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DOI: 10.1109/EPEPEMC.2010.5606882 · Source: IEEE Xplore

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All content following this page was uploaded by Kristaps Vitols on 04 July 2015.

8th International Symposium

„Topical Problems in the Field of Electrical and Power Engineering“

Pärnu, Estonia, January 11-16, 2010

Kristaps Vitols, Nadav Reinberg, Alvis Sokolovs, Ilja Galkin

Riga Technical University

ktx@inbox.lv, snadar4@gmail.com, alvis.sokolovs@rtu.lv, gia@avene.eef.rtu.lv

mostly regards the power electronic converter of the

In this paper the parameters for choosing an

drive. In this section main parameters are defined.

electric drive for an electric kart have been

analyzed. The advantages and disadvantages of 1.1. Supply

different electric drive configurations had been

shown while focusing on development of academic The voltage source of an electric vehicle is most

research prototype for future use in student typically a battery of some sort. Easily accessible

education. and reasonably cheap batteries are lead-acid 12 V

batteries. Such batteries can be connected in series to

Keyword achieve a higher voltage, however due to their

weight and size it was decided to settle for a total of

Electric vehicle, electric kart, electric drive, DC

two batteries giving 24V/50 Ah. Further

motor, AC motor, power electronic converter.

development of the vehicle includes also installation

Introduction of some more capacitive energy source like a fuel

cell but this topic is not included in this report.

The idea of personal electric vehicles is becoming

more popular in recent years. Electrical vehicles are 1.2. Weight

energy-effective, fuel-saving and emission-less

transportation [2]. It is the frontline of civil research The most critical parameter of a drive system is the

and advancement, and it is attracting much of the weight it needs to move.

world wide academic attention and research funds. For some of the main components of the kart the

In light of the growing importance of this field and weight is already known:

the lack study model in the faculty, it was decided to • Chassis

set out and develop an electric vehicle that will serve

for both educational purposes and research as well • Batteries

as to inspire and serve as a basis for future • Passenger (estimated average weight)

developments and advancements into this growing,

important academic field. A significant part of the overall weight of the kart is

the weight of the motors. The weight of the motors

Because of mounting convenience, mechanical and is greatly dependent on the type of the motor used

economical reasons a small one-man kart model was for the same power rating of a motor, the weight can

selected over a full size car. The aim of the model is

vary significantly (for example a permanent magnet

to be as simple as possible mechanically and to

allow modular and upgradable design of the DC (PM DC) motor can be two times lighter than a

electrical system. series excited DC motor),.

Out of the general desire to simplify the mechanical Typical power-to-weight ratio of different motors

aspects of the project, it was decided that each of the types are given in Table 1. This parameter shows

rear wheels of the kart will be directly connected to how much power can be drawn from electrical

separate motor, which might add some complexity machine per one mass unit.

to the control but also allow great many further

features, for example the implementation of an Table 1. Motor kW/kg ratio

electronic differential, which might not be especially

Special PM DC AC Special

important for a small kart, but it is an obvious part of

purpose DC series Squirrel- purpose

any full size car.

PM DC excited cage AC

1. Parameters of the Drive System

0.3 0.14 0.09 0.17 0.75

Any equipment (not only electrical) is estimated

from the point of view of its supply, load and

specific features. In the context of choice of electric According to Table 1. and the approximate power of

drive the supply is an autonomous electrical energy the motor, the probable weight of the motor is

source, load is estimated through its mechanical assumed to be about 20 kg. This gives a total weight

parameters (weight, top speed, acceleration and for the kart of around 200 kg.

29

1.3. Top Speed 2. Electrical Drives

As it was mentioned above one of the main goals is With the different parameters selected, the next step

to match the performance of the combustion engine. is to choose the drive system for the electric kart.

The top speed is chosen to be 60 km/h, in order to There is no definite best solution for an electric drive

show reasonable performance in comparison to system. So, different configurations of the drive

commercial karts, while still aiming to design a should be analyzed in respect to needed performance

model for academic research, which involves certain of the system.

safety limitations. The analysis includes DC motors with permanent

If the wheel diameter is known to be 0,29 m then the magnet and electric excitement, AC squirrel-cage

motor rotational speed can be calculated as: motors, AC permanent magnet synchronous motors

and suitable power electronic converter for each

V machine.

n= = 1099 rpm , (1)

πD 2.1. DC Machines

where n is the rotational speed of the wheel, V – the

DC machines are the oldest machines introduced in

top velocity and D is the wheel diameter. The

the market, but even though, they still show good

resulting velocity is less common for industrial

characteristics. DC machines can be driven with

motors, and for this reason it was decided to use a

simple and efficient circuits with low number of

gearing mechanism with a ratio of 3:1 which means

components, and are widely available.

the top speed of the motor should be 3297 rpm.

Downsides of DC machines are their relatively high

1.4. Power

maintenance needs (due to wearing out of the

The required power of the motor can be calculated brushes), their relatively high weight and the effect

from the parameters derived in the previous sections. of sparking of the collector can exclude them from

being used in many environments.

Assuming the kart is moving at constant maximal

acceleration, from 0km/h to top speed, the maximal The most common DC machine for vehicle

power can be calculated according to: applications is the series excited motor whose

characteristic curve is shown in Fig. 1. Such

W F ⋅s m⋅a⋅s characteristic curve can support an stable operation

P= = = , (2) of the motor at any mechanical load above 25% of

t t t

its nominal load. The motors torque is proportional

where m is the mass of the kart, a – the maximal to the squared current through the motor which is

acceleration of the kart, s – the distance passed important when handling overload situation.

during the acceleration to top speed and t is the time

that that acceleration took.

The time t is chosen to be 6 seconds following

M, n

empirical assessment.

The distance d can be calculated according to:

a ⋅t2

s = V ⋅t − (3)

2

Acceleration a can be calculated according to:

V

a= (4)

t

Combining equations (3), (4) and equation (2) gives:

Fig. 1. Characteristic curve of series excited DC

mV 2 motor

P= = 4,6 kW (5)

2t

Another DC machine architecture which is growing

In order to simplify the selection of the motor it was more popular due to improvements in magnets

decided to take this maximal power into account as technology is the permanent magnet DC motor

the rated value. Then the motor must be chosen with whose characteristics are similar to those of the

rated power higher than the calculated one in separate excitation motors (Fig. 2.). The permanent

equation (5) in order to over come possible magnet motor has some good properties in respect to

inaccurecies in the given parameters of different the series excited motor, such as a lighter weight and

elements in the kart and also losses in the system also a higher efficiency due to the lack of an electric

that are not apearing in the above calculations. excitation.

30

Such choice is defined by the start-up characteristics

of synchronous motors.

M, n

2.3. Practical considerations

On the one hand the AC machines have better

efficiency and higher reliability. They are also less

expensive. This is especially evident on large power

rate motors. At the power rates discussed in this

article for the mentioned kart (under 10 kW), the

difference is getting less significant.

However, as can be seen in Table 2, even the

simplest power converter for AC machine has a

Fig. 2 Characteristic curve of a PM DC motor significantly higher part count and thus a more

complicated control and higher costs.

DC machines are available in low rated voltages

which are suitable for personal electric vehicles (like Table 2. Optimal number of switches needed per

the kart) that are likely to run on low voltage machine

batteries. Since the voltage source for the kart is, as

mentioned, most likely to be a DC voltage source, Voltage source Regenerative

then the use of a DC machine is much simpler. If matches rated braking DC AC

there is no need for regenerative braking then a motor voltage

simple buck-boost circuit, using only one switch, is

sufficient to control the motor. The control strategy Yes Yes 2 6

in this case is voltage PWM that is done through No Yes 4 7

commutation of the converter’s switch.

Yes No 1 6

The kart described in this paper includes

regenerative braking. Hence, a more sophisticated No No 1 7

circuit should be chosen (such as a full bridge

converter or split-pi converter). This will require

more switches and more complicated control, thus Table 2 is written under the following assumptions:

increasing the size and cost of the whole system. 1. An AC machine is a 3 phase one. This

2.2. AC Machines means a full bridge, consisting of 6

switches, is necessary for controlling the

AC machines are very common industrial machines. speed of the machine. Single phase AC

AC drives have no built-in mechanical commutation machines exist, however they are rare and

device like the brushes in DC machines. This almost less successful.

removes the need of maintenance and allows a

completely sealed package that allows working even 2. Changing the voltage source voltage can be

in hazardous environments. AC machines usually done with a simple step-up DC/DC

have slightly higher efficiency than DC machines converter which requires a single switch.

and also a better power-to-weight ratio (especially The number switches is taken as indicator for the

for high power rates). complexity and cost of the control circuit since it is

However, when they are fed from a DC supply and one of the more expensive components and

when there is a need for a good control over the definitely requires the most control effort.

motors speed, AC machines requires an inverter

3. Selected system

since their speed is controlled by the frequency of

the applied voltage not by its magnitude. The need Compiling all the parameters, a DC motor was

for an inverter is posing a complexity of the control chosen:

system and its cost as well as decreasing the overall

safety of the drive. • Manufacturer Mars Electric LLC

rated voltage, and it is harder to find an AC machine • Rated power 7 kW

with a rated voltage low enough to use without

boosting the batteries voltage. • Nominal voltage 72 V

The described kart includes only a basic gearing and • Rated torque 20.3 Nm

does not allow un-loading the motor for start-up.

• Loaded speed 3300 rpm

That is why when choosing an AC machine for the

kart it is reasonable to prefer a squirrel cage motor • Nominal current 114 A

over a synchronous motor since the design of the

kart does not include any velocity feedback device.

31

η(%) P(W) U(V) I(A) n(rpm)

U

n

P I

This motor was chosen mainly due to its good 4. Conclusions

power/weight ratio, accessibility and rater low price.

This paper offers a set of considerations and

The electrical drive system was chosen to fully parameters to take into account when approaching

support the above mentioned motor (boost-up the

the task of choosing a drive system for a small scale

battery voltage to 72V) and allow the regenerative

braking. Another reason is avoiding the use of electric vehicle, in this case – electric kart.

transformer due to its large weight and cost.

As a result of the described process the drive system

was premeditated in order to eventually develop a

fully functional prototype for academic research.

References

1. M. Ehsani, Y. Gao, A. Emadi, Modern Electric,

Hybrid Electric, and Fuel Cell Vehicles

Fundamentals, Theory and Design, second

edition, CRC Press, 2010

Fig. 4 Split-Pi converters schematic 2. S. Leitman, B. Brant, Build your own Electric

A split-Pi converter was chosen since it gives all the Vehicle, second edition, McGraw-Hill

above qualities with minimal switch count (4). It has Companies, 2009

relatively simple design and high theoretical 3. B. S. Guru, H. R. Hiziroglu, Electric Machinery

efficiency of 96% [6]. Split-Pi is essentially a boost and Transformers, third edition, Oxford

converter followed by a buck converter. The circuit University Press, 2001

(Fig. 4.) allows bi-directional current flow which in 4. J. Dirba, K. Ketners, Elektriskās Mašīnas, RTU

turn allows regenerative braking [5] that suits the Izdevniecība, 2009

kart needs. 5. http://www.greenenergytechnologies.eu/

6. British Patent GB2376357B

http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/11238610

32

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