Three-phase electric vehicle (EV) battery chargers are expected to not impact the unbalance of distribution networks; moreover, using active power factor correction topologies they are expected to behave like resistive loads not affecting the system harmonic distortion. In this study, unexpected unbalance characteristics of fundamental and harmonic currents of three-phase EV battery chargers are analysed by means of experimental tests performed on two EV cars of different technology. In order to quantify unbalance and harmonic distortion, proper comprehensive indices, in part developed in this study with specific reference to currents, are utilised. The unbalanced current absorbed even under ideal voltage balanced supply conditions by one of the two EV tested is shown and quantified constituting a real-life case study of endogenous unbalance. Then, the influence of voltage unbalance supply conditions on fundamental and harmonic currents is evaluated by means of a proposed testing procedure, obtaining case studies of exogenous unbalance. The experimental results obtained for the two EVs should be extended to a larger set of cars; anyway, they show the need, before moving forward to full grid EV connection, for utilities and for designers to improve the current standard certification process and the control performances of three-phase battery chargers.
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