Electric vehicle battery prototype

Advanced Power Electronics Laboratory

The Kettering University Advanced Power Electronics Laboratory (APEL), established in 2014, focuses on the development and testing of power-electronic circuits and systems prototypes. The process and procedure of developmental projects typically includes: circuit topology investigation and simulation studies; circuit schematic and printed circuit board (PCB) design; power loss analysis with thermal simulations; control-loop and microcontroller software development (using Texas Instruments DSPs); and full-power testing of the prototype/converter. Projects typically last for one year to produce a prototype. The facilities in APEL are capable of testing systems at power levels up to 10 kW (without power recirculation), with DC voltage levels up to 600 V and three-phase 60 Hz AC voltages up to 480 Vrms. Converter efficiencies and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) measurements are conducted using Yokogawa WT1600 power analyzers.

Projects include:

  • Electric vehicle battery chargers (level 1, level 2, and DC fast chargers)
  • Electric alternator systems (e.g. 400 V to 12 V step-down converters)
  • Three-phase inverter / motor drive systems
  • Wireless charging circuits using low-frequency air-core transformers
  • Battery management systems (cell monitoring, cell passive balancing, cell active balancing)
  • Renewable energy conversion systems (solar & wind energy harvesting)