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Exploring the Various Chillers Utilized in Electric Vehicle Chargers


Electric Vehicle Chargers Need Chillers





With the increase in electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, charging stations are becoming common. However, have you ever wondered how the chargers work and what components they require to function? Chillers are one of the essential components that help regulate the temperature of the charging station and ensure smooth operations. In a previous post, I spoke of the importance of having chillers on electrical vehicle chargers:

The Importance of Chillers on Electric Vehicle Chargers



This post will discuss the different types of chillers used by EV chargers and their specific requirements.


Liquid-Cooled Chillers: Water-cooled chillers are widely used in EV charging applications requiring large power quantities. They utilize water as the coolant and provide efficient cooling at high ambient temperatures. Water-cooled chillers come in two types: shell and tube and plate heat exchanger. Shell and tube usually require more space, making them ideal for outdoor installations, whereas plate heat exchangers have a smaller footprint, making them perfect for indoor installations.






Glycol-cooled chillers use a mixture of water and glycol to remove heat from the battery in the charger. They are designed to work in extreme temperatures and are more efficient than air-cooled chillers. However, glycol-cooled chillers have a higher upfront cost than air-cooled chillers and require more maintenance than water-cooled chillers.


Air-Cooled Chillers: Air-cooled chillers use air as the coolant and are commonly used for smaller EV charging stations. They are ideal for applications with limited space and no water availability. Air-cooled chillers come in different types, like scroll, screw, or reciprocating, that vary in terms of their size, efficiency, and capacity.


Hybrid Chillers: Hybrid chillers are designed for EV chargers that require both heating and cooling functions. They can provide heating and cooling services to the charging station, making them energy-efficient and versatile. Hybrid chillers utilize electricity as the primary energy source and can also use waste heat to supplement the heating demands.





Cooling Tunnels: Cooling tunnels are specialized chillers for ultra-fast charging applications requiring high power. They work by using a high-power evaporator, which cools the conductors used in the charger. The cool conductors enable a higher current to flow, allowing EVs to charge faster. Cooling tunnels are primarily used in public fast-charging stations with high vehicle turnover.


Thermoelectric Chillers: Thermoelectric chillers are a niche type of chiller that works by using the Peltier effect. They are not widely used in EV charging applications as they can only provide limited cooling and require a lot of energy to operate. Thermoelectric coolers can also be very expensive compared to other types of chillers.





Conclusion:

The kind of chiller used in an EV charging station depends on the specific requirements and the station’s design. Liquid-cooled chillers are ideal for larger applications, while air-cooled chillers are perfect for smaller stations with less space. Hybrid chillers are versatile and energy-efficient, making them an excellent choice for stations requiring heating and cooling services. Cooling tunnels are specialized chillers for ultra-fast charging applications requiring high power levels. In contrast, thermoelectric chillers are not widely used due to their limited cooling capacities and high energy consumption. I hope this informative piece helped you understand the different types of chillers used in EV charging stations and how they work.

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