More energy efficiency in e-cars: Research network around IAV optimizes silicon carbide technology

29.11.2021  — 

Berlin. Greater ranges and shorter charging times for electric cars are the goal of a federal funding project involving research partners around the engineering specialist IAV. The partners develop strategies for an optimized and cost-saving insert of highly efficient silicon carbide (SiC) in order to improve the efficiency of electrical powered vehicles.

v.l.n.r. Gangolf Maiworm, Breuer Motoren GmbH & Co. KG; Uwe Dahlmann, Breuer Motoren GmbH & Co. KG; Christian Kliesch, Block Transformatoren-Elektronik GmbH; Holger Raffel, Universität Bremen – BCM; Stefan Laudahn, Freqcon GmbH; Dennis Kampen, Block Transformatoren-Elektronik GmbH; David Hamann, IAV GmbH; Thomas Orlik, IAV GmbH; Jannik Ulbrich, Universität Bremen – BCM / IALB; Dawid Koczy, Universität Bremen – BCM / IALB

«We want to increase unused potential in order to further increase the efficiency of SiC semiconductors and to make consistent and optimal use of the technology. By making better use of the components, even the constantly growing costs can be amortized in a reasonable way.»

Thomas Orlik — Technical Consultant for the control of electrical drives at IAV

In so-called converters, which convert direct current from battery to alternating current for the electric machine, the insert of silicon carbide ensures that significantly less energy evaporates in the form of heat in the power electronics.

The research project “SiC-Mobil”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, aims to further increase the power density and efficiency of converters and thus contribute to greater efficiency in the mobile and stationary area of the e-mobility. This can be achieved, for example, by means of a more compact dimensioning of filter and cooling components.

  • Credits: Freqcon GmbH
  • Credits: Freqcon GmbH
  • Credits: Freqcon GmbH

Consideration of service life effects and EMC

The partners of IAV in the three-year research project are FREQCON GmbH, BLOCK Transformatore-Elektronik GmbH, Breuer Motoren GmbH & Co. KG and the University of Bremen with the Bremer Center for Mechatronics (BCM).

As a tech solution provider , IAV will take on more responsibility in the transition to mobility in the future, and with “SiC-Mobil” it is taking this aim into account. Berlin’s technic experts coordinates the project with the aim of optimizing operating strategies for SiC semiconductors in order to use components even more effectively at higher temperatures.

Influencing factors on the service life of power semiconductors are taken into account and monitored. At the same time, the effects of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are included in the development.

“The insert of SiC tends to lead to more electromagnetic interference,” said David Hamann, team manager Engineering & Simulation at IAV. “We ensure that one can still ensure EMC for such a new technology without losing the benefits of silicon carbide with disadvantages to packaging space and weight for possible filter.”

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About IAV

With more than 8,000 employees, IAV is one of the world’s leading engineering partners for the automotive industry. The company has been developing innovative concepts and technologies for future vehicles for more than 35 years, and in 2020 it sold around 896 million euros. Customers worldwide include all well-known automobile manufacturers and supplier. In addition to vehicle and drive development, IAV has already entered the e-mobility and autonomous driving at an early stage and is today one of the leading development service provider in these areas. In addition to the development centers in Berlin, Gifhorn and Chemnitz/Stollberg, IAV has other locations in Munich, Sindelfingen and Ingolstadt, as well as in Europe, Asia, North and South America.