This new high-speed drive, which is is more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly, has been jointly developed by research and industrial partners, Montanuniversität & Materials Center Leoben, FH Joanneum, Pankl Racing Systems AG, TDK Electronics and Infineon Austria. It works using the latest energy-saving chips made from silicon carbide semiconductor material and even with maximum performance it is only as small as a shoebox.
Greater efficiency means less CO2
This small high-speed miracle has advantages for users and the environment. The motor of a high-speed drive rotates at 120,000 rpm, against some 30,000 rpm for the normal speed of an electric motor in a drive train. The motor creates a permanently high power density of up to 390 watts/inch³, which equates to a reduction in volume of around 50 percent. Additionally, silicon carbide power semiconductors are used for the conversion of energy. This gives an increase in drive range of a further five to ten percent. Due to the optimisation in electrification of the powertrain, the CO2 footprint is also reduced.
3D printing increases cooling performance
As the increased speed of the motor generates more heat that needs to be dissipated, one of the greatest challenges has been the integration of cooling into the converter. The new design of the cooling management has been produced using 3D printing. The development team created an optimised architecture with innovative flow channels and lamellar structures. The result is an increase in cooling capacity of 30 percent.
The consortium from the Valley has been working on the high-speed drive prototype for a total of 4 years. €3 million have been invested. Two patents have been submitted.