In this month’s Energy & Sustainability Connections newsletter, we are excited to feature Rhombus Energy Solutions, a leader in power electronics. With the mission of replacing internal combustion vehicles with electric vehicles, Rhombus Energy Solutions develops and manufactures next-generation electric vehicle charging infrastructure, high-efficiency power conversion systems, and energy management system (EMS) software.
On January 4, 2022, Rhombus Energy Solutions announced its next-generation "Rushmore" charging technology and architecture. The Rushmore architecture is based around Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductor technology, which has significant advantages over insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) based EV charger technology.
One of the main advantages of SiC technology is the ability to switch at significantly higher frequencies than IGBT-based designs. This reduces the physical footprint and weight of the charger/inverter circuitry by up to 50%. Furthermore, SiC-based EV chargers are more efficient than those based on IGBT technology. SiC efficiencies can be as high as 98%, compared with typical IGBT efficiencies of 90% – 95%. The result is significantly lower waste heat to be dissipated, increasing overall system reliability.
The Rushmore 60kW bidirectional power conversion modules exemplify the advantages of SiC technology. Rhombus Energy Solutions has developed two 60kW SiC modules that are part of the Rushmore product family: (1) the Washington, an AC-DC module that outputs bulk DC power; and (2) the Lincoln, a DC-DC module that converts DC bulk power to the target DC voltage for charging the vehicle. The Rushmore 60kW modules have a power density twice that of comparable IGBT-based power conversion systems. Rushmore is also a modular building block that can be combined to achieve a number of power and voltage ranges, as well as charger infrastructure architectures.
For Rhombus Energy Solutions, the Rushmore charging technology and architecture is an important step forward in making the dream of zero-emissions and self-sustainable technologies into a reality for high-power vehicles. Rick Sander, Chief Executive Officer of Rhombus Energy Solutions, stated, "The Rushmore architecture represents a new milestone in EV charging and inverter products… By harnessing SiC technology, we can package various power stages into a modular, 4U building block that gives flexibility in configurations and power levels of both EV chargers and power inverters. The Rushmore module that Rhombus is introducing at CES 2022 is just the first step in a robust product development roadmap of new charger products and charging infrastructure that will provide maximum flexibility in EV charger deployment."
As evidenced by President Biden’s EV Charging Action Plan and the sizable funding allocated to EVs through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the United States is investing in a future in which transportation is electric. High-powered vehicles must be at the forefront of electrification if the country is to achieve zero emissions. As a pioneer of high-power DC charging with built-in vehicle-to-grid support, Rhombus Energy Solutions is advancing much-needed innovations in the EV sector. From the power plant to the service station, a new ecosystem is emerging for charging and energy storage, distribution, and management. By developing grid-like reliability, Rhombus Energy Solutions is revolutionizing high-power energy solutions and transforming the transportation industry.