The properties of electric drive modules result from the multi physical interactions of the components. To reduce development costs and increase product performance, ModulED’s ambition is to optimise concepts based on a global view at the vehicle, contrary to the classical practices of local optimisation, component by component.

To enable a holistic conception and optimisation of electric vehicle drives, the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) at RWTH Aachen University developed an innovative method of integrated component design.

Article IKA

A two-stage design procedure is considered here. The first stage consists of a state-of-the-art rough design (1-3), proposing rated relevant combinations of scaled component parameter sets, simulated against the driving requirements. The basic parameters (power, torque, etc.) of the individual components are a result from the first concept stage. Stage 2 represents the design procedure using a newly developed integrated component design (4-9). Suitable concepts of transmissions, electric machines and inverters are generated on component level within individual design and optimisation procedures. On the vehicle level, valid component variants are combined to integrated drive modules, which resulting system properties such as efficiency, costs, mass and more are then determined.

This procedure was tested and validated on a Volvo C30 electric passenger car, showing that the method is applicable and effective. The analysis can confirm that high-speed concepts are suitable for both loss and cost reduction and that specifically innovative semiconductor technologies are suitable for further efficiency improvements. The technical approach chosen in the ModulED project with a high-speed electric machine in combination with GaN semiconductors can therefore be confirmed as effective. The generated results allow a diverse analysis of the influences of individual component attributes or technologies and can further be evaluated to support ongoing design decisions of the project on specific questions.