Development of a DC Distribution Testbed for High-Power EV Charging

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper explores the design and implementation of a power hardware-in-the-loop (P-HIL) setup for DC distribution infrastructure integrated with high-power charging (HPC) of electric vehicles (EVs), DC loads, and sources. The utilization of DC distribution holds significant potential for enhancing the operation of a HPC station architecture. However, there are challenges establishing a DC charging hub including interoperability, commoditization, distributed energy resource integration, stability, DC protection, and lack of common system level controllers. To address these challenges, a testing setup is required that accommodates commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products to evaluate different use cases at rated power and voltage levels. The developed P-HIL setup features a dedicated DC charging hub, DC-coupled chargers, DC loads/sources, DC protection, and a communication architecture. The integrated P-HIL system provides a versatile testing environment to address technology and interoperability gaps and implements a smart energy management system (SEMS). This platform enables comprehensive and robust testing of COTS devices, charger prototypes, SEMS controllers and protection schemes, which together will accelerate transition to EVs at scale. The setup is tested for various use-cases at full-scale, integrating 950 V DC bus voltage, 660 kW grid-tied inverter, 150 kW COTS charger, and 100 kW energy storage system within an open-source SEMS platform.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2023
EventECCE - Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Duration: 29 Oct 20232 Nov 2023


CityNashville, Tennessee, USA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-86912


  • DC distribution
  • ESS integration
  • EVSE
  • hardware testbed
  • high power charging infrastructure
  • P-HIL
  • real-time simulation


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