Smart material applications in Green PE’s demonstration pilot on E-Mobility

The Green PE pilot on E-Mobility aims at environmentally friendly and energy-efficient transport by electric vehicles. According to the latest European White Paper on ’Transport’, the main goal of the transition to e-mobility is to halve conventionally powered urban traffic by 2030 and eliminate it from cities by 2050.
This requires radically new vehicle electronics with a power train integrating components based on wide bandgap semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). Responding to these requirements, one of Green PE’s main focuses is the implementation of these components in e-mobility applications.

The pilot project on E-Mobility consists of two parts:
One of them aims to test the usability of advanced components in accessory drives equipment such as those used in municipal garbage trucks. Therefore, Green PE project partner Converdan A/S from Denmark has designed an energy-efficient, grid-connected battery conditioner based on SiC MOSFETs.

In order to guarantee energy efficiency, charging and discharging is performed using high-voltage Li-Ion or LiFePO batteries with minimal of energy loss. This enables energy efficient conditioning of the batteries during daily charging, battery stack manufacturing and potentially for grid support in a smart grid installation.

Technical overview of the grid-connected bidirectional battery conditioner © Converdan A/S

The next steps will consist in

  • adapting of the printed boards to the SiC components
  • the modification of the SW control code for higher switching frequency
  • performing field tests

The second part of the pilot is dedicated to the use of advanced semiconductor components in electrically powered racing cars. Within the pilot, the performances of SiC and SiC–based inverters in an electric motor dynamometer with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor (nominal power from ≥80 kW to ≤120 kW) and direct current power supply (system voltage from ≥400 V to ≤900 V) were compared regarding the

  • inverter’s power output
  • inverter’s efficiency as a function of output and input electrical power
  • inverter’s efficiency as a function of power module steady state operating temperature at the nominal motor power output level.
Si inverter © Drive eO

As a result, an electric motor drive based on SiC components was designed by the Latvian company Drive eO and is currently in production.