Vector Debuts a Charging Station Controller for Electric VehiclesMarch 18, 2021 by Gary Elinoff
The new device handles the entire communications function taking place between electric vehicles (EV) and vehicle power charging station back ends.
The vSECC (Supply Equipment Communication Controller) is a universal DC charging station controller that will enable faster implementations of the vast number of smart charging stations that will be needed to support the widespread adoption of EVs.
The vSECC. Going to the source page will enable readers to virtually “rotate” the image to see it from all angles. Image courtesy of Vector
Controlling the Flow of Power
The vSECC’s purpose is to monitor and control the flow of DC power between the power station’s charging electronics and the EV’s powerful yet finicky lithium ion battery (LiB). Having all of this functionality in a small, ready-made unit not only saves space, but vastly reduces the time it takes to design and implement a working charging station.
Through CAN and Ethernet interfaces, vSECC can flexibly monitor and control the power electronics in the charging station that supply the power used to charge the EV. This allows OEMs great freedom in choosing just what power electronics they choose to employ in their specific charging station design.
vSECC will verify the mechanical and electrical contact surety necessary to safely transfer multiple kilowatts of electrical power in a short charging period. Hardware monitoring will enable immediate power shutdowns on detection of a fault.
The device enables conditions in the EV and in the charging station’s power electronics to be monitored and controlled at a user interface. The vSECC itself is flexible and powerful enough to become the nexus of the overall DC charging station.
Basic block diagram for a vSECC enabled charging station. Image courtesy of Vector (screenshot image from 4:45)
It is this combination of control and safety that is characteristic of an intelligent DC charging station.
The Hub of an Intelligent DC Charging Station
There now exists a diverse universe of charging standards. At present, vSEC can accommodate the CCS (AC as well as DC) charging standard. In the future, options are planned for GB/T and CHAdeMO
For power electronic units that are separate from the charge point, control can be effected via Ethernet. For a more integrated setup, a CAN interface might be chosen. The emergency shutdown is implemented purely in hardware for the utmost assurance of safety.
The energy meter can be connected via hardware or by a serial interface. There is a separate Ethernet connection to the station's management backend.
Specifications for the vSEPP
The main CPU of the vSECC is the I.MX 6 quad core, 4 x 1 GHz with 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of eMMC/
Standards supported include:
- IEC 6185-1
- DIN 70121
- ISO 15118-2/-3
Communication standards include:
- Housing dimensions are 162 x 89.7 x 62.2 mm (plastic)
- vSECC operates over a temperature range of -40 to +70℃
Getting to Market Faster
Vector offers its E-Mobility starter kit to give the designer a solid starting point for implementing an intelligent charging station with vSECC. It comes with two vSECC units, each with two CCS interfaces. Optionally available is the company’s charge point management system preloaded on a Linux laptop.