Switched/Synchronous Reluctance Magnet-free Motors for Electric Vehicles
Start date: Nov 1, 2013,
End date: Oct 31, 2016
"For a large scale introduction of Electric Vehicles (EV) in Europe, adequate volume supply of current PM based motors could be at risk, as the rare earth metals they contain can only be found under single source monopolies. In this context, the development of high efficiency motors using a limited amount of permanent magnets or completely new magnet-free motor designs is crucial. A promising option for this new generation of electric motors could be reluctance technology, which has been left out of the first line up to now due to its lower power density when compared to PM motors. On the other hand, the use of axial-flux configurations has proved recently in PM motors that power density can be increased in a relatively cost-effective way. The combination of both approaches, reluctance motors in axial-flux configuration, could lead to power densities comparable to those of PM motors in current EV-s while minimizing (PM assisted synchronous reluctance motors, PMSynRM) or avoiding (switched reluctance motors, SRM) the usage of scarce magnet materials. The aim of this project is to develop both axial-flux SRMs and PMSynRMs in parallel (meeting EV power density requirements), exploiting their commonalities and synergies in the design and prototyping phases, to further opt for the most suitable solution to be integrated in commercial EV-s. Being the combination of reluctance technology and axial-flux configuration a completely novel approach for EV applications (SRMs) and for any kind of application in general (PMSynRMs), one of the main challenges of the project will be to get a cost-effective and high efficiency motor design, considering a potential large scale manufacturing and industrialization of this new generation of motors."
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