Is car charger DC or AC? : The Differences

Is car charger DC or AC? : The Differences

Grid electricity is always AC in nature. Batteries, such as the one in your EV, can only store DC power, though. For this reason, the plugs on most electronic devices have converters. You might not be aware of it, but every time you use a plug to charge a device, like a smartphone, the plug is converts AC to DC.

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Is car charger AC or DC? Which one is good

For use in electric vehicles, there are two different types of “fuels.” They are referred to as direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). Is car charger AC or DC, which is better, let’s find out, keep reading.

AC power for electric vehicle charging

The converter is an internal component of electric vehicles. Although it is actually a converter, it is referred to as the “onboard charger.” It transforms power from AC to DC before supplying it to the vehicle’s battery. The majority of electric vehicle chargers today use AC power, making this the most popular charging method.

Because there are many charging stations available and they are simple to install, AC charging, also known as “Slow Charging,” is the most popular type of charging. Type 1 AC chargers can be installed in homes, and there are also readily available AC chargers at EV charging stations (type 2). Fast AC chargers can increase range by anywhere from 22kW to 43kW per km/h.

An electric car may need several hours or even an entire night to fully charge, depending on the charger’s intake capacity.


DC power for electric vehicle charging

We now know that grid power is always AC. The location where the AC power is converted—inside the car or outside—distinguishes AC charging from DC charging. A DC charger, in contrast to AC chargers, contains the converter within the charger itself. This indicates that it can supply power to the vehicle’s battery without first being converted by the onboard charger. DC chargers are a significant advancement for EVs because they are bigger, faster, and more powerful.

The charging curve degrades over time, peaking at the initial state of charge and then declining as the battery reaches its maximum capacity in terms of the rate at which it will accept power. With fast DC charging, the charging rate can be as high as 50–100 kW per km/h. Within 30 minutes of fast charging, 80% of the battery can be charged.


Where can one find DC or AC charging?

Today, AC charging is used by the majority of charging stations. Depending on the car you own and the power the infrastructure has access to for charging, the typical charging speed is 22 kW. Due to the longer loading time, it’s perfect for charging your car at home or at the office. When you don’t have much time to recharge, DC charging is more common near highways or at public charging stations. However, DC charging is becoming more prevalent in home charging, giving consumers new options because it permits both fast charging and bidirectional charging.


Electric mobility uses both AC and DC charging

The location of the AC to DC conversion determines how an EV is charged in terms of AC and DC charging. An electric vehicle’s battery can only store DC energy, regardless of whether it uses an AC or DC charging station.

When you use a DC charging station, the conversion of AC (grid power) to DC takes place inside the station, allowing DC power to go straight from the station and into the battery. Larger converters can be used to convert grid AC power very quickly because the conversion process takes place inside the more roomy charging station and not the EV. Some DC stations therefore produce 350 kW of power.

The charging curve is another significant distinction between charging with AC and DC. When using AC charging, an electric vehicle’s power output appears as a flat line (so, not much of a curve at all). This is because the onboard charger is comparatively small and can only handle a small amount of power dispersed over longer periods of time.

The charging curve for DC charging, on the other hand, degrades over time. This is caused by the EV battery’s tendency to initially accept a faster flow of power but gradually request less as it fills up.


DC for the battery and AC for the grid

In the world of electric transportation, AC and DC are both significant. The grid provides AC power, which is changed into DC and then stored in an electric vehicle’s battery. The conversion from AC to DC when using an AC charging station takes place inside the EV using an onboard charger, which is frequently constrained. The conversion occurs outside of the EV using a larger converter when using DC fast and ultra-fast charging stations.

Also, read about the electric Vespa.

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