Cooling of High Power Charging (HPC) Stations for EV

With growing concerns about fossil fuels and their impact on global warming, Electric Vehicles (EV) are seeing a major surge in production in China, Europe, Japan and the United States.  According to the International Energy Agency, electric vehicles will grow from just over three million today to 125 million by 2030.  Conventional charging with alternating current can take up to eight hours.  Charging stations have rapidly switched to high power, rapid EV chargers using direct current that can recharge batteries as quickly as ten minutes on the charging station.

These High Power Charging (HPC) stations generate high currents, up to 500 Amps at 1,000 Volts requiring the electrical charging cable and connector to be cooled.  Aspen Systems, a pioneer in ultra-compact refrigeration systems is providing novel solutions for EV charging station manufacturers and is shipping hundreds of cooling systems per month as part of this effort. 

The state-of-the-art benefits Aspen provides this expanding application include:

  1. Rapidly developed custom systems
  2. Compact size, low weight
  3. Efficiency
  4. Flexible design
  5. Reliability and operation in extreme environments

As part of a U.S. Department of Defense project, Aspen Systems developed the world’s smallest rotary compressor which forms the enabling technology required for use in applications with extreme space or weight constraints.  Typically, for EV charging stations, a chilled liquid flows around the cable and connector for efficient heat dissipation.  The chilled liquid can also be used to cool any other heat generating components within the station.  Aspen works closely with the customers’ engineers to ensure a design that can be integrated directly into the unit and provide the requisite cooling power.

For instance, one major manufacturer needed an active thermal management solution to fit into one of their existing enclosures.  The space constraints (narrow and tall) prevented a standard Aspen module to be integrated.  Aspen’s experts in refrigeration and cooling, successfully designed a new chiller layout using primarily available components (evaporator, condenser, etc.) to fit the space, while also designing ease of access for maintenance.

Stated by the buyer:

“Your unit is a remarkable device.  High performance in a very compact package.  Our engineering teams are very much a fan (no pun intended).  That remarkability, that performance and that packaging is why we will continue to look at your products.”

Vapor compression refrigeration offers the highest efficiency in refrigeration.  Compared to thermoelectric or Peltier cooling, vapor compression provides three to five times superior efficiency.  Reliability in extreme environments is a key consideration for manufacturers of EV charging stations.  Over 3,000 of Aspen Systems’ cooling systems have been deployed by the US Military in Afghanistan and Iraq.  These systems have logged millions of hours of operation cooling mobile communication electronics enclosures used in Humvees and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.  Uninterrupted communication is vital to front line forces. Not a single compressor failure was seen–even though exposed to the harsh heat and cold of the desert and the vibration imposed in a military vehicle.

According to Glenn Deming, Vice President of Aspen Systems, “Many of the same reasons the Department of Defense selected Aspen Systems for their mission critical application apply to the design needs of EV station engineers – small size, efficiency and rock solid reliability”. 

To learn more, call (508) 281-5322 or visit

Brief History of EV

Although Electric Vehicles (EV) are not new, they are seeing exponential growth with advances in battery and battery-charging technology.  The first EV’s were demonstrated all the way back in the 1830s, and in 1902, the Studebaker Automotive Company was the first to offer mass produced vehicles.  However, limitations in the storage batteries prevented widespread use because of limited range between charges.