Norwegian power electronics firm Zaptec has developed a new portable charger in partnership with Renault. The ZapCharger Portable is designed to be compact (3 kg, 45x10x10 cm), rugged and smart – it’s waterproof, operates at temperatures from -40° to 55° C, and continuously monitors the grid to shut down immediately if it detects a fault.
The ZapCharger is now in pilot production, and volume production is scheduled for Q3 2016.
One of the technologies that enable this tiny titan is silicon-carbide (SiC) power electronics from the global semiconductor company STMicroelectronics. The ZapCharger uses 32 high-voltage SiC Power MOSFETs from ST.
ST says that its SiC components can sustain much higher voltages, currents, and temperatures than traditional silicon solutions, and their power-conversion circuits operate faster, enabling smaller, lighter designs, higher system efficiency, and reduced cooling requirements.
“The key for us was to find a power technology with a very high efficiency so we could reduce the overall size of the charger without compromising performance. ST’s silicon-carbide offering was the perfect match,” said Jonas Helmikstøl, COO, Zaptec.
“Leveraging the exceptional efficiency of ST SiC Power MOSFETs, ingenious solutions like ZapCharger that can enable drivers to safely charge their vehicles anywhere are set to catalyze the growth of the e-car market and the smart-energy ecosystem as a whole,” said STMicroelectronics VP Philip Lolies.