New Industry Products

Embedded Modules Accelerate EV Charging Station Deployment

March 30, 2024 by Mike Falter

Phytec, a manufacturer of embedded solutions for industrial control applications, has released a series of controller modules designed to accelerate electric vehicle charging station design and development.

Phytec Messtechnik GmbH, a subsidiary of German parent company Phytec Technologie Holding AG, has released a series of embedded control modules designed specifically for electric vehicle charging station (EVCS) applications.

The modules include development boards and production system modules with a full range of hardware and software integrated into a single platform. The phyVERSO-EVCS is a production OEM charging controller module incorporating the EVerest/BaseCamp EV charging operating system (OS) from third-party software vendor Pionix. 

 

phyVERSO-EVCS EV charging controller module.

phyVERSO-EVCS EV charging controller module. Image used courtesy of Phytec

 

The modules are designed to accelerate the design, production, and deployment of Level 1/2 AC-DC and higher-power DC fast charging stations while supporting emerging vehicle-to-grid  (V2G) and other EV charge system protocols.

 

Demand for EV Charging Capacity

As the long-term trend toward adopting electric vehicles (EVs) continues, demand is accelerating for the charging infrastructure needed to replenish their batteries. 

To meet this demand, OEMs need to reduce the time to market for new EV charging station platforms while maintaining compliance with the latest industry standards for communication, networking, and security protocols.

Pre-packaged controller and system modules with embedded software can reduce the demands on design teams, eliminating much of the time and cost associated with rolling out an EV charging station platform.

 

EV Charging Station Controller Module

The phyVERSO-EVCS OEM charging controller module is constructed to be compatible with the latest processor technologies from NXP Semiconductors, Texas Instruments, and STMicroelectronics. In an embedded system, PHY stands for the physical layer transmitting digital data between nodes and is typically managed by a PHY controller.

One of these processors, the i.MX 6ULL from NXP is a single-core processor with an ARM Cortex-A7 core operating at speeds up to 900 MHz. Along with the processor core, the NXP MCU incorporates a range of connectivity interfaces (such as UART, GPIO, SPI), memory capabilities, and some basic analog and power management functionality from which a full controller module like the phyVERSO-EVCS can be constructed.

 

EV charging station block diagram

EV charging station block diagram. Image used courtesy of NXP

 

The charging station controller manages communications with an EV’s battery management system, the grid, and other periphery systems to safely coordinate the battery charging process. Based on assessing the environment and the charge requirements, the controller module issues commands to the station’s power conversion infrastructure via a PMIC (power management IC), delivering regulated DC power to the battery bus from the AC mains supply. And, in the case of V2G operations, the controller will coordinate the transfer of surplus DC power from the EV battery bus back to the grid via the charging station.

 

EV Charger Software Integration
 

In addition to hardware, the phyVERSO-EVCS module also features EVerest/BaseCamp open-source software developed by start-up Pionix to define unified standards for the global EV charging ecosystem.

 

EVerest EV charging open-source framework

EVerest EV charging open-source framework. Image used courtesy of LF Energy

 

BaseCamp is a commercial-grade charger OS based on the EVerest open-source software stack. EVerest supports the range of protocols needed to operate any EV charging station (Level 1 AC to DC fast charging) in any environment, facilitating communication between infrastructure, vehicles, payment systems, and other elements of the EV charging ecosystem.