WaveCrest Adaptive Motor Technology at EVS-21
6 April 2005
The company, a developer of advanced electric propulsion and drive systems, last year launched its first product line based on its motor technology. At EVS-21, Wavecrest highlighted the TidalForce M-750— a foldable electric mountain bike that uses the WaveCrest Adaptive Motor in the rear hub and Saft NiMH batteries in the front hub.
Working with WaveCrest, Saft engineers developed the unique circular battery. Thirty Ni-MH cells are linked via 15 cables and 4 connector systems to the bike’ss motor and controls. The M-750 has a range of 20 miles (about 32 km) on a single battery charge. It reaches top speeds of 20 mph, which is consistent with US government regulation of light transport vehicles.
WaveCrest’s ambitions go far beyond the personal vehicle market, however.
The core of the company’s efforts is the dynamically reconfigurable Adaptive Motor system, which consists of a multiple-phase, DC brushless motor arranged such that the rotor surrounds and rotates around the center-mounted stator. (Diagram at right.) In a traditional electric motor, the rotor rotates within the outer stator.
The WaveCrest stator consists of a series of independently controlled electromagnets driven by a proprietary power electronics module. The electromagnetic cores are identical and isolated.
The associated control system and software are integral to the operation of the motor and account for its flexible, broad range of performance. A digital signal processor connected to the power electronics activates the electromagnets by analyzing motor position, desired torque and the electrical characteristics of the energy management system that powers the motor. The patented adaptive algorithms adjust the current and excitation sequence of each electrical phase to maintain the motor at the optimal operating condition while minimizing energy consumption through a very broad speed range.
(WaveCrest can also apply its technology to the traditional electric motor arrangement in which the rotor rotates inside the outer stator.)
This ability to manage the performance of the motor delivers high efficiency and torque at high and low RPM with less heat and noise than conventional systems.
WaveCrest is developing a number of electric propulsion architectures for a range of vehicle types, including in-wheel system solutions from sub-class A passenger cars to class 4 trucks and commercial vehicles.
One of the prototypes being developed by the R&D team is an electric car based on a DaimlerChrysler smart roadster chassis, and using Wavecrest in-wheel motors.
Currently, the company offers three motor families:
17” Delta: 225 kW
14” Gamma: 15/30 kW
9.48” Alpha: .75 kW
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