The exploration of new electrical technologies that enable the conception of more robust, more efficient drive chains with greater power and lower production costs is a goal of most strategic agendas of the main automobile producers worldwide.
The EV Propulsion System initiative led by the SEAT Technical Centre, in collaboration with the MCIA UPC and Mavilor, has just come to an end. This was a collaboration of over three years of activity to research technologies for the development of a supported drive chain for electric motors with permanent-magnet-assisted switched reluctance.
The research and development programme included the electromagnetic and mechanical design of many variants of electric motor from modules of finite element simulation, the manufacture of industrial prototypes with high-performance materials, the definition and implementation of control schemes optimized for the estimation of speed, and the consideration of high-performance power inverters. A complete 50 kw electrical drive chain has been created that can attain up to 97% efficiency.The technology offers a more economical electric motor, cutting costs because it reduces the use of rare-earth magnets, and reaches levels of power density and robustness that are compatible with the current market, to achieve greater efficiency and competitiveness.
Over a dozen professionals participated in the project, including researchers and engineers, and the results have opened new areas of collaboration in control schemes, mechanical designs and procedures for manufacturing electric motors.