High power terminal block demand is soaring with the buildout of EV charging infrastructure. The reason is simple – high current requires high power terminal blocks, making these components essential for EV charging stations.
The rapid growth in the adoption of electric vehicles is fuelling demand for high power terminal blocks beyond what most people expected.
The UK Government’s decision to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2030 has accelerated the buildout of EV chargers, leading to significant new investment by leading companies like Tesla and BP Chargemaster. There are now more than 35,000 charge points across the UK, a figure that is expected to increase by 10,000 in 2021.
The big barrier to purchase with electric vehicles is a lack of charging infrastructure and slow charge times. Building more charging stations is the simple solution to this problem, but bigger, better high power terminal blocks are also needed for the next generation of rapid chargers that will provide power up to 350 kW.
Anything above 40 amps is classed as high power. All public electric charging stations significantly exceed this amount. High power terminal blocks are typically available up to 125 amps and higher for custom applications.
We need terminal blocks capable of handling higher currents when the charging speed demand increases for the station. EV chargers are classified in three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current. Whether a charger is AC or DC, the higher the current, the higher the power draw, so the more robust the terminal needs to be.
Terminal blocks serve as a routing tool for wiring. They are simple components, used to connect circuits together and provide an electrical ground for the circuit.
Screw terminal, push button and push-in terminal block styles are available. These accommodate different types of circuit design. The module type can be interlocking or single-piece with a plug or receptacle housing.
Terminal blocks for EV charging stations are optimised for this specific purpose and they are normally rated for at least 150% of the max current.
Unlike semiconductors, there is no immediate shortage of high power terminal blocks. They are available in the tens of thousands per order.
There is competition between the EV and renewable energy industry for high power terminal blocks though. Both industries are significant consumers of these components and demand is increasing with new electrical installations.
Other in-demand components for electric vehicle charging infrastructure include battery connectors and high voltage connectors designed to handle the heat of EV charging. These connections need to be small but also thermally efficient.
Lantek is a leading supplier of high power terminal blocks and connectors to the electric vehicle and renewable energy markets. We are a global distributor with access to the widest range of electronic components for all applications.