GM has filed a patent application for a device described as “Adaptive Fast-Charging Of Multi-Pack Battery System In A Mobile Platform Having Dual Charge Ports.” The device outlined in the patent relates to direct current fast-charging (DCFC) architectures and adaptive charging methodologies for use with all-electric vehicles and other mobile platforms with dual charging ports. The system could be useful for GM’s upcoming range of new EVs.
The GM patent filing has been assigned application number US 11,336,101 B2 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on May 17th, 2022. The patent was originally filed on February 3rd, 2020, and lists several Michigan-based engineers as the inventors, including Lei Hao, Yue-Yun Wang, Suresh Gopalakrishnan, Chandra S. Namuduri, Rashmi Prasad, and Madhusudan Raghavan.
The patent describes a charging station for use with electric vehicles and mobile platforms (including battery-electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles as well) and an adaptive charging system that provides power via a dual-port architecture, enabling a reconfigurable multi-pack battery system to receive maximum charging power while undergoing direct current fast-charging, or alternatively, dual low-voltage charging.
With the two power cables plugged into the vehicle, the first charge port can provide either low or high charging voltage from the charging station, while the second port provides low charging voltage. When the station is able to supply high charging to the first port, a controller establishes a series-connected configuration, and continues to charge the battery via the first charging port with high voltage. If only low voltage is available, both ports use low voltage.
This system would obviously be useful for integration with GM’s latest range of all-electric vehicles. General Motors’ battery packs have a “double-layer” design that enable it to switch between a series and parallel configuration, which could allow for a dual charging system as needed. This would not only enable theoretically faster charge times via low-voltage sources, but would also enable the batteries to be charged while supplying electrical power to ancillary devices, such as power tools. Another possible use case would be the use of low-voltage in extreme temperatures to condition the powertrain for high-voltage quick charging.