Charging Ahead

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Happy New Year! And welcome to the first issue of PSD in 2021. It is also our first January issue as a standalone magazine. This year will see us add two new issues in January and August. One of the reasons that we increased the number of issues to 12 this year was because there wasn’t enough space to cover all the innovation in the industry in only ten magazines. The two extra issues will allow us to cover new topics and also provide more in-depth coverage of popular industries, such as the automotive industry. Indeed, we are going to be starting the year off on just that subject.

The first article in the Special Report this month is from Avnet Abacus. With almost every country making a commitment to the electrification of the automotive industry, spending on infrastructure is expected to skyrocket. As we move away from refuelling our cars with fossil fuels, we need to build up a whole new infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Different regions have different requirements and standards for most aspects of the charging process from power limits to the size and shape of connectors. In his article, Martin Keenan, who is Technical Director at Avnet Abacus, looks at the requirements for electrical vehicle charging and gives us a quick overview of the different standards throughout the world and what will be needed to create that new infrastructure.

Infrastructure is also the topic of the second of this month’s Special Reports. It is all well and good placing charging stations around our towns and cities, but that puts a strain on the electrical grid itself. The United Kingdom government set up the VIGIL (Vehicle-to-Grid Intelligent Control) Project to look at how the industry would cope with the demands as electric vehicles grew more popular and charging stations start to put real strain on the grid. The project looked at using electrical vehicles themselves as energy storage units to balance the demands from charging stations. As part of the project, Bytesnap Design was employed to develop a communications controller that would allow vehicles and buildings to communicate with each other. Dunstan Power, a director of Bytesnap, looks at the project and what it achieved, both for the grid and how it gave Bytesnap an opportunity to expand.

The final article in the Special Report comes from ERNI Electronics. As vehicles get more complex, the demands on connectors get more challenging. This is especially true when high-speed signal connections have to be routed through the same connectors as high-power connections to save weight and space. ERNI’s Markus Breitenbüchetakes a look at the demands on connectors and suggests how they can be satisfied.

As well as our Special Report, we will also have many general features along with the latest news from the industry. Thanks for taking the time to read the magazine, and I hope you find something to interest you.

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD