Monday, May 25, 2020

SUV Volvo, the hybrid plug-in is coming

Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid

Volvo’s race to zero emissions is going on. Despite the period of stop to alive presentations and to road tests owing to the Coronavirus emergency, the last novelty by the renowned Swedish automotive company is shining with confidence: the SUV in hybrid plug-in version with overall power of 262 HP and autonomy up to 45 km in electric.
Next September lands on the Italian market XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid, the hybrid recharge version of the compact SUV that, since its release in September 2017, has become Volvo’s best- seller in Italy, with over 21,500 units sold until now.
The Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid version, like all XC40, springs from Volvo CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) compact platform, conceived to host the technical elements connected with electrification.

The characteristics of XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid
– 180 HP 3-cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine
– 82 HP electric motor
– Maximum cumulative power: 262 HP
– Maximum torque: 425 Nm (265+160 Nm)
– Maximum speed: 180 km/h (self-limited)
– Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7”3
– Tank capacity: 48 litres
– Consumption (WLTP): 2.0-2.4 l/100 Km
– CO2 emissions (WLTP): 45-55 g/Km
– Battery capacity: 10.7 (8.5) KW nominal (usable)
– Maximum autonomy in electric: 45 Km
The plug-in hybrid version guarantees the ecologic performances of the hybrid recharge technology by Volvo and it is the first car of the brand with serial hybrid: both propulsive elements intervene in fact on the front axle.
A XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid is entrusted with the important task of impressing the decisive boost to the diffusion of the plug-in hybrid Volvo technology in Italy. The target is to make plug-in hybrid variants represent 16% of total sales of XC40 for 2020, an important driving element to allow plug-in hybrid models to totalize 15% of Volvo global sales in Italy.
On a global scale, the target of Volvo Cars for 2020 is that plug-in hybrid cars achieve 20% of total sales.

The iconic Hummer becomes and electric pickup

GMC HUMMER EV brings bold design and remarkable capability to the electrified vehicle space.

General Motors’ vision of an all-electric future is coming into clearer focus and gaining momentum with a $2.2 billion investment at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. GM’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021.The first advertising spot lasting 30 seconds and regarding the new GMC Hummer EV appeared for the first time during last Super Bowl. Currently General Motors has diffused the front image of the new electric Hummer. The predominant element that catches the attention? When the vehicle starts, the front of the car lights up, highlighting a design of great visual impact. Concerning technical specifications, at present we know the vehicle features 1,000 HP power and maximum torque exceeding 15,500 Nm. Performances? In 3 seconds, the electric pickup accelerates from 0 to 60 hourly miles, corresponding to 96 Km/h; values that seem to belong to a super sports car.

A sports electric car in “base version”

The new entry version of the sports electric Porsche-branded car is called Taycan 4S and it is the third version of this model.
Already orderable and incoming in concessionaries since January 2020, this version is available with two batteries: performance that supplies a power up to 530 HP and the Performance Plus, whose power rises up to 571 HP. In both cases, the Porsche Taycan 4S accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 250 km/h. The autonomy the vehicle can reach is equal to 407 kilometres with the Performance option and as many as 463 kilometres with the Performance Plus, the highest value of the current Taycan range.
Like Turbo models, Taycan 4S has the all-wheel drive due to two synchronous motors, one for each axis. There is also the two-speed transmission on the rear axle and the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with pneumatic suspensions.

Sustainable and field-proven drives for agricultural machines

Baumüller is making use of its many decades of experience in developing motors and producing electric engines, supplying energy-efficient components and comprehensive solutions for hybrid and fully electric drive systems, to develop individual drive concepts for agricultural technology.
Electric agricultural machines are a real alternative to diesel-powered vehicles. With their dynamic and powerful driving behavior, electric vehicles master the usual tasks with flying colors and they do this with long operating durations, flexible charging options and minimum noise pollution.
The powerMELA® drive concept, which Baumüller developed especially for mobile use in collaboration with Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH, meets all the requirements for e-mobility thanks to its high power density, its compact and robust construction and its recovery capabilities. It consists of a combination of a permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, assisted by embedded magnets and an integrated four-quadrant converter. The compact design is firstly due to the integration of the converter, and secondly the compact construction of the electric motor.
The drive’s innovative cooling concept enables an extremely high-power density. The drive system thus requires minimum installation space and only weighs around 300 kg for the highest power category, including the motor, converter and transmission.
The power density is thereby double that for motors using standard water cooling. With a degree of protection up to IP6k9k and a permissible temperature range from – 40 °C to 85 °C, the drive is especially robust. The motor design is also characterized by a broad speed control range, due to its excellent field weakening capacity.
The motor is available in the 50 kW to 140 kW nominal power classes. Alongside direct use in vehicles, the powerMELA® is also ideal for other applications, such as for trailers.

Marine and industrial segments. Volvo Penta accelerates towards electrified power

Volvo Penta

With the aim of becoming a driving force in sustainable power solutions, Volvo Penta is going full charge into hybrid and all-electric drivelines, offering electrified solutions in both its marine and industrial segments by 2021.
Volvo Penta has issued a clear statement of intent with the news that by 2021 it will provide electrified power solutions for both its land and sea-based business segments.
“Volvo Penta is embracing the electric transformation and will be at the forefront in delivering compelling business cases to customers using this new technology,” says Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta. “We will take a full systems supplier approach helping our customers in the transition to the new technology. This will happen application-by-application, on the basis that the business case for switching to electric will differ across our many customer segments.
As part of this increased commitment, Volvo Penta has restructured its organization to accelerate the switch towards electrified power and has committed to an ambitious ramping up of its electrification investment program. An electromobility development-and-test laboratory has also been established at its Swedish headquarters.
As a Tier 1 partner to many leading equipment manufacturers in the marine and industrial segments, Volvo Penta is to further develop the proven electric platforms from the Volvo Group.
While the power outputs and applications of the initial electric systems are being kept confidential for the time being, the company has announced that both hybrid and all-electric solutions will be offered at the outset. Volvo Penta is already field testing early prototypes and system validation is under way.

It looks like a standard car, consumes as a hair dryer

Onda Solare

After 2700 kilometres through the Rocky Mountains region, from Nebraska to Oregon, the Solar Wave team – the only European team in the race – ended the course winning the first place and two special prizes with the “Emilia 4” vehicle: the award for the best mechanics and use of composites and the award for the best battery project. It is a success of Bologna University in the Automotive sector on a global scale, paving the way for possible important reverberations in industrial field.
Onda SolareThe vehicle, developed by Solar Wave team, looks like a conventional car but with a big difference in the consumption aspect: to move, Emilia 4 uses an amount of energy similar to what is needed to power a hairdryer. With two electric motors positioned behind the wheels, it is fuelled by five square metres of high-efficiency solar panels connected with state-of-the-art lithium batteries.
Emilia 4 crossed the finish line exclusively exploiting the solar energy, without ever being connected to the electric grid to recharge its batteries, and travelling autonomously the entire course, whereas all other racing vehicles needed to be towed on a cart for at least one section of the track.

Born from an industrial research project funded by Emilia-Romagna Region through European financing – Por Fesr 2014-2020, Emilia 4 was fully developed and built in Emilia-Romagna by Bologna University and by the Solar Wave team, with the involvement of Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research in Building and Construction, the Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Aeronautical Research and the support of various companies and research centres, including Cineca Supercomputing Centre and Scm Group. The engineering activity, which involved around sixty people, lasted two years whereas the construction phase was accomplished in less than one year.

Electric motors and their impact on mechanics

Electric Motor

In the past, when motors were the conversation subject, it was almost unavoidable to think of a standard explosion engine, maybe of some old frames of some black and white movies. Today instead, speaking of motors from the industrial point of view certainly means referring to a constant process of technological innovation as well as to an increasingly green production and consumption methodology of goods. We take care of our health and of the one of our planet and we more and more tend to design and build a healthy environment. The atmospheric pollution is one of the main causes of mortality and this phenomenon can be more surveyed in cities because in narrow spaces a higher concentration of CO2 persists.

Therefore, we design fully “green” houses and entire cities; an ecologic culture grows and, obviously, the entire automotive industry cannot get away from this phenomenon. As a matter of fact, Toyota, Nissan, Citroen, BMW, Mercedes, Kia, Opel, Fiat, Hyundai and Volkswagen, all of them have a selection of electric models in their portfolio. Volvo, for instance, has announced it is going to modify, starting from 2019, the entire production of electric cars. A phenomenon – the implementation of electric motors in the various industrial fields – that no longer concerns just cars. Today it is possible to drive electric bikes with more and more professional characteristics; motorbikes with exceptional performances, such as CRP or Harley Davidson; to navigate with Riva boats; to compete with an electric single-seater. But not only, the industrial world is gradually getting in touch with it, packaging, food processing machines, machine tools, all those fields where there is the need of doing actions through a motion inside the machine itself. Rising matter, then, and with noteworthy numbers. Let us consider, for instance, once more the car world. Today 2 millions of electric cars are circulating whereas about 600 millions are expected in 2014, against, however, 1 billion of cars that will circulate still using the green petrol and diesel. We will witness a cohabitation among the various propulsion modalities – thermal, electric and hybrid – and an adaptation by the industrial system to what nowadays still seems a not mature system, however already steeply rising. What about small and medium engineering companies that produce mechanical components for the big production field of motors and of motion in general? What will be the repercussions on this manufacturing area? Certainly, we will no longer need certain components in the same quantities as today. Companies and subcontractors must and will have to seize the signs that will increasingly come from the market and from their customers, modify the supplied sectors and sometimes give up activities that have stopped being remunerative and demanded by the various manufacturing fields. New competence and specialization areas, specific training and new figures to be employed in companies will be necessary. Some entrepreneurial realities will look at electric motors with a critical attitude because they will have probably failed their own transformation but any novelty or change always generates new opportunities and it up to us reaping them. The future will be greener than today, complex, competitive and even more variegated, issuing new challenges for our engineering companies.
Stefano Colletta, Technical Director of Subfornitura News-Tecniche Nuove

Car suitable for being integrated as an electricity grid reserve

Nissan LEAF

To meet the universal desire for a transition to decentralised energy generation from renewable sources, new and innovative solutions for stabilising the electricity grid are necessary. The increasing use of renewable energy leads to fluctuations in the grid, which must be initially balanced by primary regulation, able to prevent impending power cuts at a second’s notice.
In Hagen (Germany) an important milestone on the road to emission-free energy and mobility has been achieved by technology company The Mobility House, energy supplier Enervie, transmission system operator Amprion and car maker Nissan. With the Nissan Leaf and an innovative charging and energy management technology, the project partners have succeeded in qualifying an electric car for all the Tso regulatory requirements for primary power regulation. This means that the car can be integrated as a regulating reserve for the German electricity grid – a breakthrough in the establishment of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology in Germany.

Nissan LEAF

Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, with integrated bidirectional charging technology, is able not only to extract power from the grid and store it in its traction battery, but, if necessary, also to feed power back. This is called the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) concept.
The bidirectional chargeability of Nissan’s electric car is the foundation for its integration in the pilot project at the Enervie site in Hagen. In combination with innovative, intelligent charging and energy management technology from The Mobility House, the charging and discharging processes can be controlled and monitored.
As one of four Tso’s responsible for the transmission of power in Germany, and thus charged with the stability of the power grid, Amprion is a supporter of the ambitious V2G project. The Tso has defined the technical and regulatory requirements for prequalifying a mobile battery storage unit for the market for primary regulation. Amprion has now approved the Nissan Leaf, as the first electric car, in combination with the control system from The Mobility House, as suitable for this function.

Alternate or direct current motors?

ac or dc motors

Obviously, we are not referring to AC-DC, the group of “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black”. We are instead asking the question whose answer determines the first engineering choice, in other words “alternate current or direct current motor”?
It is worth noticing that this choice simply concerns the motor power supply type, even before opting for a precise technological solution. The power supply type, in fact, determines some important structural characteristics of the actuator and, consequently, influences its use type and the relative performances.
Let us try, then, to give an answer to the question: AC or DC?

Direct current motors

Big, massive and powerful, they are the legacy of an age when the regulation, waiting for the future PWM techniques, was possible only on direct current systems.
In particular, the most performing structural typologies of DC motors provided for the possibility of regulating independently field voltage and current (i.e. of the stator winding when present as replacement of permanent magnets) and armature voltage and current (that is to say of the rotor winding).With configurations like the above-described one (called with independent regulation), it was possible to obtain specific operation curves for each type of application.ac or dc motors
Opportunely regulating, for instance, the voltage and current magnitudes, it was possible to obtain situations in which the torque delivery was the highest in standing starts and then decreased in almost linear manner with the speed rise. These were (and still are) typically the drive requirements. However, beyond applicative situations, we are analysing what are the advantages and the disadvantages connected with the use of this type of motor.

Brushes and sparks

Structurally, all DC motors have the wound rotor; it is clear that, to keep the rotation direction constant, it is necessary to supply armature current so that the magnetic field generated always interacts in the same sense with the magnetic stator field; however, since the rotor rotates on its own shaft, the magnetic interaction between rotor magnetic field (mobile rotary) and stator magnetic field (fixed) inverts the direction every 180°; a DC motor powered in this way, instead of rotating, actually would oscillate between a 0° position and 180° one. Extending the reasoning to each angle fraction, we deduce that the part of rotor winding to be powered at each fraction of angle is different from the one of the previous fraction and from the one of the successive fraction.
In DC motors, therefore, the rotor winding is actually composed by many sections and each of them is powered for a determinate fraction of the round angle.
The rotor shaft of direct current motors is then always equipped with a ring subdivided into longitudinal sectors, insulated one another, each pair of them acts as a contact terminal for a section of the armature winding.
Since the rotor turns, the rotor power supply, which is provided by sliding contacts (brushes), powers then in succession the different sections of the rotor winding, keeping the interaction between the magnetic fields constant and maximum.
Therefore, DC motors imply several circuit switchovers during their rotation; we can even state that the higher is the switchover number (i.e. the more is fractioned the rotor winding), the more the motor offers a constant torque corresponding to the highest that can be supplied. Unfortunately, each switchover requires that brushes open a circuit and immediately close the successive one and this means spark production that, as such, is source of radio-electric disturbances; such disturbances, depending of the motor power and rotation speed, can also be of notable entity and prevent or affect the operation of other contiguous electronic parts. This problematic aspect is then joined by the costs of machine downtimes determined by the necessary periodical maintenance owing to the wear of sliding contacts.

Alternate current: no disturbances

Alternate current motors do not need, in the vast majority of cases, sliding contacts because the rotor is not wound; in this type of actuators, the magnetic field of the mobile part is generated by induction directly by the one of the part fixed on a sort of “virtual” rotor winding, existing in virtue of its structural shape said “squirrel cage”.ac or dc motors
Just for information, in the technical literature these motors are called in several ways, including “induction motors “, “asynchronous motors”, “motors with rotor in short circuit “, as well as, naturally, with explicit references to squirrels.
The absence of brushes and of consequent sparks annuls all maintenance requirements imposed by DC motors, limiting reset interventions to the mere replacement of bearings when worn out. Moreover, being structurally much simpler that DC motors, AC motors provide the not secondary benefit of low investment costs.
On the other hand, this type of motors strongly suffers standing starts, requiring even ten-time higher pickup current than the nominal one. If not managed, this phenomenon induces violent overheating that, in many cases, can be even lethal for the motor. AC motors, used in applicative situations where no frequent stops or slowdowns occur, need, then, opportune cooling extra-ventilation and/or opportune oversizing.
They are not linear elements, and this is an even more important characteristic of AC motors: the torque they provide is not linear function of any significant magnitude (voltage, current, rotation speed and so on.), featuring instead a fluctuating trend in the nominal operating range, with a single peak at a rotation speed approaching the highest permitted. This means that induction motors are affected by serious regulation troubles of the rotation speed and, apart from simple ON-OFF applications (for instance a pump or a conveyor belt), all AC induction motors today find wide use in motion applications only if controlled by opportune electronics (inverter) able to linearize their operation curve, i.e. to make the delivered torque constant.

Brushless is better

Some years ago, somebody had the idea of combining the advantages of DC motors with those of AC motors: capability of maintaining the maximum torque in the entire speed range, unwound rotor and, therefore, absence of sliding contacts, possibility of starts and restarts without overheating damages, user-friendly speed regulation.
The new class of motors, with much pragmatism, has been called “brushless”, that is to say “without brushes”, i.e. without sliding contacts.
The technical and functional characteristics of this class of actuators are notable indeed: almost constant torque in the entire speed range, unwound rotor, possibility of constant speed variation without appreciable torque loss, possibility of frequent stops and restarts.
Since in any motor the rotation occurs due to the interaction between the stator and rotor magnetic fields, if in brushless types the rotor is not wound, it means that it must be in some ways magnetic; the rotor, in fact, is composed by powerful permanent magnets whereas in the stator (powered) it is generated a rotary magnetic field that “drags” the rotor.ac or dc motors
To deliver high torque, the magnetic fields must be very intense; the stator one can be made such by opportune current values whereas for the rotor one is important the quality of the permanent magnets that, to be up to the situation, are made with special materials. This explains one of the reasons for the higher cost of a brushless motor than a standard induction motor.
To achieve a uniform rotation and always the highest possible torque, inside brushless motors is always housed an angular rotor position sensor that provides a feedback to the controller on how to generate the stator magnetic field.
Such sensor can be of discrete type, i.e. able to recognize only a finite number of angular positions, or analogue, able to provide a different piece of information for each recognizable angle according to its resolution.
As for a discrete sensor nothing changes in the entire angle portion included between two distinguishable positions, this type of brushless motor is powered in DC; the motors equipped with analogue sensors are instead powered by sinusoidal alternate current where the progression of the angular position corresponds to an equivalent progression in the supply voltage.
It is evident that the higher resolution allows a better torque supply homogeneity.

Energy efficiency

The motor is an object consisting of two parts: the stator that, precisely “stays”, integral with the fixing surface, and the rotor that, exactly, “rotates” inside the stator.
It is clear for all that accelerating or slowing down an object means to win its inertia; it is then as clear for all that the inertia depends on the mass (to have a confirmation, it is sufficient to try to push first a bicycle and then a truck). Well, in motors with unwound rotor the rotor mass is limited and then with low inertia. All that results in a noteworthy energy saving because all the energy supplied is used to produce torque and not to win mechanical inertias, as it happens instead in DC motors. Not only: low inertia means also high dynamics, i.e. performance in quick speed changes and this, in modern industrial machines, is irremissible.
First in the energy-efficiency ranking are then AC motors with unwound rotor, that is to say asynchronous and brushless. However, if the energy density is at stake, then brushless are the real winners because, in virtue of the most efficient interaction between magnetic fields, with the same power as asynchronous competitors, they have much smaller physical sizes; this, in forefront industrial machines, is almost as irremissible.
Last, but not for this reason negligible, DC motors that, even if energy-eaters, grant high performances in critical sectors like drive and lifting. (Alberto Pivari)

The updated version of the MotoE all-electric superbike prototype

MotoE all-electric superbike prototype.

The partnership between CRP Group’s specialized companies and Energica Motor Company to fine-tune the all-electric superbike for the 2019 FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup goes full steam ahead: an updated version of the MotoE prototype made its first public appearance on-track for testing during the French MotoGP™. The test was carried out by both Loris Capirossi and the Energica official test rider Alessandro Brannetti.
All the solutions have been developed with the support of CRP Group’s know-how. CRP will keep going on collaborating closely with Energica, to achieve optimal results in a very short time.

The test was carried out by both Loris Capirossi and the Energica official test rider Alessandro Brannetti.

CRP Technology (the CRP Group’s specialized company in the field of laser sintering and Windform composite materials) is manufacturing aerodynamic parts in professional 3D printing with Windform materials. CRP Meccanica (since over 45 years alongside F1 teams as strategic partner for the production of hi-tech mechanical components) is working on the development of the braking and suspension system.
The know-how of the two companies are supporting the study and development of the new battery.
All these elements have improved the general performance of the superbike, bringing it closer to the preset targets.
The next stop on the road to the 2019 FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup will be at CRP and Energica’s home GP in Mugello, with a very special rider for the demo lap: the four-time World Champion Max Biaggi.