WO2013111127A1 - Charge spot device for charging electric vehicles - Google Patents

Charge spot device for charging electric vehicles Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013111127A1
WO2013111127A1 PCT/IL2013/050040 IL2013050040W WO2013111127A1 WO 2013111127 A1 WO2013111127 A1 WO 2013111127A1 IL 2013050040 W IL2013050040 W IL 2013050040W WO 2013111127 A1 WO2013111127 A1 WO 2013111127A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
phase
charging
electric
supply
electric current
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IL2013/050040
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Liran Katzir
Eran Genzel
Yoav ILOVICH
Original Assignee
Better Place GmbH
Better Place Labs Israel Ltd.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201261591156P priority Critical
Priority to US61/591,156 priority
Application filed by Better Place GmbH, Better Place Labs Israel Ltd. filed Critical Better Place GmbH
Publication of WO2013111127A1 publication Critical patent/WO2013111127A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J3/00Circuit arrangements for ac mains or ac distribution networks
    • H02J3/26Arrangements for eliminating or reducing asymmetry in polyphase networks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/10Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles characterised by the energy transfer between the charging station and the vehicle
    • B60L53/11DC charging controlled by the charging station, e.g. mode 4
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/10Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles characterised by the energy transfer between the charging station and the vehicle
    • B60L53/14Conductive energy transfer
    • B60L53/16Connectors, e.g. plugs or sockets, specially adapted for charging electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/10Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles characterised by the energy transfer between the charging station and the vehicle
    • B60L53/14Conductive energy transfer
    • B60L53/18Cables specially adapted for charging electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/30Constructional details of charging stations
    • B60L53/31Charging columns specially adapted for electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/60Monitoring or controlling charging stations
    • B60L53/63Monitoring or controlling charging stations in response to network capacity
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/60Monitoring or controlling charging stations
    • B60L53/68Off-site monitoring or control, e.g. remote control
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J2207/00Indexing scheme relating to details of circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02J2207/40Indexing scheme relating to details of circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries adapted for charging from various sources, e.g. AC, DC or multivoltage
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E40/00Technologies for an efficient electrical power generation, transmission or distribution
    • Y02E40/50Arrangements for eliminating or reducing asymmetry in polyphase networks
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies; Technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage systems for electromobility, e.g. batteries
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/7072Electromobility specific charging systems or methods for batteries, ultracapacitors, supercapacitors or double-layer capacitors
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/14Plug-in electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/167Systems integrating technologies related to power network operation and communication or information technologies for supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles, i.e. smartgrids as interface for battery charging of electric vehicles [EV] or hybrid vehicles [HEV]
    • Y02T90/168
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S10/00Systems supporting electrical power generation, transmission or distribution
    • Y04S10/12Monitoring or controlling equipment for energy generation units, e.g. distributed energy generation [DER] or load-side generation
    • Y04S10/126Monitoring or controlling equipment for energy generation units, e.g. distributed energy generation [DER] or load-side generation the energy generation units being or involving electric vehicles [EV] or hybrid vehicles [HEV], i.e. power aggregation of EV or HEV, vehicle to grid arrangements [V2G]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S30/00Systems supporting specific end-user applications in the sector of transportation
    • Y04S30/10Systems supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles
    • Y04S30/12Remote or cooperative charging

Abstract

The present disclosure provides a charge spot for charging an electric vehicle. The charge spot comprises a supplying connection unit configured to receive a three phase electric supply, the supplying connection unit comprising three supplying inputs each configured to receive one phase of the three-phase electric supply; a charging connection unit configured to engage with a charging socket assembly of an electric vehicle, the charging connection unit being connectable to the supplying connection unit and comprising three charging outputs each configured to output one phase of the three-phase electric supply; and adapting switch elements configured to selectively prevent one or more of the charging outputs to output said one phase by blocking current flow to said one or more charging outputs.

Description

CHARGE SPOT DEVICE FOR CHARGING ELECTRIC VEHICLES
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention is generally in the domain of electric vehicles, and relates to a charge spot device for charging electric vehicles.
BACKGROUND
Charging of electric vehicles may be performed at charge spots connected to electric distribution boards of either public or residential electric distribution systems.
Electrical charge spots are described for example in US patent No. 8,035,341, assigned to the assignee of the present application. Also, some examples of electric vehicle charge spots are described in Chinese utility model CN201910648 and Japanese patent application JP2010279108.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
As indicated above, charging of electric vehicles may be performed at charge spots connected to electric distribution boards of either public or residential electric distribution systems. The delivery of electricity to public or residential distribution systems is generally carried out from a local electric power grid using a three-phase alternating current. The three-phase alternating current includes in essence three separate alternating currents whose phases are 120 degrees shifted from each other so as to reach instantaneous peak values at different times. However, since three-phase alternating current is typically split out at the distribution boards into three separate single phase alternating currents, appliances are generally fed from only one single phase alternating current (one-phase supply). In some situations related to high power devices such as charge spots for charging electric vehicles, the split of the three-phase supply may result in problematic consequences. For example, in the event that an electric vehicle is intended to be charged through a charge spot using a single-phase supply which is already drawn by some other appliances, it may result in poor charging performance or in tripping a circuit breaker of the distribution board. More generally, splitting of the three-phase alternating current causes high power devices not to benefit from the amount of electric current available on all the three phases of the three-phase alternating current supply.
High power devices may also be connected concurrently to all three phases of the three-phase alternating current (three-phase supply) in order to draw electric current from all three phases. However, when three-phase supply is used, it is generally required that the electric current drawn on each phase be identical. The current balancing requirement between the three is dependent on implementation (design) issues. Indeed, high power devices may be designed to draw the same current from all the three phases by default. In some situations, this requirement of balancing the electric current drawn on a three-phase supply can also lead to poor electric power performance. Indeed, according to this requirement, the maximum electric current drawn on a three- phase supply is substantially equal to three times the value of the lowest available electric current among the three phases. Therefore, in the event that the electric current available on one of the three phases is considerably lower than on the others, the electric power provided drawn from a three-phase supply may ultimately be lower than the electric power that could have been provided by only one of the three phases. Such a situation may for example occur on a residential distribution system when one or more household appliances, such as a washing machine or a stove, are fed with one phase while an electric vehicle is charged through a charge spot fed with a three-phase supply.
The present invention proposes a novel approach in charging of electric vehicles by charge spots and a novel charge spot providing stable high electric power and enabling efficient supervision of an electric distribution system.
Thus, according to one broad aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a charge spot for charging an electric vehicle comprising: a supplying connection unit configured to receive a three-phase electric supply, the supplying connection unit comprising three supplying inputs each configured to receive one phase of the three-phase electric supply; a charging connection unit configured to engage with a charging socket assembly of an electric vehicle, the charging connection unit being connectable to the supplying connection unit and comprising three charging outputs each configured to output one phase of the three-phase electric supply; and adapting switch elements configured to selectively prevent one or more of the charging outputs to output said one phase by blocking current flow to said one or more charging outputs.
In some embodiments, the adapting switch elements are operable by a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, so that the adapting switch elements cause the charging connection to output either one phase or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
In some embodiments, the charge spot comprises a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, and configured to operate the adapting switch elements to cause the charging connection to output either one phase or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
In some embodiments, the controller comprises: a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply; a receiving unit configured to receive indications on a load status of each phase of the three-phase supply; and a processor configured to determine the electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply.
In some embodiments, the controller further comprises an emitting unit configured to emit requests to an electric current detector for said indications on the load status of each phase.
In some embodiments, the emitting unit is further configured to provide to the electric vehicle a control signal indicative of the electric current supplied by the charge spot.
In some embodiments the controller is configured to carry out the following: (a) determine whether or not a relation: Min (Ii, I2, I3) > Max (Ii, I2, I3) * S is satisfied; wherein Ii, I2, 13 are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, respectively, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3; (b) operate the adapting switch elements to output all three phases and draw an electric current substantially equal to Min (Ii, I2, I3) on all three phases, if said relation is satisfied and; (c) operate the adapting switch elements to output the phase able to provide the highest electric current and draw on said phase an electric current substantially equal to Max (Ii, I2, 13), if said relation is not satisfied.
In some embodiments, for example when the controller is not included in the charge spot, the charge spot comprises a communication utility for communicating with the controller and selectively operating the adapting switch elements to carry out one of the following: (a) output all three phases and draw an electric current substantially equal to Min (Ii, I2, I3) on all three phases, if the following relation is satisfied Min (Ii, I2, I3) > Max (Ii, I2, I3) * S; wherein Ii, I2, I3 are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, respectively, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3; (b) output the phase able to provide the highest electric current and draw on said phase an electric current substantially equal to Max (Ii, I2, I3), if said relation is not satisfied.
In some embodiments, the charge spot further comprises designation switches configured to controllably drive the current from any of the three supplying inputs to a predetermined charging output so that the predetermined charging output can supply any of the three phases.
In some embodiments, the charge spot comprises combination circuitry configured to combine electric current from all three supplying inputs and output a resulting electric current through a predetermined charging output.
In some embodiments, the combination circuitry comprises: AC-DC conversion units configured to controllably convert alternating currents from the three- phase supply into direct currents, an DC-AC conversion unit configured to output an alternating combined current from the direct currents provided by the AC-DC conversion units; and an output switch configured to controllably provide the alternating combined current to the predetermined charging output.
In some embodiments, the controller is further configured to estimate the alternating combined current by estimating energy losses associated with combining electric currents from the three supplying inputs and to operate the combination circuitry only if the estimated alternating combined current is superior to Max (Ii, I2, 13), and to 3*Min (Ii, I2, I3), wherein Ii, I2, 13 are respectively the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply.
In a second broad aspect, the presently disclosed subject matter provides a system for use in charging an electric vehicle comprising: the electric vehicle charge spot according to the first broad aspect, an electric distribution board configured to provide three-phase electric supply to the charge spot, a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and to operate the adapting switch elements of the charge spot so as to enable charging the electric vehicle either using one of the three phases or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
In some embodiments, the controller is arranged on the distribution board and communicates remotely with the charge spot.
In some embodiments, the controller is arranged in the charge spot.
In some embodiments, the system further comprises: electric current detectors configured to detect the load status of each phase of the three-phase supply, and a transmission unit configured to communicate with the electric current detectors and to transmit to the controller indications on the load status of each phase of the three-phase supply.
In some embodiments, the transmission unit is integrated to the electric current detectors.
In some embodiments, the electric current detectors are arranged on the electric distribution board.
In some embodiments, the electric distribution board further comprising a circuit breaker, and the controller further comprising a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply wherein the electric current limits stored in the memory of the charge spot are set in order to avoid tripping of the circuit breaker and the electric current available on each phase are computed based on said electric current limits.
In a third broad aspect, the presently disclosed subject matter provides a controller for use in a system for charging an electric vehicle, the controller being configured and operable for controlling a charge spot provided with a three-phase electric supply from an electric distribution system, said controller comprising: a receiving unit configured to receive indications on a load status of each phase of the three-phase supply from current detectors arranged in the distribution system, a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply, a processor configured and operable to analyze the receive indications and utilize data indicative of the electric current limits, for determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and generating output signal indicative of whether one of the three phases or all the three phases of the three- phase electric supply is to be used by the charge spot to charge the electric vehicle, and an operating unit configured to operate the charge spot based on the output signal of the processor so as to enable charging the electric vehicle using one of the three phases or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
In a fourth broad aspect, the presently disclosed subject matter provides a method for use in charging an electric vehicle, the method comprising: providing a three phase electric supply to a charge spot, determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, selectively operating the charge spot for charging the electric vehicle, based on the electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, either in a one-phase charging mode using one of the three phases, or in a three- phase charging mode using all three phases.
In some embodiments, the method further comprises the step of determining whether or not the relation: Min (Ii, I2, I3) > Max (Ii, I2, I3) * S is satisfied; wherein Ii, I2, I3 are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3, and wherein the step of selectively charging the vehicle further comprises: charging the electric vehicle using the three phases by drawing an electric current substantially equal to Min (Ii, I2, I3) on all three phases if said relation is satisfied and; charging the electric vehicle with the phase able to provide the highest electric current by drawing an electric current substantially equal to Max (Ii, I2, 13) if said relation is not satisfied.
In some embodiments, the threshold S is equal to 1/3.
In some embodiments, determining the electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply comprises: detecting a load status of each phase of the three- phase supply, and comparing the load status of each phase with electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply.
In some embodiments, the charge spot comprises three charging outputs outputting one phase of the three-phase electric supply and the step of selectively charging the electric vehicle comprises selectively preventing one or more charging outputs to output said one phase by operating adapting switch elements.
In some embodiments, the steps of determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and selectively charging the electric vehicle are performed prior to the charging of the vehicle and the selected charging mode is maintained throughout the charging of the vehicle. In some embodiments, the steps of determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and selectively charging the electric vehicle are performed during the charging of the vehicle.
In some embodiments, the method further comprises the step of combining the electric current from the three phases.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a block diagram illustrating generally an electric vehicle charging system according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Fig. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a more specific example of the electric vehicle charging system of Fig.1.
Fig. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating generally a method for charging an electric vehicle according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Fig. 4 is diagram illustrating the current supplied to the electric vehicle during a switch between two single -phase charging modes according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Fig. 5 schematically illustrates a charge spot cooperating with a three-phase electric supply and an electric vehicle charging socket according to an embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
The present invention notably provides a charge spot for charging an electric vehicle. The charge spot is configured to be supplied with a three-phase electric supply and is configured and operable for optimizing the current drawn from the three-phase electric supply. The charge spot is typically connected to the electric distribution system of an existing structure, such as a residence or a parking lot. In the context of the present application, the electric distribution system to which the charge spot may be connected is able to provide three-phase alternating current. For the sake of clarity, it is noted that the term "communication" along with its derivative is understood as being possibly carried out over wired communication links (e.g., landline telephony, cables), over optical communication links (e.g., fiber optics) and/or wirelessly (e.g., RF cellular network, WiFi, Bluetooth, IR or satellite communication). Optionally, the data communication between elements may be carried out employing standard data communication networks (e.g., LAN, WAN, WLAN, MAN, SAN) and protocols (e.g., TCP/IP), for example, over the Internet. Additionally, it is understood that two elements may communicate either directly i.e. by exchanging information through transmission/reception units included in these elements, or indirectly i.e. by providing information to a communication unit which redirects information to said elements.
Fig. 1 is a block diagram illustrating generally an electric vehicle charging system 10 according to an embodiment of the invention. The system 10 includes one or more charge spots 1 cooperating with a controller 2, and an electric distribution board 3. The controller 2 is associated with (i.e. includes or is connectable to) a detector unit 5. The charge spot 1 is connectable to an electric vehicle charging socket 4.
As will be described more specifically further below, the charge spot 1 of the present invention includes a supplying connection unit for receiving a three-phase electric supply from the electric distribution board 3, a charging connection unit for engaging with the electric vehicle charging socket 4 of the vehicle, and adapting switch elements 12. The supplying connection unit includes three supplying inputs each configured to receive one phase of the three-phase electric supply. The charging connection unit is connectable to the supplying connection unit and includes three charging outputs each configured to output one phase of the three-phase electric supply. The adapting switch elements 12 enable to selectively prevent one or more of the charging outputs to output said one phase by blocking current flow to said one or more charging outputs.
The elements of the electric vehicle charging system 10 as illustrated may generally interact as follows: the electric distribution board 3 may be supplied with a three-phase supply 60 from a local electric power grid 6. The three-phase supply 60 may provide three separate alternating currents whose phases are 120 degrees shifted from each other. The electric distribution board 3 may be set to distribute a limited amount of electric current on each of the three phases. In order to limit the electric current to be supplied by the electric distribution board 3, the distribution board 3 may for example include a circuit breaker. The electric distribution board 3 may provide to an appliance either three-phase alternating current or single-phase alternating current. Three-phase alternating current may be provided by supplying all three phases from the three-phase supply 60 to appliances configured to receive three-phase current. Single- phase alternating current may be provided to appliances configured to receive single- phase current by splitting the three-phase supply into separate single-phase current.
The detector unit 5 may monitor the electric current provided by the electric distribution board 3 to the appliances connected thereto. The detector unit 5 may also transmit to the controller 2 information enabling the controller 2 to determine an available current on each phase of the three-phase alternating current i.e. a residual electric current that can be still drawn from each phase without tripping the circuit breaker. The charge spot 1 may be provided with three supplying inputs to receive three-phase current. The charge spot 1 may also be provided with three charging outputs to provide three-phase current as output to the electric vehicle charging socket 4. Further, the charge spot 1 may comprise adapting switch elements 12 arranged to controllably allow electrical connection between one supplying input and one charging output thereby enabling to selectively provide either one or three phases as output. The electric vehicle socket 4 may be provided with three-phase connectivity i.e. be connected to the three charging outputs. According to an activation state of the adapting switch elements 12, the charge spot 1 provides the electric vehicle socket 4 with an electric current either on one of the charging outputs or on the three charging outputs concurrently. In the first case, the electric current may be drawn on one phase of the three phase electric supply 60, and in the latter case, the electric current may be drawn from the three phases of the three phase electric supply 60. The adapting switch elements 12 may be operated by the controller 2 which is configured to determine whether it is beneficial to provide one -phase or three-phase electric supply to the electric vehicle charging socket 4 and control the charge spot 1 so as to accordingly activate the adapting switch elements 12. In an embodiment, the charge spot 1 may comprise a communication utility for communicating with the controller 2 so as to receive operating instructions. The communication utility of the charge spot 1 may further be configured to selectively operate the adapting switch elements 12. The electric vehicle may monitor the current output by the charging outputs of the charge spot 1 to detect whether a three-phase current or a single -phase current is provided.
Fig. 2 illustrates in more detail the electric vehicle charging system described with reference to Fig.l. The three-phase supply 60 provided by the local electric power grid 6 typically comprises three alternating electric currents Φι, Φ2, Φ3. The distribution board 3 splits the three-phase supply 60 into three single -phase supplies each carrying respectively one of the alternating currents Φι, Φ2, Φ3 (also referred to hereinafter as phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3). The distribution board 3 respectively provides each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 to appliances 601, 602, 603 each being configured to receive single -phase current. For example, phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 may be respectively provided to appliances 601, 602, 603 by using a circuit line comprising one lead to carry the one-phase alternating current from the distribution board 3 to said appliances 601, 602, 603. It is noted that boxes 601, 602 and 603 may include one or more appliances supplied respectively by phase Φι, Φ2 or Φ3.
In the following, the currents drawn respectively by appliances 601, 602, 603 on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 are noted if , Ι^ , Ι^ , the current limits on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 are respectively noted , I™x , I™x and the residual available currents for charging the electric vehicle on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 are noted , , . The currents / , 1* , /3 d , drawn respectively by appliances 601, 602, 603 on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 may be of different values since appliances 601, 602 and 603 may have different power consumption. Therefore, the residual available currents Ij, I2, I3 on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 may have different values at a given time.
As explained above, due to phase balancing requirement and in the event that one of the available currents I], I2, I 3 is considerably lower than the others, the current that could be drawn by the charge spot 1 using the three phases may be lower than the current that could be drawn using a single phase. Indeed, when drawing current from the three phases concurrently, the current drawn by the charge spot 1 on each phase needs to be identical and is thereby limited by the lowest value between I], I2 and I3.
The detection unit 5 may be configured to detect the load status of the phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 i.e. to measure the currents / , // , /3 d respectively drawn on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 by appliances 601, 602, 603 other than the charge spot and connected to the distribution board 3. The detection unit 5 may also be configured to provide the controller 2 with the detected values if , if , if or with indications relative to said values. In order to do so, the detection unit 5 may be configured to communicate with the controller 2. The detected values if , if , if may be transmitted to the controller 2 upon request from the controller 2 or be transmitted by the detection unit 5 5 automatically, for example through a periodical update. From a structural point of view, the detection unit 5 may be integrated on the electric distribution board 3 as well as be arranged as a separate unit as exemplified in Figs. 1 and 2. The circuit breaker 34 of the distribution board 3 may be configured to set current limits 7™ , 7™ , 73 m x for the current that can be drawn on each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3. Therefore, when the current drawn 10 on any of phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 reaches the current limit set by the circuit breaker 34, tripping of the circuit breaker 34 may be triggered. The controller 2 may be provided with said current limits 7™ , 7™ , 73 max .
In an embodiment, the controller 2 may comprise a memory preconfigured manually to store said current limits. In another embodiment, the distribution board 3 or 15 the circuit breaker 34 may be configured to transmit automatically to the controller 2 said current limits, for example through a periodical update. In a further embodiment, the controller 2 and the distribution board 3 may be configured to communicate with one another, and the electric current limits 7™ , 7™ , 73 m x may be sent by the distribution board 3 to the controller 2 e.g. upon request from the controller 2.
20 The electric distribution board 3 may provide the charge spot 1 with three-phase alternating current by concurrently providing the three phases Φι, Φ2 and Φ3 using for example a circuit line comprising three supplying leads to carry each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 on a separate lead. The charge spot 1 includes a supplying connection 11 configured to accept three-phase supply. The supplying connection 11 includes three supplying inputs
25 111, 112, 113, each configured to be connected to a supplying lead carrying a phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3. Further, the charge spot 1 includes a charging connection 13 including three charging outputs 131, 132, 133, each configured to output one of the three phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 from the charge spot 1 to the electric vehicle charging socket 4.The electric vehicle charging socket 4 includes three leads intended to be connected to the three
30 charging outputs 131, 132, 133 of the charging connection 13 for charging an electric vehicle (not shown). Furthermore, the charge spot 1 comprises adapting switch elements 12 configured to controllably allow the current input in a supplying input 111, 112, 113 to respectively flow to a charging output 131, 132, 133. The adapting switch elements may comprise three switches 121, 122, 123 respectively arranged between the supplying inputs 111, 112, 113 and the charging outputs 131, 132, 133 of the charge spot 1. The 5 adapting switch elements 12 may be operated by the controller 2 so as to selectively allow a current flow from the supplying inputs 111, 112, 113 to be output to the charging outputs 131, 132, 133. In an embodiment, the charge spot 1 further comprises designation switches 181, 182. The designation switches 181, 182 may be configured for controllably driving the current output from one of the supplying inputs 111, 112,
10 113 to a predetermined charging output i.e. a designated charging output among the three charging outputs 131, 132, 133. In the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 1, the designation switches 181, 182 are respectively configured to controllably drive the current output by the supplying input 112, 113 on the designated charging output 131. This may enable to charge an electric vehicle through a vehicle charging socket 4 that
15 may require in single -phase mode to be supplied only through a predetermined charging output. In single-phase mode, the designation switches 181, 182 may be operated concurrently with the adapting switch elements 12 so that any one of the currents Φι, Φ2, Φ3 output from the supplying inputs 111, 112, 113 may be driven at the predetermined designated charging output 131.
20 Therefore, when the electric vehicle charging socket 4 is connected to the charge spot 1 through the charging connection 13, the electric vehicle charging socket 4 may be provided either with a single-phase current Φι, Φ2 or Φ3 supplied by any one of the charging outputs 131, 132, 133 or with a three-phase current Φι, Φ2 and Φ3 supplied concurrently by the three charging outputs 131, 132, 133. In other words, the adapting
25 switch elements 12 may be operated by the controller 2 to selectively connect the supplying inputs 111, 112, 113 to the charging outputs 131, 132, 133 so as to switch between a single -phase charging mode in which the electric vehicle charging socket 4 is provided with one of the phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 and a three-phase charging mode in which the electric vehicle charging socket 4 is provided with the three phases Φι, Φ2 and Φ3.
30 The controller 2 includes a communication unit 21 and a processor 22. From a structural point of view, the controller 2 may be arranged in the charge spot 1 as well as be arranged as a separate unit as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. The communication unit 21 is configured to send a request to the detection unit 5 and to receive from said detection unit 5 indications relative to the currents if , if , if respectively drawn on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 by appliances 601, 602, 603. In an embodiment, the communication unit 21 may also be configured to receive the current limits 7™ , 7™ , 73 m x (i.e. the maximum current that can be drawn on each phase before tripping of the circuit breaker 34) transmitted by the distribution board 3. In another embodiment, said current limits 7j m x , 7™ , 73 m x may be manually stored in a storage memory 23 of the controller 2. In order to determine which charging mode is to be operated, the processor 22 may be configured to determine the available current I], h, I 3 on each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 by computing for each phase the difference between the current limit 7™ , 7™ , 73 m x and the electric current drawn if , if , if by the appliances 601, 602, 603. The determination of the available current I], I2, I3 on each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 enables the controller 2 to determine whether is it preferable to charge the electric vehicle using the three-phase charging mode or the single-phase charging mode. In order to do so, the controller 2 is configured to determine whether or not the following relation (R) is satisfied:
Min (Ih h) > Max (Ih I2, h) *S (R) wherein I], I2, I3 are the electric currents respectively available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, and S is equal to 1/3.
In another embodiment, the threshold S may have any value positive and inferior to 1/3 in order to give preference to low current drives. Thereafter, if relation (R) is satisfied, the controller 2 may be configured to operate the charge spot 1 in three-phase charging mode. Alternatively, if relation (R) is not satisfied, the controller 2 may be configured to operate the charge spot 1 in single-phase mode, preferably by providing the electric vehicle charging socket with the phase having the highest available current. Thus, maximizing the amount of current provided to the electric vehicle charging socket 4 while respecting the phase balancing requirement may be obtained. Furthermore, the controller 2 may also be configured to transmit to the electric vehicle a control signal indicative of the maximal current to be drawn for charging the electric vehicle. When the controller 2 operates the charge spot 1 in three-phase charging mode, the control signal may be indicative of an electric current value substantially equal to Min (Ij, I2, I3). Alternatively, when the controller 2 operates the charge spot 1 in single -phase charging mode by outputting the phase having the highest available current to the electric vehicle charging socket 4, the control signal may be indicative of an electric current value substantially equal to Max (Ij, h, ).
Fig. 3 exemplifies a method of the invention for charging an electric vehicle using the electric vehicle charging environment previously described with reference to Figs. 1 and 2. In a first step S101, a request may be transmitted from the controller to the detection unit and indications may be obtained on the electric current if , if , lf respectively drawn on phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 by the appliances other than the charge spot connected to the distribution board 3. In a second step S102, a request may be transmitted from the controller to the distribution board in order to obtain the electric current limits 7™ , 7™ , 73 m x set by the circuit breaker of the electric distribution board.
In another embodiment in which the current limits are stored in the memory of the controller, step S102 may be replaced by the step of accessing the memory to retrieve said current limits. In a third step S103, the available current h, h, on each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 may be determined by computing for each phase the difference between the current limit 7™ , 7™ , 73 max and the electric current drawn if , if , if . In a fourth step
S104, determining whether the single -phase mode or the three-phase mode is to be implemented may be carried out by assessing whether relation (R) is satisfied. If the relation (R) is satisfied, then step S105 of operating the adapting switch elements so as to run the three-phase charging mode is performed. If the relation (R) is not satisfied, then step S106 of operating the adapting switch elements so as to run the single -phase charging mode is performed. Thereafter, step S107 of transmitting a control signal indicative of a maximal current value drawn by the charge spot is performed. When the three-phase mode is run, the control signal may be indicative of the value of Min (Ij, I2, I3) since the maximal current to be drawn by the electric vehicle is of Min (Ij, I2, I3) on each phase. When the single -phase mode is run, the control signal may be indicative of the value of Max (I I2, I3) since only the phase with the maximum available current is provided to the electric vehicle charging socket.
In an embodiment, the previously described steps may be performed before starting the charging of the electric vehicle, and the charging mode implemented may be maintained through the charging. The control signal may however be updated. However, the charging mode may not be switched while charging. In another embodiment, switching between the single -phase charging mode and the three-phase charging mode may be performed during charging of the electric vehicle. The switching may be performed as break before make where the break period from one phase is synchronized as to the time when there is no voltage or current flowing and the connect period is synchronized as to prevent voltage or current peaks. In an embodiment, switching between two single -phase charging modes may also be performed during charging of the vehicle in order to selectively output one of the phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 to the electric vehicle while staying in the single-phase charging mode. For example, switching between two single -phase charging modes may be performed by operating the designation switches 181, 182 during charging of the vehicle. This may enable to switch between Φι, Φ2, Φ3 based on the available current while staying in the single -phase charging mode.
Fig.4 illustrates a switch between two single -phase modes in an embodiment of the present invention. A first voltage 91 provided on the first phase Φι, a second voltage 92 provided on the second phase Φ2 and a voltage supplied to the electric vehicle 93 are represented in Fig. 4. The voltage supplied to the electric vehicle 93 results from the switch between the single-phase charging mode in which the first phase Φι is provided to the electric vehicle to the single -phase charging mode in which the phase Φ2 is provided to the electric vehicle. As can be seen in Fig. 4, the switch between two single- phase charging modes may also be synchronized as to the time when there is no voltage or current flowing and the connect period is synchronized as to prevent voltage or current peaks. In other words, the switch off from the first phase Φι may be operated when the value of the current or voltage on Φι is substantially equal to zero and the switch on the second phase Φ2 may be operated when the value of the current or voltage on Φ2 is substantially equal to zero.
Referring now to Fig. 5, another embodiment of the charge spot according to the present invention is described. The charge spot 1 may comprise adapting switch elements 121, 122, 123 to controllably connect respectively the supplying inputs 111, 112, 113 to the charging outputs 131, 132, 133. Further, the charge spot 1 may comprise designation switches 181 and 182 for controllably driving the current of the supplying inputs to a predetermined charging output 131. In this embodiment, the charge spot 1 may additionally comprise combination circuitry arranged for combining current from the phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 and drive the combined current through the predetermined charging output 131 of the charging connection 13. The combination circuitry may comprise alternating current to direct current (AC-DC) conversion units 141, 142, 143 for controllably converting each phase Φι, Φ2, Φ3 supplied to the charging spot 1 into a DC current. AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may respectively be arranged downstream of the designation switches 181, 182 and 5 of the adapting switch elements 121, 122, 123. The outputs of the AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may be driven to a DC- AC conversion unit 144. The output of the DC-AC conversion unit may be driven to the predetermined charging output 131 through an output switch 191.
The combination circuitry i.e. the AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143, the
10 DC-AC conversion unit 144 and the output switch 191 may be operated by the controller (2 in Fig. 1). The AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may be controllable so that they can be tuned to draw a specific current from each phase. As previously described, a DC current obtained by each AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may be combined, for example by connecting the outputs of said AC-DC conversion units
15 141, 142, 143 to the same point. The combined current may then be converted to AC current by the DC-AC conversion unit 144 and the output of the DC-AC conversion unit 144 may be connected to the predetermined charging output 131. When combining the current of the three phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 is not performed, the AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may be set to zero (i.e. the value of the current drawn on Φι, Φ2, Φ3
20 respectively by the AC-DC conversion units 141, 142, 143 may be substantially equal to zero) and the output switch 191 may be left open.
The controller may further be configured to estimate energy losses associated with the combination of phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 to determine an estimated AC current resulting from said combination. The controller 2 may further be configured to operate
25 the combination circuitry in order to perform said combination if the estimated AC current is superior to Max (Ij, I2, I 3) and to the value of 3*Min (Ij, h, I3), wherein I], h, I3 are respectively the electric currents available on the three phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3 of the three-phase supply and Min represents the function determining the lowest value between h, , . When the combination circuitry is operated to perform the
30 combination of phases Φι, Φ2, Φ3, the control signal transmitted to the electric vehicle may be indicative of an electric current value substantially equal to the estimated AC current. The above examples and description have of course been provided only for the purpose of illustration, and are not intended to limit the invention in any way. As will be appreciated by the skilled person, the invention can be carried out in a great variety of ways, employing more than one technique from those described above, all without exceeding the scope of the invention.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A charge spot for charging an electric vehicle comprising:
a supplying connection unit configured to receive a three-phase electric supply, the supplying connection unit comprising three supplying inputs each configured to receive one phase of the three-phase electric supply;
a charging connection unit configured to engage with a charging socket assembly of an electric vehicle, the charging connection unit being connectable to the supplying connection unit and comprising three charging outputs each configured to output one phase of the three-phase electric supply; and
- adapting switch elements configured to selectively prevent one or more of the charging outputs to output said one phase by blocking current flow to said one or more charging outputs.
2. The charge spot according to claim 1, wherein the adapting switch elements are operable by a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, so that the adapting switch elements cause the charging connection to output either one phase or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
3. The charge spot according to claim 1, comprising a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply, and configured to operate the adapting switch elements to cause the charging connection to output either one phase or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
4. The charge spot according to claim 3, wherein the controller comprises:
a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply;
a receiving unit configured to receive indications on a load status of each phase of the three-phase supply; and
- a processor configured to determine the electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply.
5. The charge spot according to claim 4, wherein the controller further comprises an emitting unit configured to emit requests to an electric current detector for said indications on the load status of each phase.
6. The charge spot according to claim 5, wherein the emitting unit is further configured to provide to the electric vehicle a control signal indicative of the electric current supplied by the charge spot.
7. The charge spot according to any one of claim 3 to 6, wherein the controller is configured to carry out the following:
determine whether or not a relation:
Min (Ii, I2, 13) > Max (l I2, 13) * S is satisfied;
wherein Ii, I2, 13 are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, respectively, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3;
- operate the adapting switch elements to output all three phases and draw an electric current substantially equal to Min (Ii, I2, I3) on all three phases, if said relation is satisfied; and
operate the adapting switch elements to output the phase able to provide the highest electric current and draw on said phase an electric current substantially equal to Max (Ii, I2, 13), if said relation is not satisfied.
8. The charge spot according to claim 2, comprising a communication utility for communicating with the controller and selectively operating the adapting switch elements to carry out one of the following:
- output all three phases and draw an electric current substantially equal to
Min (II, 12, 13) on all three phases, if the following relation is satisfied
Min 12, 13) > Max 12, 13) * S;
wherein Ii, I2, 13 are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, respectively, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3; and - output the phase able to provide the highest electric current and draw on said phase an electric current substantially equal to Max (II, 12, 13), if said relation is not satisfied.
9. The charge spot according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising designation switches configured to controllably drive the current from any of the three supplying inputs to a predetermined charging output so that the predetermined charging output can supply any of the three phases.
10. The charge spot according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising combination circuitry configured to combine electric current from all three supplying inputs and output a resulting electric current through a predetermined charging output.
11. The charge spot according to claim 10, wherein the combination circuitry comprises:
AC-DC conversion units configured to controllably convert alternating currents from the three-phase supply into direct currents, - an DC-AC conversion unit configured to output an alternating combined current from the direct currents provided by the AC-DC conversion units; and
an output switch configured to controllably provide the alternating combined current to the predetermined charging output.
12. The charge spot according to claim 10, wherein the controller is further configured to estimate the alternating combined current by estimating energy losses associated with combining electric currents from the three supplying inputs and to operate the combination circuitry only if the estimated alternating combined current is superior to Max (Ii, , ), and to 3*Min(Ii, , ), wherein Ii, , are respectively the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply.
13. A system for use in charging an electric vehicle comprising:
the electric vehicle charge spot according to claim 1 , - an electric distribution board configured to provide three-phase electric supply to the charge spot, and
a controller configured to determine an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and to operate the adapting switch elements of the charge spot so as to enable charging the electric vehicle either using one of the three phases or all three phases of the three-phase electricity supply.
14. The system according to claim 13, wherein the controller is arranged on the distribution board and communicates remotely with the charge spot.
15. The system according to claim 13, wherein the controller is arranged in the charge spot.
16. The system according to any one of claims 13 to 15, further comprising:
electric current detectors configured to detect the load status of each phase of the three-phase supply, and
a transmission unit configured to communicate with the electric current detectors and to transmit to the controller indications on the load status of each phase of the three-phase supply.
17. The system according to claim 16, wherein the transmission unit is integrated to the electric current detectors.
18. The system according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the electric current detectors are arranged on the electric distribution board.
19. The system according to any one of claims 13 to 18, the electric distribution board further comprising a circuit breaker, and the controller further comprising a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply wherein the electric current limits stored in the memory of the charge spot are set in order to avoid tripping of the circuit breaker and the electric current available on each phase are computed based on said electric current limits.
20. A controller for use in a system for charging an electric vehicle, the controller being configured and operable for controlling a charge spot provided with a three-phase electric supply from an electric distribution system, said controller comprising: a receiving unit configured to receive indications on a load status of each phase of the three-phase supply from current detectors arranged in the distribution system,
a memory configured to store electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply,
a processor configured and operable to analyze the received indications and utilize data indicative of the electric current limits, for determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and generating an output signal indicative of whether one of the three phases or all three phases of the three-phase electric supply is/are to be used by the charge spot to charge the electric vehicle, and
an operating unit configured to operate the charge spot based on the output signal of the processor so as to enable charging the electric vehicle using one of the three phases or all three phases of the three- phase electricity supply.
21. A method for use in charging an electric vehicle, the method comprising:
providing a three phase electric supply to a charge spot,
- determining an electric current available on each phase of the three- phase supply,
selectively operating the charge spot for charging the electric vehicle, based on the electric current available on each phase of the three- phase supply, either in a one -phase charging mode using one of the three phases, or in a three-phase charging mode using all three phases.
22. The method of claim 21, further comprising the step of determining whether or not the relation:
Min (Ii, I2, 13) > Max (l I2, 13) * S is satified;
wherein Ii, , are the electric currents available on the three phases of the three-phase supply, and S is a predetermined threshold inferior or equal to 1/3, and wherein the step of selectively charging the vehicle further comprises: charging the electric vehicle using the three phases by drawing an electric current substantially equal to Min (Ii, I2, I3) on all three phases if said relation is satisfied; and
charging the electric vehicle with the phase able to provide the 5 highest electric current by drawing an electric current substantially equal to Max (Ii, I2, 13) if said relation is not satisfied.
23. The method according to claim 22 wherein the threshold S is equal to 1/3.
10 24. The method according to any of claims 21 to 23, wherein determining the electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply comprises:
detecting a load status of each phase of the three-phase supply, and comparing the load status of each phase with electric current limits associated with each phase of the three-phase supply.
15
25. The method according to any of claims 21 to 24, wherein the charge spot comprises three charging outputs outputting one phase of the three-phase electric supply and the step of selectively charging the electric vehicle comprises selectively preventing one or more charging outputs to output said one phase by operating adapting switch
20 elements.
26. The method according to any of claims 21 to 25, wherein the steps of determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and selectively charging the electric vehicle are performed prior to charging of the vehicle
25 and the selected charging mode is maintained throughout charging of the vehicle.
27. The method according to any of claims 21 to 25, wherein the steps of determining an electric current available on each phase of the three-phase supply and selectively charging the electric vehicle are performed during charging of the vehicle.
30
28. The method according to any of claims 21 to 27, further comprising the step of combining the electric current from the three phases.
PCT/IL2013/050040 2012-01-26 2013-01-15 Charge spot device for charging electric vehicles WO2013111127A1 (en)

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