In the design of electric powertrains, power electronics (PE) and electric machines (EM) that combine a low weight and high performance with minimal TCO are key. Apart from the voltage & current rating, the design of PE and EM are nowadays mostly disconnected. This results in a design where PE and EM have an individual enclosure and cooling system and the power exchange between both is realised by large shielded cables.
The Integrated Motor Drive project (INMOD_ICON) aims at a structural integration of EM and PE as one single unit. This integration would allow to increase the power density by 10 to 20%, while simultaneously reducing the overall system installation and manufacturing cost by 30 to 40%. The mitigation of cables (through a direct connection) also leads to improved electromagnetic interference (EMI)/electromagnetic compatibility values. However, multi-physics aspects such as structural, electromagnetic and thermal issues are currently roadblocks for such integration.
The goal of this project is to define:
- aggressive structural integration concepts for overall new designs;
- add-ons on existing motor designs while safeguarding the manufacturability and serviceability.
This will enable to:
- increase the power density of the overall system (=EM+PE) by 10 to 20%;
- simultaneously reduce the overall system installation and manufacturing cost by 30 to 40% by working on cost drivers such as weight, number of components and interfaces. This includes elimination of shielded power and signal cables and their connectors, housing and cooling equipment for the PE, output (LC) filters, reduced DC-link capacitor size, etc.;
- improve the electromagnetic interference (EMI)/electromagnetic compatibility values by eliminating (long) power cables and reducing the form factor of the PE (short power tracks);
- introduce a shared cooling system, taking into account different temperature limits of PE and windings;
- realise structural integrations into the application, e.g. transmission systems: selecting the gear ratio and number of stages can result in a more compact and power-dense drivetrain.
- illustrate the project findings on TRL 5 demonstrator setups. One demonstrator will be an overall new design of an aggressively structurally integrated motor drive. The second demonstrator will be a retrofit/add-on on a motor made by one of the project partners.
INMOD_ICON is an Industrial Research ICON project. We are looking for companies to join the User Group and work with us on the valorisation of the project.
Interested? Complete the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.