Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Opportunity for women in the auto-rickshaw industry

As part of the Moving Boundaries 2 campaign, Mowo Social Initiatives Foundation has set out to train 500 women across Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Delhi in electric auto driving. This transformative initiative, which kicked off on March 8th, 2024 aims to empower women by providing them with skills and opportunities needed to thrive in the electric auto-rickshaw industry. The team comprises an 8-member all-women crew steering an array of electric vehicles –auto-rickshaw, bike, and cargo van, set to cover 3,333 km over 30 days.
«Our inspiring team of 5 women auto-rickshaw drivers consists of Naseem, Bhavani, Prabha, Reena, and Saritha. These trailblazers are driving ETO Motors electric auto-rickshaws in a relay format, setting an example and inspiring countless others to join the movement towards electric vehicle livelihoods» explains Tamanna Chaudhary di Mowo. Partnering with ETO Motors, an electric three-wheeler company, Mowo is dedicated to providing comprehensive training and support to participants. The vehicle is the BDY T3 electric van.

Cell testing: Unico presents a new innovative solution

The new BAT300 series by Unico was presented recently in the USA during an international seminar about batteries. It promises to establish a new standard in testing cells. The BAT300 series, designed for test applications that value economy and flexibility over ultra-high accuracy, is based on the IDAC Unico power platform and offers other performance, efficiency, and versatility at a reduced cost. The last offer by Unico is an all-in-one compact solution (from 480 V CA to CC) that reduces to the minimum the energy consumption and maximizes test efficiency.

Steve Bright, the CEO of Unico, affirmed: «with the recent acquisition of Present Power Systems, we’re already leveraging the technologies of our new Advanced Technology Group, and the BAT300 series represents our first product to come out of the acquisition». He continues by adding that «the new IDAC Power Platform enables Unico to strengthen our presence in the battery markets and venture into new areas such as onboard charging, home charging, battery recycling, and more».

The BAT300 series is ideal for cell creation inside gigafactories, aging and functionality testing in R&D laboratories, and end-of-life (EOL) activities in cell/module production lines.

E-motors tested in a simulated atmosphere equivalent to 43,000 feet of altitude

Wright Electric Inc., the producer of advanced motor, generator, and inverter technologies, announced that they successfully tested their motor in the Wright Lab at a simulated atmosphere equivalent to 43,000 feet of altitude without Potential Discharge (PD).

Conducted at 1,000 volts, this test sets the stage for simulated altitude testing at the Nasa Neat facility later this year. PD-free performance is crucial to operating electric motors on aircraft. When electric motors run at high voltages, the insulation surrounding the conductive components is subjected to electric stress. Over time, this stress may weaken the insulation, leading to PD. It can further accelerate the degradation of insulation, potentially causing motor failure, among other safety concerns.

As altitude increases, the voltage level needed to cause PD decreases. Because of this, PD is not an issue for many electric aircraft under development, such as air taxis, which cruise around 3,000 feet where typical insulation is sufficient. Wright Electric is developing motors and inverters for commercial aircraft that typically cruise at 36,000 feet, making air taxi solutions impractical. Jeff Engler, Founder and CEO of Wright Electric, explained, «45% of all aviation emissions are from single-aisle flights. By proving those flights can be flown without potential discharge, we are one step closer to eliminating this massive form of pollution.»

Highlights of microwave Hvac system for electric vehicles

e-Thermal bank, University of Birmingham
e-Thermal bank, University of Birmingham

A team of researchers of the University of Birmingham is working at the e-Thermal bank, a thermo-chemical system based on microwaves for the climate control of electric vehicles that might extend by even 70% the vehicle’s range.
The system operates as a secondary energy source inside the vehicle, discharging Hvac tasks from the battery and so increasing the autonomy. It acts by coupling a chemical heat pump with the energy of microwaves, supplying heating or conditioning to the cabin on demand, with a higher energy density than battery packs. The microwave energy dissociates a working pair of solid vapour and condenses the vapour into liquid. This charge process stores energy inside the car, inside the e-Thermal bank.
According to researchers, the thermochemical system has a high density of 1600Wh/Kg. On the contrary, the record density for lithium-ion batteries is around 700 Wh/Kg.
“The heating and the cooling of the electric vehicle’s passenger compartment need a notable energy and contribute more significantly in the reduction of the electric vehicle’s range”, affirmed professor Yongliang Li, research manager and holder of the chair of Thermal Energy Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering in Birmingham.
“We expect that, replacing the conventional Hvac and possibly a small part of the battery pack, e-Thermal banks would provide an efficient control of the cabin’s temperature and a range extension up to 70%, at a lower cost compared to the increase of the battery’s capacity”.

By Korean researchers a study about the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries

The researchers at Chung-Ang University in South Korea have discovered that high-concentration electrolytes can improve the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, making electric vehicles greener.

Researchers have focused on the electrolytic solutions used in batteries and have studied the impact of high-concentration electrolytes on their performances, discovering that these electrolytes improve quick charge skills and prevent problems like cell swelling caused by the lithium coating. Researchers think that their discoveries will encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and will contribute to decreasing carbon emissions.

The study has analyzed the use of some electrolytes, like those based on linear carbonate with concentrated LiPF6, to improve the performances of lithium-ion batteries.

Mazda enhances R&D for its rotary engine

Mazda has announced they will speed up their research and development activity on the rotary engine (RE), already used in the MX-30 R-EV and presented as the powertrain of the concept Iconic SP shown to use on future electrified models.

The new “RE Development Group” will take care of going on making its rotary engine evolve, equipping it with ideal sizes to be used as a generator in electrified models, carrying out research and development activities in areas such as conformity with regulations in primary markets and the use of zero-emission fuels.

Speaking of the new team, Ichiro Hirose – Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – declared: «In the electrification era and a society featuring zero carbon emissions, together with our challenging spirit, we promise we will continue to offer appealing cars that thrill customers».

Recently, for the first time Mazda restarted the production of cars with rotary engines, eleven years after the exit from the scene in 2012 of the Mazda RX-8, equipping the MX-30 with a motor-generator unit that is the core of its first mass-produced PHEV system. Released in Japan and Europe, the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is the twelfth Mazda model with a rotary engine.

Reassert project for the repair and overhaul of electric motors

The researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, IPA, are working side by side with industrial partners to pursue various concepts for the repair, overhaul, and reuse of electric motors, as well as new projects for the circular economy. It is the Reassert project and, more in detail, researchers are collaborating with Schaeffler, the leader company of the consortium, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Bright Testing GmbH, iFAKT GmbH, and Riebesam GmbH & Co. KG to develop innovative methods for the overhauling of electric motors and their reuse in vehicles.
“The innovative strategies of value maintenance offer a significant potential for the reduction of emissions in terms of sustainability. We want to create a closed-circuit system where precious resources are reused to eliminate the dependence on the imports of raw materials and to minimize the mining of raw materials “, affirmed Julian GroĂźe Erdmann, a scientist at Fraunhofer Institute.

The scientist added: “With these strategies, fewer raw materials, such as rare earth, copper, and others, are necessary, perhaps just for spare parts. Project partners define the reuse as the reuse of the whole motor for which all components are dismounted, cleaned, reconditioned, and reassembled. For the recycling of raw materials, we provide for the motor dismounting and for selecting single materials before grinding. Project partners use reference motors in the sector of cars to analyze and select what strategies of value maintenance should be used in a determinate application.
The knowledge collected in the project will be used for the design of new electric motors. The target is developing a motor prototype for the circular economy that can be easily dismounted and on which the four mentioned strategies of value conservation can be applied effortlessly.

An electric vehicle helipad is coming to downtown Manhattan

The major of New York Eric Adams, the president and managing director of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Andrew Kimball have recently taken the first steps to implement a hub unique of its kind for sustainable transports and deliveries. It is a helipad in New York, precisely downtown Manhattan (DMH).

This opens the possibility of electric taxis for the transport of passengers from the airport to downtown and of electric drones also for home deliveries. It seems that in less than two years, through drones, it will be possible to decrease the urban traffic and to halve travel times, with the target of reducing the atmospheric pollution. Just think that it would take only 7 minutes to reach Manhattan downtown from the JFK airport in New York. This direction is pursued by United States startups such as Joby Aviation and Volocopter that have started tests for flying taxis for passengers’ transport.

Sicilian students transform a car into electric

The first electric car, fully implemented by students and professors of the Technological Institute Verona Trento of the city was presented by Messina Commune. An old Renault 5 was taken from an abandoned and vandalized wreck and became an electrical jewel thanks to the use of recycled material. The old internal combustion engine was replaced by a DC electric motor directly coupled with the car’s original transmission, maintaining the kinematics. Renewable photovoltaic and wind power sources, as well as innovative batteries, are used: a sophisticated storage system with lithium anode and lithium iron phosphate cathode (LiFePO4), supplied by CNR ITAE to be tested on the vehicle in urban driving regime.

The initiative is framed in the ambit of MEME project – Electric Mobility for Ecosustainable Messina. “Innovation and environment protection. This is represented by this vehicle implemented for the first time in Italy by a scholastic citizen reality. We wish that this initiative may be the first of a long series of projects aimed at promoting an ecologic culture in cities”, declared the major Federico Basile.

“A project that has allowed joining professors’ experience with students’ creativity and enthusiasm, demonstrating how the collaboration among different generations can lead to surprising results. The electric car manufactured represents a concrete solution to decrease the environmental impact and the dependence on fossil fuels, and proves how the school can be a place of education and of innovation for a more sustainable future, besides concretizing in life experiences to be followed for future generations”, the comment by Superintendent Vadalà.

Speed record for an Australian electric motor

The professor Rukmi Dutta and her team of the University of New South Wales, in Australia, have developed a new electric motor that works at high speed and uses less energy, which definitively means less pollution.

Rukmi has innovated and improved the existing IPMSM, which have different characteristics that make them highly performing electric motors, decreasing their environmental impact.

The integration of magnets inside the rotor generates more torque: the cylinder turns not only owing to the interaction between magnet and alternate current, but also because of the additional rotation caused by the rotor material’s resistance to the magnetic field, a property called “magnetic reluctance”. These machines can also operate at high speed without needing much power, which means that the smallest IPMSM can perform the same quantity of work as other bigger motor types. Besides, compactness is a key factor for the use in cars and aircrafts, where space and weight capacity are limited. The developed motor, not longer than a pen and with the diameter not bigger than a coffee cup, can reach 100,000 rpm and the nominal power is 5 kilowatts.