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Electrification of the power system This article will focus on electrification of power systems, dif

Electrification of Power Systems - Introduction

Recently, automotive electrification has achieved rapid development in the automotive industry. The main factors driving this trend are regulations for clean driving, decarbonization, air quality and health protection in urban environments. These regulations are implemented through local government or global government and related organizations to meet the emission reduction requirements, and require automotive OEMs to respond quickly to reduce vehicle carbon emissions and avoid potential serious penalties.

This fundamental change does not depend on traditional internal combustion engines (ICE), but on some form of electrical power system. Several power system solutions are currently being implemented, targeting the strategies, visions and financial capabilities of different OEMs. This has also led to a number of new terminology in the industry. At first glance, it can be dazzling, especially when new energy vehicles start to go a lot. The most popular power solutions are: 48V Mild Hybrid (MHEV); Full Hybrid (HEV); Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV); Pure Battery Power (BEV); Fuel Cell (FCV).

Figure 1 Electrification driving factors and influencing factors Source: AVL

Each type has a specific architecture, as well as its own operational requirements and power requirements. In addition, the carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions achieved by each solution vary widely, from about 15% for 48V MHEVs to 100% for BEVs and FCVs, both high and low. Automotive Tier 1 suppliers that supply automotive systems and devices directly to OEMs (DC/DC converters, battery management systems (BMS), inverters, etc.) should carefully consider and analyze these details.

One of the key questions that all industry participants want to know is which types of cars/power systems will dominate (short-term and long-term) and when the turning point towards mass adoption will occur. This is critical to developing a successful strategy and increasing the market share of the business. In most of the recent conferences, people are mainly talking about the 48V MHEV and how it can play a stepping stone to the electrification of the whole vehicle. Many people also said that BEV will become the ultimate goal of the development of vehicle electrification. Although this may be true, we must mention some specific challenges and consider them.

Simply put, while solutions such as 48V MHEV and HEV are currently compliant, they will not achieve satisfactory CO2 reduction and driving experience in the long run. In contrast, the development of these local electrified vehicles is relatively cost-effective because they are very close to the well-known traditional cars, allowing OEMs to easily develop on existing manufacturing. This is a simple evolutionary strategy.

The final stage of automotive solutions (such as BEV and FCV) can solve CO2 emission reductions (at least in terms of vehicle emissions reduction) while also providing customers with a new driving experience (eg instantaneous torque (BEV), driverless) Function, etc.). The main challenge for these vehicles is higher production costs (BEV, FCV, etc.) and the need to have millions of batteries to manufacture on a large scale. In addition, there are some external challenges, such as charging infrastructure and power distribution, which need to be further developed to meet the power needs of the car and eliminate consumer concerns.

In this series, I will try to delve into each of the major car types to learn more about their architecture, system requirements, and connections to power semiconductors. In the next blog, I will talk about the 48V MHEV and discuss the first step towards clean driving with everyone.

Author: Security World Semiconductor Technical Marketing Engineer Ivan Petrov

Ivan recently received a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester. He joined AES Semiconductor as a Technical Marketing Engineer in September 2016 and was promoted to a Graduate Marketing Engineer in just one year. He is responsible for market analysis of the power semiconductor business. In the past year, he has published several well-received reports of traditional powertrains and has been working on the rapidly growing field of automotive electrification. Ivan's understanding of electric vehicle (xEV) systems comes from its static research, participation in numerous xEV conferences and global customer visits. In his spare time, he is an active tennis player, and his style and appearance have been compared with Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov.