Active bearing protection of electric vehicle drive train

31/07/2019

Summary

The concept of the project is to develop a control module for the active protection of the modified bearing for use in induction, brushless, synchronous motors with electronic control, in order to reduce bearing currents, which by destroying the bearing, lead to unwanted engine malfunctions used in the vehicle.

Technology Description

The concept of the project is to develop a control module for the active protection of the modified bearing for use in induction, brushless, synchronous motors with electronic control, in order to reduce bearing currents, which by destroying the bearing, lead to unwanted engine malfunctions used in the vehicle.

Idea of this innovative concept is based on the fact that passing the bearing currents through the bearing, in the manner described above, causes partial sparking within the bearing. Such sparking produce increased temperatures in relation to current flow through the bearing. Theoretically measurable increase in temperature should serve as a starter of active protection. The active protection would act as a controlled insulator between the bearings and the bearing shields. Increasing the insulation resistance for a particular current harmonic would reduce the bearing current intensity and thereby achieve bearing protection without the accompanying effects of capacitive bearing currents.

Main advantages

The main innovativeness of the system that should come from this project would be for small power plant operators to ensure the ease of handling and operating at the high-tech level. It is necessary to bear in mind the millions of small consumers that this product is intended for, and by installing such a device, it increases the energy efficiency of the drive.

Stage of development

The project is expected to design a functional control prototype for the active protection of the modified bearing which needs to reduce the bearing current. Initial research and the development of a mathematical model for analytical determination of parameters affecting the creation of bearing current, defining the frequency spectrum and the amplitude of the harmonics, was made (TRL–3). For the next step in the development, it is necessary to:

  1. create 3D models of engines,
  2. make simulation and optimization using advanced software tools (ANSYS, SolidWorks) and
  3. design the final design of the prototype device for active protection of the modified bearings.

Challenge and needs

The proposed active protection device for the modified bearing is one of the solutions in the process of increasing the efficiency of industrial plants, as well as reliability of electric vehicle operation.

This is an innovative and cost effective investment that emphasizes technical excellence, introduced a new method of condition monitoring of the power drives with an electronically controlled electrical machines which are used to drive vehicles, as well as in industrial plants where are expected implementation of quality managements at the level of Industry 4.0.

Challenge is to design low cost solution that can be used in electric vehicles power drives. In order to enter the market, the developed apparatus needs to be tested as a prototype in various operation mode of protected electric machines.

Automotive industries is a key industrial sector of the European economy having big development rate and a lot of researchable area is still developing due to each new solution appear.

Intellectual property

The technology is not yet protected by a patent.

Potential markets and targets

With a successful prototype development and intellectual property protection, such a product will be very interesting primarily to large industrial power plant manufacturers (Siemens, ABB) but also to the manufacturer of bearings for electric machines (LagerMont, SKF).

Proposed solution may find its application in several specific global markets such as:

  • Electric Vehicle Market (global market is projected to reach 27 million units by 2030 at a CAGR of 21.1%).
  • Automotive Bearing Markets (global market is projected to grow at 186.4 Billion USD by 2020 at a CAGR of 5.8%).

Potential partners

A commercial partner for the development of prototypes should have knowledge in the field of design and development of electronic components for industrial applications, familiarize with EMC issues in industrial plant management, i.e. knowledge that is present in the development of electronic components for electric vehicles (BMS, FPGA etc.). A potential partner would have a duty to create a functional prototype (electronic circuit assembly) for further testing and design enhancement.

Login to access full technology sheet information