Experimental technology NASA uses to cool equipment in space could cut electric vehicle (EV) charging times to less than five minutes. This news comes in the context that electric vehicle sales are on the rise and have reached their highest level ever.
The experimental technology was initially developed by scientists to support “nuclear fission power systems for missions to the Moon, Mars, and other more distant planets.” Specifically, this technology provides fuel for “vapor compression heat pumps to operate. From there, EV engines help maintain habitats on the Moon and Mars, while controlling heat and supporting life inside spacecraft.”
Thanks to the “subcooled flow boiling” technique, NASA technology can increase the current through improved heat transfer through the charging cable. This will significantly reduce the time needed to fully charge a vehicle.
NASA explains that an electric current with a minimum strength of 1,400 amps can fully charge an electric car within 5 minutes. Meanwhile, the fastest chargers used in science and industry today only produce a maximum of 520 amps, and most chargers on the market only support less than 150 amps.
A research team from Purdue University, led by mechanical engineering professor Issam Mudawar, said their experiment successfully generated a current of 2,400 amps on the charging cable by boiling the cooled flow.
During more than a decade of collaboration with NASA, Professor Mudawar and his team have studied a number of different two-phase fluid flows and heat transfer models, including the “cooled flow boiling” model. ”.
NASA is very interested and applied the “cooled flow boiling” technique in the Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment on the International Space Station last August. Their aim is to design and test this technology in a zero-gravity environment.
Has the major obstacle regarding electric vehicle charging time been resolved?
Although the experiments are showing encouraging results, scientists are still uncertain about the exact time that NASA’s experimental technology will be deployed to fully charge electric vehicles.
Typically, electric vehicles take about 20 minutes to charge at a station on the road, and several hours if they are charged at home. Current charging speed is one of the biggest limitations for this type of vehicle.
The Purdue team proposed adding cooled flow boiling technology to EV fast charging cables. Cooled EV charging cables have been around for a long time and are not a new design; However, they are limited in their ability to transmit current.
NASA said: “Charging cables for conventional fast charging systems require a fairly large wire, making them heavy and inconvenient for customers to move.” However, these “fast” chargers still cannot fully charge electric vehicle batteries in the target time (5 minutes).
A member of the research team, Professor Devahdhanush, said that fast charging technology is not really ready for market deployment. The exact time to commercialize the cooled flow boiling cable depends heavily on support from government agencies and partners willing to invest in the technology.
“We are working with several auto component manufacturers to continue to improve and deploy this technology,” he said.
NASA’s research could be a new beginning for the development of EV battery charging technology. And VinFast is still making efforts every day to update scientific and technical advances to quickly apply them to its own products. Please follow every great move of VinFast in the future.
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