equipment manufacturer to test their couplers’ reliability,” said Thompson. “That’s something new we’ve done that I haven’t seen in other standards.”

The next step towards eradicating future interoperability problems is working with product testing outfits like Intertek, TUV, and UL to offer a certification specifically for DC Fast Chargers using this common document. After that, it’s up to the marketplace to insist that chargers carry the certification.

The ideal is to have a single testable standard, so anyone can say, “As long as my vehicle design and your charger design can pass this standard certification test, they will work together.”

 

Source: IEEE

  • mustang_sallad

    Isn’t this duplicating a lot of work that’s already being coordinated between SAE and IEC? Large groups of automakers (including major European, North American, Japanese and Korean companies) have gotten together several times already for large interoperability testing events with DCFC manufacturers. Why do we need yet another standard? Is IEEE at least working together with the folks at SAE and IEC that have been working on this to date?

    • http://ChargedEVs.com/ Christian Ruoff

      @dogphlapdogphlap:disqus, @disqus_hdM4dnW3k4:disqus
      This not an attempt to isolate Tesla and it’s not duplicating other work. It’s actually a critical step towards more reliable charging.

      Next week we’ll be posting an article online about Zero Motorcycles abandoning plans to add a CHAdeMO options to it electric bikes because of interoperability problems with chargers in the realworld. I think that will help clarify why better standards are important. I will post a link here when it’s up.

      Christian Ruoff
      Publisher
      Charged

      • mustang_sallad

        But that’s exactly what SAE and IEC’s interoperability testing events are intended to solve – they are putting all the automakers and charge station manufacturers in one place, testing all the possible pairings of equipment, seeing what doesn’t work and where gaps in the standards need to be tightened up in order to ensure reliable charging. They are working to establish a standard test that any manufacturer can apply to their equipment or vehicle to ensure interoperability. You’ve covered these events yourselves previously. They just had another event in Germany last month.

        A great follow up would be for you to speak with folks at IEEE, IEC and SAE and have them comment on how this new effort fits in with the existing efforts. It’s odd for this article and the folks from IEEE to not mention the IEC/SAE work at all.

      • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

        Christian,

        Yes, the ZERO motorcycle folks have had difficulty with chargers that don’t meet the CHAdeMO specifications. How does yet another non-government group REQUIRE that any individual charger meet that standard? The answer is, “they don’t.”

        CHAdeMO already has standards testing on three continents. I’m not opposed to MORE testing facilities, but that’s not the issue with pure garbage equipment that was deployed by Blink / Ecotality. That will never be fixed, and thankfully, with only about 60 operational DC quick chargers in the entire world, they are an asterisk to the 9631 installed DC quick chargers worldwide.

        For the record, the specific interoperability problem is that the CHAdeMO spec is 50 to 500 volts, and Blink (and a few others) do not go below 200 volts.

        Tony Williams

        R&D Manager

        Quick Charge Power LLC

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    I hope this is not just another attempt to isolate Tesla and their connector.

    • Ramon A. Cardona

      Actually, Tesla’s system is far advanced and superior to any other charging systems. The genius of Tesla is that the car can use other charging ports with adapters.

    • Justthefacts

      Tesla owners routinely charge at the Nissan Technical Center with their adapter to CHAdeMO. Therefore, the IEEE standard in no way inhibits Tesla. As a matter of fact, the more CHAdeMO stations, the more options Tesla owners have to Charge. As TonyWilliamsSanDiego said ” CAN…” Controller Area Network was used by CHAdeMO. This is why Tesla can interface CHAdeMO. It’s an Automotive Industry Standard whereas the other stations, ie. CCS, are not.

  • Gadge

    Establishing a ‘true standard’ for DC is long overdue. CCS is better than CHAdeMO in two practical respects in that it allows for a single receptacle on the car and is far less cumbersome.
    I’ve used the CHAdeMO connector a few times…it’s a beast.

    • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

      First, I’d like to address the CHAdeMO connector issue. The one you are referring to is the first generation plug built by Yazaki. There is nothing in the CHAdeMO specifications that require the ridiculous implementation of connecting the plug that Yazaki used. Please check out competing plugs that are all CHAdeMO compliant, and easy to use here:

      http://www.chademo.com/wp/chademo-connectors/

      The concept that somehow a combined AC / DC plug is best, only Tesla has adequately demonstrated this. The CCS standard merely adds a second set of power pins for DC to an AC inlet; far from elegant.

      While I agree that is would be awesome to have a single DC standard (few people would disagree), that single standard would have to be rock solid. The closest thing we have to date is the private Tesla Supercharger network.

      I strongly disagree that CCS is better than CHAdeMO for the following reasons:

      1) Isolated ground – unlike the German / SAE standard, there is not a ground cable for DC in the CHAdeMO design with isolation. This is for safety, and in my opinion, is the logical choice.

      2) Locking plug – there has already been a broken lock mechanism on the SAE / CCS design whereby the user was able to pull off the plug with live (and VERY deadly) DC voltage flowing. That locking mechanism was designed for a 30 amp AC plug by the Japanese company Yazaki (and adopted as an SAE standard). CHAdeMO, on the other hand, would likely break the mount out of the car before it would break the connection. The logical safe solution is readily apparent to the most casual observer.

      3) Secure connection – I can physically pull a “properly functioning” SAE / CCS plus up while charging, which moves the DC pins apart. DUMB and dangerous.

      4) CAN bus control – every car built int he past 30 years in the western first world has a CAN bus. This was developed by Bosch in Germany, and written in regulations around the world for monitoring emissions, etc. It is the world standard. Therefore, it’s little surprise that both Tesla and CHAdeMO use CAN control to regulate the charge rate and communicate between the car and charger. The German / SAE standard proposed to use a patented method called GreenPHY via Power Line Control (PLC) that neither “talks” in CAN language, nor in any language understood by electric utilities for vehicle to grid control.

      Tony Williams

      R&D Manager

      Quick Charge Power LLC

      • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

        From a more practical perspective, CHAdeMO has all the others grossly outnumbered. The number of CHAdeMO DC Quick chargers installed up to today is 9631.– (Japan 5484, Europe 2755, USA 1337, Others 55)

  • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

    >>>> The ideal is to have a single testable standard, so anyone can say, “As long as my vehicle design and your charger design can pass this standard certification test, they will work together.”<<<<

    Making a test is fine, however, CHAdeMO already has testing certification offices on three continents. The problem is rogue companies like Blink that don't follow those standards.

    NO AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL TESTING WILL FORCE NON-COMPLIANT COMPANIES TO BUILD BETTER / COMPLIANT CHARGERS.

    Only a framework of laws / rules / regulations from government can provide that, because they have the ability to enforce those rules.