Motor and power electronics manufacturer TM4, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, has launched a new bidirectional charger-inverter. TM4’s BCI20 functions as both battery charger and inverter for use in a variety of electric and hybrid vehicle applications. It is designed to use the full current range from the AC mains as defined in SAE J1772 for a maximum charge power of 18 kW at 240 VAC.
When the vehicle is in use, the charger becomes a dual inverter that can provide two independent three-phase outputs of 9 kVA each to power various AC auxiliary loads.
“The charger combined with two inverter outputs simplifies vehicle integration by combining multiple functionalities in one box,” says TM4 Sales and Customer Service Director Eric Azeroual.
The BCI20 satisfies the IP67 rating for reliable operation in harsh under-hood vehicle environments. It’s designed to be very compact and light, allowing for flexible installation in multiple mounting locations.
The Lion Electric Company is using the BCI20 in its electric school buses. “To our knowledge, no other unit on the market offers so many features, such power density, quality and ease of integration at such a competitive cost,” says Lion Director of Engineering Bruno Pilon.
In the future, TM4 aims to expand this product line, offering both single-phase and three-phase bidirectional charger-inverters in 450 VDC and 750 VDC versions.