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Eaton to develop EV charging infrastructure with $4.9M DOE award

Dec. 16, 2021
The power management company anticipates the solution will help reduce costs by 65% through improvements in power conversion and grid interconnection technology, charger integration and modularity, and installation time.

Power management company Eaton will use a $4.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to help reduce the cost of deploying direct-current fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI).

Under a three-year program to support this EVCI solution, Eaton will develop a solid-state transformer design and modular chargers packaged on a compact skid. The Eaton solid-state transformer technology will enable direct connection to the utility medium-voltage distribution system to eliminate the need for additional power conversion devices and associated commissioning. With integrated energy management and charge control software, Eaton noted that the EVCI solution also will help avoid peak energy costs by accurately forecasting and managing electrical demand.

See also: Navigating the EV sea change through partnerships

Eaton anticipates the solution will help reduce costs by 65% through improvements in power conversion and grid interconnection technology, charger integration and modularity, and installation time.

“Mass EV adoption requires a much simpler approach to charging infrastructure that doesn’t have a big impact on local power systems,” Chris Butler, president for Critical Power and Digital Infrastructure at Eaton, said in a press release. “We’re leveraging long-standing expertise, research, and partnerships to fast-track the electrification of transport by reducing the steps required to connect charging systems directly to the utility distribution system.”

As part of the DOE award, Eaton is leading the project with partners, including the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), North Carolina State University (NCSU), University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), ITC Holdings, and CALSTART. The project leverages Eaton’s previous DOE-funded research on solid-state transformers, solar-plus-storage, and DC systems.

Eaton, NCSU, and Pitt are collaborating on the technical development of the solid-state transformer. NREL will provide an initial demonstration site to validate the technology using its Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems platform. ITC Holdings will provide a demonstration site for fleet charging, and CALSTART will support community engagement while providing independent validation of cost and performance improvements.

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