Prototype Low Voltage Homopolar Traction Motor 2002-01-1876
Lower battery voltage enhances electric vehicle safety. A homopolar traction motor operates at low voltage because of its low internal impedance, and delivers torque independent of speed. A 48 VDC multi-pass, iron core homopolar traction motor was designed, fabricated, and tested in the laboratory. A MOSFET pulse width modulated controller was also designed and tested. The motor weighed 227 kg and used solid copper-graphite brushes. Laboratory testing of the motor verified the current-torque characteristic, but high brush wear prevented full speed and power demonstration. System studies show that a hybrid Ward-Leonard drive using a similar motor could yield significant cost and weight savings and improved fault tolerance over a traditional EV architecture.