New axial flux electric motor with built-in inverters from Bluways: fail-safe

New axial flux electric motor with built-in inverters from Bluways: fail-safe

blue lanesa Belgian developer of SiC-based inverters, high-power NMC batteries and electric motors, presented to the iVT Expo in Colognein Germany, a new type of fail-safe redundant electric motor. In this permanent magnet axial flux electric motor each inductor has its own inverter, that is, it has integrated power electronics. The prototype presented in Cologne is capable of developing 15kwweighs 10 kilograms and operates at 650 volts.

Among the technologies taking center stage are the engines known as axial flow (AFT) in which the field winding creates a magnetic field parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotor. Unlike radial flux motors, which are the ones commonly used in the market, the AFT motor provides a more compact design, resulting in a lower overall weight. They also offer greater power and torque density and a form factor Ideal for integration into different scenarios.

Bluways, the Belgian developer of high-power NMC batteries, SiC-based electric motors and inverters (Silicon carbide) took this technology one step further. Through the use of silicon carbide-based power semiconductors, it was able to reduce the size of the inverter electric vehicles, increasing power density, increasing their efficiency and complying with all applicable safety regulations.

The novelty presented by the prototype of this electric motor that was presented in Cologne is that each motor choke has its own inverter, as Wim Vander Kuylen, project manager at Bluways, explains. “That means you have full redundancy: even if one of the inverters fails, the motor will continue to run.”

The investor is responsible for convert direct current from the battery into alternating current which powers the electric motors. The frequency of the alternating current determines the speed at which the motor rotates. This device uses high-level power electronics, capable of supplying the voltage and amperage required by the motor at all times. The more robust the inverter, the more efficient and reliable an electric vehicle will be.

With this architecture, inverters and power electronics share the same refrigeration circuit. In addition, the use of SiC semiconductors allows high switching frequencies, losing only half of the energy as heat. The chips are particularly important for 800-volt systems, where they enable faster charging and better performance.

This benefit results in more precise motor control and increased efficiency. “The integrated nature of the design means that instead of having two different devices to mount, you only need one with the three necessary DC+/- connections and the controller. As for redundancy, it would be nearly impossible, or at least impractical, to achieve it using a separate motor and inverter system,” adds Vander Kuylen.

The development prototype presented at the iVT Expo in Cologne weighs 10 kg and operates at 650 V with a current consumption of 30 A.

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