Ricardo to develop high-efficiency DC-DC converter for EV applications

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UK-based Ricardo has won a contract with South Korean automotive electronic component supplier LS Automotive Technologies to develop a high-voltage DC-DC converter that will be used to power the low-voltage network in electric vehicle applications.

Ricardo has been contracted to develop the DC-DC converters, which take energy from the direct-current high-voltage battery that powers the propulsion of the electric vehicle and converts it for use by the low-voltage direct-current that powers vehicle lights, fans, pumps, wipers and electronic control units.

The company notes that the power conversion must be performed at high efficiency to ensure the equipment remains cool and only occupies a small footprint in the vehicle. To achieve the required efficiency, high energy density and performance targets, Ricardo says it will use silicon carbide and gallium nitride power electronics. Using knowledge and experience of this advanced technology, gained from a series of R&D programs, Ricardo hopes to produce a novel design for the converters that delivers new levels of efficiency and performance improvements compared with existing state-of-the-art technology.

Teri Hawksworth, MD of Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA Division, said, “We are delighted to have won this contract to support LS Automotive Technologies, a leading player in the South Korean power electronics industry. We are proud that our engineers’ considerable expertise in innovative electrification technologies will provide the best knowledge transfer for the engineers of LS Automotive Technologies, helping them gain competitive advantage and accelerate their route to market.”

As part of the contract, LS Automotive Technologies will embed engineers within the Ricardo engineering development team to facilitate knowledge transfer, helping to accelerate future new product design and manufacturing.

Cheol-Woo Lee, CEO of LS Automotive Technologies, concluded, “After an extensive global selection process, we established that Ricardo was the best electrification engineering partner in the world for LS Automotive Technologies. We are pleased to start the cooperation with Ricardo on the high-voltage DC-DC converter, which will help consolidate our position as a top-tier supplier in the automotive power electronics market.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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