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innolectric and CBMM testing niobium materials in on-board charger

Germany-based innolectric AG, a provider of charging and power systems for electromobility, and Brazil-based niobium company CBMM are investigating whether nanocrystalline magnetic materials can significantly increase efficiency in electromobility. As part of the joint research work, an innovative soft magnetic core material with niobium is being tested in direct application in the innolectric On-Board Charger.

To achieve the best possible results, the functional properties, thermal behavior and electromagnetic interference behavior are being tested directly in an existing system architecture. In addition, the innolectric research team is adapting the system architecture of the innolectric On-Board Charger to the special properties of the magnetic material in order to be able to present its advantages even more specifically.

Since soft magnetic cores allow significantly higher saturation points of induced magnetic fields, the use of the material can lead to a significant improvement in power density. Particularly high permeability simplifies wiring and allows greater flexibility in the design of cooling systems. At the same time, there is the potential to reduce the weight as well as the size of the On-Board Charger and to achieve higher efficiencies.

Nanocrystalline soft magnetic materials enable the minimization and highly efficient operation of magnetic components for EV charging applications. This is because nanocrystalline material has very high permeability, low coercivity, low magnetostriction, high Curie temperature up to 570 degrees Celsius and high saturation flux density.

—Bharadwaj Reddy, CBMM-Technical market development specialist

The collaboration aims to publish a study that compares soft magnetic nanocrystalline and ferrite-based magnets in terms of thermal behavior, size, cost and efficiency. This will provide insights into the effects of using niobium in terms of volume savings and optimized heat conduction.

The innolectric On-Board Charger (OBC) offers both AC and DC charging for electrified vehicles, commercial vehicles and machines. The innolectric On-Board Charger can be used safely and flexibly worldwide in 50 Hz and 60 Hz network topologies. The On-Board Charger provides 22 kW charging power in AC mode and, as a “one-device-solution”, handles the entire charging management including the necessary communication with the charging infrastructure (EVSE) for AC and DC charging.

The OBC is currently in use in various applications with a wide range of requirement profiles. Available as a 400 V and as an 800 V variant, the OBC currently has a maximum efficiency of 96%.

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