ConVertER for Trucks




Michael Laumen

Chief Engineer Power Electronics and Electrical Drives


+49 241 80 99577



To reduce the CO2 emissions of long-haul freight traffic, the transition from conventional combustion engines to electrical drives is inevitable. Overhead lines for trucks are an effective option to accelerate the electrification of freight transportation on highways. In 2018, Dr. Mareev from ISEA demonstrated in his dissertation that catenary-powered trucks can underbid the primary energy consumption of diesel trucks by a factor of 2.5 on average, while achieving approximately equal life-cycle costs, with potential cost reductions in the future.

In the scope of the publicly funded project ConverT, a modular, highly integrated, 200 kW rated power-electronic charger for catenary-powered trucks was developed and built for the first time. Following the concept of “power-electronic building blocks”, the charger consists of two 100 kW rated units that can be connected either in series or in parallel at the input side. This provides an additional level of flexibility to configure the charger for 600 V or 1.2 kV catenary voltage. Moreover, the charger is fully bidirectional, opening up new potentials for parking trucks to act as battery storage on the public electricity grid.

The compact volume of 31 liters was achieved by the following innovative approaches: The use of power-electronic devices made of silicon carbide enabled the use of a high switching frequency of 50 kHz. In cooperation with IQ evolution GmbH, extremely compact, 3D-printed water coolers made of stainless steel could reduce the volume of the active frontend down to eight liters. The software running on the converter implements highly dynamic closed-loop controls, efficient modulation strategies and allows to remote control the charger via a CAN interface. A peak efficiency of 98.6 % has been measured.

Alongside with ISEA, Futavis GmbH, PEM of RWTH Aachen University and Siemens are involved in the project ConverT.

  Copyright: © ISEA 200 kW battery charger, active frontends (left) and transformers (right)


01st September, 2019 – 31st August, 2021



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