Electric Vehicle

December 19, 2005

In a recent application, the customer used two DC-DC converter modules, in parallel with current sharing and battery charging circuitry to provide power from a high voltage battery to the Smart Car’s standard 12 V electric system. The 316 Vdc battery is fitted in an insulated container under the car’s floor to provide traction via compact electric motors, instead of the normal petrol engine. In short, Vicor modules are being used as a solid-state alternator.

Although the car has a small 12 V battery, to supply peak power and emergency back up, the two modules are designed to provide enough power for lights, windscreen wipers, instruments and in-car entertainment, while keeping this small 12 V battery properly charged for long life.

The pre-production quantities for this application will be about 3,000 modules, increasing to 10,000 modules per annum at full production. The Vicor modules were chosen as an off the shelf proven affordable solution, benefiting from a rugged design, high power density and high efficiency.

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