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Technical Paper

A New Design for Automotive Alternators

This paper introduces a new design for alternator systems that provides dramatic increases in peak and average power output from a conventional Lundell alternator, along with substantial improvements in efficiency. Experimental results demonstrate these capability improvements. Additional performance and functionality improvements of particular value for high-voltage (e.g., 42 V) alternators are also demonstrated. Tight load-dump transient suppression can be achieved using this new design and the alternator system can be used to implement jump charging (the charging of the high-voltage system battery from a low-voltage source). Dual-output extensions of the technique (e.g., 42/14 V) are also introduced. The new technology preserves the simplicity and low cost of conventional alternator designs, and can be implemented within the existing manufacturing infrastructure.
Technical Paper

Structural Designs for Electric Vehicle Battery Pack against Ground Impact

Ground impact caused by road debris can result in very severe fire accident of Electric Vehicles (EV). In order to study the ground impact accidents, a Finite Element model of the battery pack structure is carefully set up according to the practical designs of EVs. Based on this model, the sequence of the deformation process is studied, and the contribution of each component is clarified. Subsequently, four designs, including three enhanced shield plates and one enhanced housing box, are investigated. Results show that the BRAS (Blast Resistant Adaptive Sandwich) shield plate is the most effective structure to decrease the deformation of the battery cells. Compared with the baseline case, which adopts a 6.35-mm-thick aluminum sheet as the shield plate, the BRAS can reduce the shortening of cells by more than 50%. Another type of sandwich structure, the NavTruss, can also improve the safety of battery pack, but not as effectively as the BRAS.
Technical Paper

Crash Safety of Lithium-Ion Batteries Towards Development of a Computational Model

Battery packs for Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids, and Electric Vehicles are assembled from a system of modules (sheets) with a tight sheet metal casing around them. Each module consists of an array of individual cells which vary in the composition of electrodes and separator from one manufacturer to another. In this paper a general procedure is outlined on the development of a constitutive and computational model of a cylindrical cell. Particular emphasis is placed on correct prediction of initiation and propagation of a tearing fracture of the steel can. The computational model correctly predicts rupture of the steel can which could release aggressive chemicals, fumes, or spread the ignited fire to the neighboring cells. The initiation site of skin fracture depends on many factors such as the ductility of the casing material, constitutive behavior of the system of electrodes, and type of loading.
Journal Article

An Assessment of the Rare Earth Element Content of Conventional and Electric Vehicles

Rare earths are a group of elements whose availability has been of concern due to monopolistic supply conditions and environmentally unsustainable mining practices. To evaluate the risks of rare earths availability to automakers, a first step is to determine raw material content and value in vehicles. This task is challenging because rare earth elements are used in small quantities, in a large number of components, and by suppliers far upstream in the supply chain. For this work, data on rare earth content reported by vehicle parts suppliers was assessed to estimate the rare earth usage of a typical conventional gasoline engine midsize sedan and a full hybrid sedan. Parts were selected from a large set of reported parts to build a hypothetical typical mid-size sedan. Estimates of rare earth content for vehicles with alternative powertrain and battery technologies were made based on the available parts' data.
Technical Paper

High Power Cell for Mild and Strong Hybrid Applications Including Chevrolet Malibu

Electric vehicles have a strong potential to reduce a continued dependence on fossil fuels and help the environment by reducing pollution. Despite the desirable advantage, the introduction of electrified vehicles into the market place continues to be a challenge due to cost, safety, and life of the batteries. General Motors continues to bring vehicles to market with varying level of hybrid functionality. Since the introduction of Li-ion batteries by Sony Corporation in 1991 for the consumer market, significant progress has been made over the past 25 years. Due to market pull for consumer electronic products, power and energy densities have significantly increased, while costs have dropped. As a result, Li-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for automotive applications considering space and mass is very critical for the vehicles.
Technical Paper

Analyzing the Limitations of the Rider and Electric Motorcycle at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race

This paper describes a post-race analysis of team KOMMIT EVT’s electric motorcycle data collected during the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). The motorcycle consumed approximately 4 kWh of battery energy with an average and maximum speed of 107 km/h and 149 km/h, respectively. It was the second fastest electric motorcycle with a finishing time of 11:10.480. Data was logged of the motorcycle’s speed, acceleration, motor speed, power, currents, voltages, temperatures, throttle position, GPS position, rider’s heart rate and the ambient environment (air temperature, pressure and humidity). The data was used to understand the following factors that may have prevented a faster time: physical fitness of the rider, thermal limits of the motor and controller, available battery energy and the sprocket ratio between the motor and rear wheel.