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Super-light electric drive for motorcycles could come to autos

Super-light electric drive for motorcycles could come to autos

The electric motor drive technology that won the two largest and most important electric motorcycle races in 2010 is now slated to go into bigger vehicles. Electric motorcycle builder MotoCzysz LLC is working with Remy Electric Motors, LLC on what they say is a revolutionary, new generation electric drive system. The drive system will make use of Remy's patented High Voltage Hairpin (HVH) electric motor technology and patent-pending cooling and integration technology from MotoCzysz. The MotoCzysz drive recently powered the E1pc experimental electric motorcycle to wins in the Isle of Man TT Zero and e-Power Red Bull MotoGP, Laguna Seca electric motorcycle races.

Called the D1g1tal Dr1ve, it is said to be the smallest, most integrated drive system available. Because it was originally designed to fit a motorcycle frame, it has weight and size advantages when put in an automotive chassis.

The D1g1tal Dr1ve system optimizes and matches all high-voltage components in a single housing. The highly integrated system is packaged as a "super axle" located between the two drive wheels. This contrasts with the configuration found In typical electric vehicles where various components from a variety of vendors are assembled and then connected together via wires. Additionally the D1g1tal Dr1ve's nearly wireless packaging provides an additional level of safety for the vehicle.

The first D1g1tal Dr1ve utilizing a liquid-cooled Remy internal permanent magnet (IPM) motor will create class-leading torque (250 ft/lbs) and 100 kW (135 hp) of power at 93% efficiency, measured at the rotor. Future models will extend the D1g1tal Dr1ve range to include an even more powerful drive as well as a smaller, more compact option. Remy and MotoCzysz will make the D1g1tal Dr1ve unit available in the second quarter of 2011.

Remy HVH hybrid motor technology that will be part of new drives owes both its name and performance to the use of proprietary High Voltage Hairpin stator windings. In contrast to conventional round-wire windings, the HVH winding uses precision-formed rectangular wires. Multiple layers of interlocking “hairpins” produce a dense slot fill (up to 73% vs. 40% for typical round-wire windings).

This patented design also creates a shorter end-turn space than round-wire stators, thereby reducing heat and improving the motor’s torque and power density, and lends itself to robust construction at the critical connections between the conductors. Combined, the high slot fill and shorter end turn space reduce the winding resistance and thus generate less heat. The windings are well-suited to liquid cooling that further enhances performance and reliability.

Because HVH-style motors are more efficient, they can use smaller batteries, smaller-diameter cables, and inverters handling less current. Remy says tests have shown that an HVH internal permanent magnet (IPM) motor provides 27% higher torque and 34% higher power compared with the same size round wire winding IPM motor. At the same performance level, the HVH motor takes up 22% less space and has 13% less mass.

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TAGS: Automotive
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