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An Introduction to Fast Charging and Pulse Charging

  • Fast charging is critical for the adoption of electric vehicles (EV’s), but higher current charging typically comes at the expense of battery life.
  • Multistage constant current (MCC), pulse charging, boost charging, and variable current profiles (VCP) are among the fast charging methods used to reduce charging time without impacting battery life.
  • Pulse charging uses high current pulses separated by short relaxation periods in an effort to minimize degradation.
  • The literature suggests that it may be possible to reduce charging time by 5–20%, but commercial pulse chargers for EV’s require new hardware and are not yet available.


Fast Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries

Figure 1: Schematic representation of common types of fast charging protocols. a) Constant current — constant voltage (CC-CV), b) Constant power — constant voltage (CP-CV), c) Multistage constant current — constant voltage (MCC-CV), d) Pulse charging, e) Boost charging with a CC-CV-CC-CV scheme, f) Variable current profile (VCP) [1]

Pulse Charging

Figure 2: (a) Illustration of a pulse-CV profile for charging lithium-ion batteries
Figure 2: (b) Schematic representation of current pulse profile used in pulse charging where Ip refers to the peak pulse current, Iavg the equivalent constant current, Δt the pulse width, and T the period.
Figure 3: (a) Pulse charging micromodel; and (b) pulse waveform [3]




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