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Slideshow: High-Voltage Hybrids & EVs
8/1/2013

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BMW's new i3 electric car is rated at 360V.   (Source: BMW)
BMW's new i3 electric car is rated at 360V.
(Source: BMW)

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naperlou
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Let's evolve
naperlou   8/1/2013 10:24:03 AM
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Cap'n, this is an interesting trend.  The 48V systems are an interesting bridge.  As more functions are powered by electricity provided by batteries, the load on the engine is lessened.  This allows smaller (more fuel efficient) engines to power the vehicle.  Charging the batteries using regenerative braking captures energy that was unused before.  Thanks for the article.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Let's evolve
Rob Spiegel   8/1/2013 11:04:33 AM
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Hey Chuck, how does the greater voltage affect how long the car can go before it needs to switch to a fuel motor?

Charles Murray
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Re: Let's evolve
Charles Murray   8/1/2013 6:44:44 PM
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Essentially, Rob, you're asking how much more all-electric range can you get by employing a higher-voltage architecture? Higher-voltage architectures and higher-voltage batteries are in general better at capturing regenerative braking energy, which does get you some extra electric range. But putting a number on it is going to be tough. I'll try to get a rough estimate for you, but it will vary from vehicle to vehicle, since they have different electrical architectures. Great question.

TJ McDermott
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DC Bus Voltage
TJ McDermott   8/1/2013 11:03:28 AM
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The voltages noted in the article match the DC bus voltage one would find in an industrial Variable Frequency Drive.  Using just the converter portion of such a drive would permit the use of regular 220V AC motors on the 300-360 voltages, and 460V AC motors for those in the 650V bus range.

Charles Murray
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Re: DC Bus Voltage
Charles Murray   8/1/2013 7:37:10 PM
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Thanks for that info, TJ. A few years ago, we wrote about how EV drag racers first tried to use smaller motors and lower voltages, and how they evolved. You might enjoy it:

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=228440

AREV
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Platinum
Re: DC Bus Voltage
AREV   8/2/2013 1:54:44 PM
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This articel sounds like the cubic inch battles of the 60s.(Watch the disney movie Dumbo from the 40s and watch the drunk clown scene.) Sunco was kept in business since the Covettes required the 260 blend . . . . I lost count of the volatge on thedifferent cars. This means that battery makers cannot standardize. I'd like discussion on the safety factor. I have hears or the Pintos w/ fork truck batteriies having a short and the entire car tourched in seconds from a short(wrench dropped). Are we going to wait until one death from these vehicle w/ no concern to isolate the power from the rest of the vehicle? With this much electrical power they may be the next vehicle of choise for terrorists. Just like bigger planes became bombs on 9-11. Less weight. Less power. More safety.

 

MVRS
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Iron
Re: DC Bus Voltage
MVRS   8/2/2013 2:22:40 PM
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Why do you say that the high voltage is not isolated from the rest of the vehicle?  I would imagine that it is.  These cars do not use 300+ volts to power the radio, headlights, etc.

AREV
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Re: DC Bus Voltage
AREV   8/2/2013 2:53:50 PM
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By isolate I mean that in cases of accidents the battery is totaly disconnected from everything so the power cannot escape to start a fire or electrocute someone. Same way an air bag inflatestoday the batteries should be totally separated from the vehicle on a detedted impact. Or they flare up like palnes are experiancing.

MVRS
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Iron
42V
MVRS   8/2/2013 2:34:39 PM
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Remember the 42V push back about 15 years ago?  Replace the 12V battery with 42V and the wiring would be smaller (and thus lighter), there would be less voltage drop due to lower currents, and electric motors could be used for some things that were now belt driven on a n engine (power steering, AC, etc).  Some electronics started to be developed to support the higher bus voltage.  They ran into some issues with switches not lasting due to longer arcing when opening, too close of a margin to the 60V shock safety limit, off-state leakage current (increased), and incandescent bulb filiments durability.

Some of those problems are less of an issue now with switch mode converters and LED lighting.

Charles Murray
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Re: 42V
Charles Murray   8/2/2013 7:06:37 PM
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Good point, MVRS. One of the advantages of the proposed 48V systems is that they would keep a 12V network, so that suppliers wouldn't have to develop new compatible products (as they would have during the days of the proposed 42V systems). Let's hope we soon see that on our micro-hybrids.   

AnandY
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Gold
RE: 42 V
AnandY   8/8/2013 3:25:15 AM
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I agree with Charles in that the new 48 V model offers open avenues for increased compatibility of devices to the system of the electrical vehicle. The manufacturers do not have to develop new devices to align to the system requirements, a fact that is common with most 42 V electrical vehicles.

AnandY
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Gold
RE: HIGH VOLTAGE EVs TO ACCOMMODATE MORE ELECTRICSL FEATURES
AnandY   8/11/2013 3:57:07 AM
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There is no doubt that with the introduction of high-voltage electrical systems, the EVs will have the ability to have more electrical feature that will make it enjoyable by many of its users. This will go a long way in making it not only an alternative to conventional vehicle but the ideal near-must have for many households 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
RE: HIGH VOLTAGE EVs TO ACCOMMODATE MORE ELECTRICSL FEATURES
Charles Murray   8/12/2013 7:17:38 PM
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Excellent point about households making use of the higher voltage architectures, AandY. A few years ago, we wrote about the use of these architures for campers and household users. See link below:

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=224902

loadster
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Gold
RE: HIGH VOLTAGE EVs TO ACCOMMODATE MORE ELECTRICSL FEATURES
loadster   8/19/2013 12:28:48 PM
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So much for IEEE laureates weighing in on this one. I remember the evolution of standard architectures in cars from the 60's thru the 90's. Whether to use small electric motors, vacuum controls from the intake manifold and hydraulics for select controls. This advancement of battery technology seems to have made the masters in the automotive industry abandon longevity and accept that this generation of conveyance have programmed obsolescence with no requirement for cross platform commonaility or standardization of modules. Guess we didn't learn from the landfills and part farms how wasteful that is. As consumers, we can all wiggle our collective noses as guinea pigs until the designers gravitate to a common architecture?

loadster
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Gold
RE: HIGH VOLTAGE EVs TO ACCOMMODATE MORE ELECTRICSL FEATURES
loadster   8/19/2013 12:28:48 PM
NO RATINGS
So much for IEEE laureates weighing in on this one. I remember the evolution of standard architectures in cars from the 60's thru the 90's. Whether to use small electric motors, vacuum controls from the intake manifold and hydraulics for select controls. This advancement of battery technology seems to have made the masters in the automotive industry abandon longevity and accept that this generation of conveyance have programmed obsolescence with no requirement for cross platform commonaility or standardization of modules. Guess we didn't learn from the landfills and part farms how wasteful that is. As consumers, we can all wiggle our collective noses as guinea pigs until the designers gravitate to a common architecture?

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Re- Lets evolve
AnandY   8/11/2013 4:13:20 AM
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The make is quite fascinating; the electrical capability not only guarantees reliability but also longer range since the load is weighed off the engine. The high voltages and the ability to earnest energy while decelerating gives it a higher edge from the fuel powered ones. It is an interesting development.

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