The race continues to build more advanced vehicles, whether it’s wireless functions in connected cars or automated driver assistance systems or fully autonomous vehicles. It seems as if every company in the transportation sector has an “e-mobility” vision to improve fuel efficiency and emissions, and meet market demands for lower costs. Advances are being made in electric powertrain technologies, in-vehicle information systems, communication technologies, and connected infrastructures for electric propulsion of vehicles and fleets.
Powertrain technologies include full electric vehicles. plug-in hybrids, even hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles. According to Peter Loetzner, CEO of equipment manufacturer EMAG LLC:
Batteries and fuel cell development are progressing at light speed and the electric power source, I believe, will vary by continent. Asia will be heavily leveraged to the all-electric vehicle due to pollution and other concerns, while Europe will maintain an allegiance to the hybrid gas engine, due to the road conditions and established recharging network. In America, hybrids will have more gradual growth, while the share economy of Uber services and the Google car take shape.
Consumer trends show that driving will become more of an “as-needed” function. This will lead to smaller, more precise e-mobility systems with smaller engines, more gears, superchargers, and other high-performance enhancements.
Smart Transportation Grids
Battery-based EV’s (BEVs) show great potential, as long as investments are made in smart transportation grids, intelligent electrical distribution that serves as the charging infrastructure. According to a report by the Joint Research Council, smart grids will be the backbone of the EU’s future energy system. These electricity networks will use intelligent metering and two-way communication to predict and respond to the behavior and actions of connected users.
Dundee, Scotland, has become the first of Britain’s “Go Ultra Low Cities” to start serious work on its EV charging network. New charging hubs are being scattered across town, with rapid and fast chargers in dedicated areas. The chargers can handle two EVs simultaneously, to 80 percent battery life in 30 minutes on the rapid charger and in one hour on the fast charger.
Speed is also an issue for vehicle-to-vehicle communications. 5G cellular tech was first demonstrated by BMW in South Korea.
Two BMWs shared information with the human drivers; in a future, self-driving setup, such sharing of data might allow cars to coordinate actions almost instantaneously. Each car had a 5G station of its own, through which on-board cameras could upload ultrahigh-definition video for displaying to an audience. The cars were from the X5 and the S7 series.
An up-to-date look at new connected car functions and mobility services. Source: CNET]
There are many standards around for EV charging that it’s making development difficult. Initially, the primary EV standard was AC (alternating current), like the power in your home. New charging station offers AC Type 2, which yet another standard.
According to Deutsche Welle, more e-mobility vehicles offer fast charging on DC. CHAdeMO and CCS (Combined Charging System) are both DC standards and the most obvious way to tell them apart is by their adapters or plugs. Wouldn’t one international standard be more sensible than this?
Current AC standards:
- CEE 3 pole
- CEE 5 pole
- CEE+ 7 pole
- Type F
- Type 2
- Type 1
- Tesla Wall Connector
And DC plugs include:
- Type 3
- Tesla Supercharger
Next Gen Electrical Power
Connected cars keep adding components and so need more electrical power. A modern vehicle may have as many as 150 electric motors. According to Technology Review, the good news is that 48-volt systems will appear in cars starting in 2017. The increased voltage lets engineers design cars in novel ways that boost engine output and efficiency. This can be used to make hybrids on the cheap, “mild hybrids”. These combine electric motors and combustion engines to cut fuel consumption and emissions.
According to Technology Review:
Audi’s forthcoming luxury SUV, the SQ7, for example, uses a 48-volt system to power a turbine that forces extra air into the engine to provide a momentary power bump. A prototype Ford Focus uses a similar power supply to provide torque assistance, which helps the car accelerate. These kinds of advances may not have the dramatic emission-reducing power of switching to all-electric motors, or even hybrid systems like those found in the Toyota Prius. But they’re less of a departure from the norm for both manufacturers and consumers, and they could help cut emissions in vehicles that Americans are already buying in huge quantities.
The future of transportation increasingly involves batteries that need to be packaged to absorb internal impact energy. PORON Urethane and BISCO Silicone foams withstand collapse that can happen due to the stresses of compression and temperature in battery packs over time. This Compression Set Resistance (C-set) Resistance can help extend the life of the battery by continuing to seal and absorb shock. These unique foams from Rogers Corporation also have a unique ability to act as a spring by retaining a very consistent level of force across a range of compressions. This allows the designer more flexibility and reliability in packaging of the battery pack due to the ability to predict the cushioning material’s behavior across varied dimensional tolerances.
curamik® electronics, which is part of Rogers’ Power Electronics business, will be presenting at the eCarTech Conference in Munich on October 23-25,
2012. This conference takes place during the 4th International Fair for Electric- and Hybrid-Mobility for electric vehicles. curamik recently released a new silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramic substrate that can significantly extend the life span of power electronic modules, and will be presenting this product at the conference.
Manfred Götz, Product Marketing Manager from curamik will be giving a presentation about this new ceramic substrate on Thursday, October 25th at 3:00 PM:
“How silicon substrate can increase the duration of power modules”
“In test cycles we have conducted so far, ranging from -55 °C to 150°C , curamik® silicon nitride substrates have shown more than a 10X improvement over substrates typically used in the Automotive segment, especially HEV/EV. From this data, we can expect to see a longer life span for modules using these substrates,” reports Manfred
With the growth of HEV/EV and renewable energy applications, designers have struggled to find new ways to ensure reliability of the electronics required to power these new, challenging technologies. With an increase in operating life span of potentially ten times or more relative to other ceramics used in power electronics, silicon nitride substrates provide the mechanical robustness critical to achieving the necessary reliability requirements. The life span of ceramic substrates is measured by the number of repetitions of thermal cycles the substrates can survive without delamination or other failure modes that compromise the function and safety of the circuit. This testing is typically done by cycling the samples from – 55° C to 125°C or 150°C.
The entire event will cover these topics:
- Electric Vehicles
- Drive and Motor Technique
- Energy Storage Technology
- Engineering and subcontracting
- Reparation and spare parts
- Connected Car – sMove360°
- MATERIALICA – Lightweight Design for New Mobility
- eCarLiveDrive – Test Area
For More information:
curamik electronics GmbH
A division of Rogers
Am Stadtwald 2
92676 Eschenbach, Germany
In this video interview, we get a chance to hear some insights from our CEO, Bruce Hoechner who officially took office in January this year. He shares where Rogers is going in the industry and what his thoughts are regarding Rogers future growth in a tough global economy.
Bruce starts by sharing where his focus has been inside the company since he took office:
- Realignment of the sales organization with Rogers business units to get closer with our customers
- A focus on marketing excellence around new technologies, new market demands and new applications for Rogers products. Part of this effort includes working with R&D to put together road maps for future innovation.
- Understanding the capabilities of Manufacturing Excellence
- Internet Growth – From impact protection for handheld devices and tablets to supporting wireless infrastructures with base stations and antenna technologies
- Clean Technology – To help support sustainability initiatives for Rogers customers with sustainable materials to innovating power-based technologies that support the development of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles
- Mass Transit – This includes advanced cushioning and seating solutions for high speed rail systems along with bus bars for rail traction systems
He also discussed Rogers expansion in Asia and what it means to expand globally but operate locally…
A shout out and thanks to Bruce Hoechner for sharing his thoughts with the Pat Hindle at Microwave Journal…
Watch this video now:
This is an excerpt from an article that ran in Power Systems Design in August 2010. This article was authored by Thomas Sleasman and Birol Sonuparlak from Thermal Management Solutions, Rogers Corporation, Chandler, Arizona, U.S.
Cooling of IGBT based power modules for Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicles
It has been forecast that by 2020 there will be upwards of 10 million passenger and light truck vehicles sold annually that are powered entirely or in part by electric motors. Starting with the leadership of Toyota’s first Hybrid car launched in 1997, significant progress in various power train electrification designs have been made by every major OEM, especially during the last five years.
Today’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Power Module Market
Hybrid drive systems use a combination of an internal combustion engine (ICE) and one or more electrical motors (EM). Variations in hybrid drive systems depend on how the EM and ICE of a power train connect, and also when and at which power level each propulsion system contributes to powering the vehicle.
There are two types of HEV drive systems, series or parallel. The parallel system is currently used by almost all the major OEMs. Parallel hybrid systems can be further categorized as assist, mild and full hybrid. The Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape are examples of full hybrids, as they can run on just the ICE, the EM or a combination of both. Mild hybrids on the other hand do not run on EM only. The EM provides additional power as required while the ICE still provides the primary power for the power train. Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) is such a mild hybrid. A third hybrid drive system is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV). These should be increasingly popular in the future. PHEV allows the driver to choose the mode of operation. The driver can choose the EM mode of operation for short distance commuting or the independent ICE mode of operation for long distance driving. The PHEV’s larger battery can be charged using standard voltages from a typical power grid system.
HEV/EV Power Module Solutions – Cooling, Heat Dissipation
The efficient dissipation of heat generated by Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) based power modules used to control these electric drive designs is critical to system quality and reliability. Design concepts such as integrating inverter, DC-DC converter and electronic control unit, along with reducing the number of IGBT power chips, are helping design engineers to lower the size and weight of the power train and significantly reduce the power train cost. Reducing the size and populating more components in a confined space increases the challenges of thermal management. Well engineered thermal management is required to cool electronics and maintain electrical performance within a given envelope of HEV/EV operation, and efficient thermal management provides long term reliability by minimizing thermally induced stresses.
Today, most HEV/EV inverter systems use liquid cooled IGBT power modules for thermal management. Although there are still power module designs utilizing air cooled power modules in design and production, we believe that future IGBT power modules for HEV/EV applications will continue to use more direct liquid cooled IGBT modules and move heat away from these modules more efficiently. A schematic representation of IGBT power module with pin fin heat sink is illustrated in Figure 1.
Integrated Pin Fin, direct liquid cooling base plates eliminate thermal grease interfaces between the IGBT module and the heat sink. This is a performance advantage that is realized in HEV/EV IGBT power modules beyond the standard base plate technology currently used in power modules for Rail/Traction power IGBT modules. Today, 70 to 80% of standard power modules for HEV/EV use base plates. There are also power modules on the market that do not use base plate solutions. These solutions also eliminate the solder joint between the DBC and base plate, and are present in such products as the SKAI IGBT System and Danfoss Shower Power® cooler system.