October 22, 2019 – Ambibox, a start-up based in the German city of Mainz, achieved more than 99 percent efficiency when charging a solar-powered vehicle developed by Bochum University of Applied Sciences. The company’s DC charging technology was employed in a research project in the Australian desert.
Students at Bochum University of Applied Sciences have developed an off-road electric vehicle that can be charged with photovoltaic power. Known as the SolarBuggy, the vehicle is equipped with folding solar modules. To fill the battery, special charging technology boasting a very high level of efficiency, a small volume and a low dead weight is used. The technology must achieve optimal efficiency even under extreme conditions such as high temperatures, making Australia’s Simpson Desert the perfect place for a test run. Ambibox modified its charge controller and adapted its power electronics so that cooling would function via the housing without the need for a ventilator. “The technology in the SolarBuggy corresponds to the future charging infrastructure for electric vehicles: highly efficient with high performance in a small space and based on DC voltage,” explained managing director Manfred Przybilla. The SolarBuggy team initially planned to cross the desert in less than four days and 21 hours. However, due to the unusually hot temperatures, the solar cells delivered only three rather than the expected five kilowatts of power. Charging times were also extended and when sand storms broke out, the students abandoned their record attempt.
Although the university missed its mark, Ambibox set an entirely different record: The company’s DC charging technology delivered more than 99 percent efficiency. According to Ambibox, this achievement is unprecedented. The charging technology directly connects various DC devices using the AC network and regulates the energy flow of the devices fully automatically. The company reports that depending on the application, its technology offers energy savings of up to 20 percent and also eliminates the need for expensive inverters, since direct current no longer needs to be converted into alternating current and vice versa.
Source: PV Magazine
Photo: Bochum University of Applied Sciences