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Implementing Manufacturing Effects of Electrical Steel in Design Tools for High Volume Electric Traction Machines

Funder: DTG grant and I-case Motor Design Limited

High-speed, high-efficiency electric machines are becoming key components in the future development of the automotive industry’s switch to electric propulsion. Accurate simulation of electric machines performance is of utmost interest.

Design tools and FEA simulations of electric machines require building factors adjusting the value of iron losses in order to match the results given by prototyped machines. These building factors are attributed to the manufacturing processes detrimental effect on the desirable magnetic properties of electrical steel used for the laminations in rotors and stators of electric machines. Current knowledge has challenging gaps such as the impact of high frequency and manufacturing damage in different materials with different manufacturing processes.

Via a systematic approach starting at material sample level and building complexity to full e-machine simulation and experimental characterisation this project aims to account for the manufacturing damage and high frequency operation in design tools for electric machines.

Tuesday, 01 January 2019

A Low Cost Ferrite Based Direct Drive Permanent Magnet Generator for Wind Turbines

Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: Greenspur Renewables, WMG, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Greenspur Renewables has developed a new, low-cost, ferrite-based direct drive (DD) permanent magnet generator (PMG) aimed at the offshore wind energy market. DD PMGs are becoming increasingly important for large-scale wind turbines as they remove the need for a gearbox and the high maintenance costs associated with using them.

Today, however, all existing large-scale DD PMGs use scarce and expensive rare earth magnets that are sourced almost exclusively from China. The Greenspur DD PMG uses ordinary ferrite magnets which, although less powerful, are 1/30th of the cost by mass of rare earth magnets and can deliver substantial cost savings.

Following smaller-scale trials, patent filings and positive feedback from industry, this project will enable Greenspur to specify, build and test a 250kW generator in collaborative R&D partnerships with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) and with WMG. The company’s ultimate objective is to licence its technology for the manufacture of multi MW units for use in the rapidly expanding global offshore wind market.


Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: Delta Motorsport, WMG, Alcon Components, Titan Motorsport & Automotive Engineering, Potenza Technology, Cranfield University

AID-CAV aims to develop some of the key vehicle platform technologies required for the rapid development of next generation of autonomous vehicles.

Lead partner Delta Motorsport will develop its existing vehicle dynamics control framework to make it suitable for autonomous vehicles based on the extended control authority it will have -- not just traction motor(s) but steering and brakes as well. Delta will convert one of its E-4 Coupe electric vehicles so that it can be used to validate the hardware and software being developed.

Titan and WMG will develop a bespoke high-performance servo motor which, combined with a new power electronics controller, will create a high-reliability steering mechanism featuring the appropriate level of redundancy for ‘Level 5’ autonomy. Working closely with Titan, we will bring significant expertise in advanced power electronics solutions, along with electric motor design, manufacturing processes and implementation.

Alcon will develop a braking system that ensures system performance and safety while reducing weight and complexity.

Cranfield will develop an autonomous driving controller and novel flexible control architecture.

While Potenza will develop the safety case for the system architecture and sub-systems. The technologies will be developed within the framework of ISO26262 Edition 2 and will be designed to meet the safety requirements.

All systems will have the flexibility to adapt quickly to a wide range of vehicle applications, including passenger cars, trucks, off-highway and high-performance vehicles.

AMiCc (Semi-dynamic infrastructure charging for commercial applications)

Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: AT Kearney, Cenex, University of Nottingham

AMiCc builds upon a wealth of industry expertise to evaluate the benefits of developing semi-dynamic and static wireless charging systems for our existing commercial customers. The hardware will integrate with our existing asset management platform, being developed through another Innovate UK funded project - EV-elocity.

The full demonstration project for AMiCc will develop an innovative charging system to enable fleet vehicles with short dwell times and high utilization to switch to electric when they would otherwise have been unable to do so. This is supported by development of an innovative hardware solution to provide standardisation across the industry for high-power smart and bi-directional charging.

This feasibility study will seek to answer the following questions:

  • ICE to EV transition - how does the implementation of wireless charging increase the opportunity for fleets with short dwell times to transition.
  • What is the primary user motivation and use cases for wireless charging?
  • Wide-scale roll out - how will the inclusion of wireless charging influence EV uptake and change the models the consortium are currently working to with regards to market uptake and swarming.
  • Location applications - supported by the i-flex feasibility application, user and vehicle location modelling will identify how charging infrastructure is currently used vs. how it would be used if it was user requirements focused. This considers the whole life cycle - from unobtrusive installation to decommissioning requirement across the supply chain.
  • Integration with existing management platform - how does the management of V1G and V2G wireless charging influence it's asset management requirements and how do we overcome the technical challenges?
  • Impact of battery preservation - what influence will wireless charging have on the relationship OEMs and users currently have with the vehicle battery?

The consortium will use the feasibility stage of AMiCc to develop a robust business case for the integration of wireless charging into their portfolio for asset management and aggregation with V1G and V2G applications. Three case studies will be explored initially; taxi's, city buses and security vehicles, where dwell times are short and infrastructure opportunities are often limited due to space constraints.

Technology roadmapping and discovery will form a large part of the technology development part of the feasibility study, identifying the art of the possible and the opportunities for standardisation across the industry. This extends to identifying how existing technology needs to adapt to respond to user needs.

Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: London Borough of Redbridge, Charg-y

Our project aims to develop an on-street residential charge point solution that incorporates induction charging(IC) pads for wireless charging of electric vehicles.

We will take's established lamppost and bollard charge point solution and integrate the IC technology of a supplier who will be finalised during feasibility assessment.

Our goal is to develop a commercial solution that overcomes the constraints of a cable-only solution and better supports the flexible and large-scale deployment of residential charge points without further contributing to street clutter, working for more locations and eliminating trip hazards.

The project seeks to overcome the challenges of induction pads on residential streets, of the lack of support from motor manufacturers for standardised induction charging enabled cars, of leveraging existing technologies to supply and pay for the electricity and to establish supply chains to mass produce the induction pads.

The key objectives of the feasibility stage are:

  • Understand needs/concerns of interested parties(local residents, vehicle owners, interest groups)
  • Investigate and select IC partner, reviewing a range of candidate against key criteria
  • Explore short/medium-term options for after-market integration of pick-up coils into existing vehicles
  • Understand and mitigate various technical complexities including physical coil installation for road surfaces, charge-point integration with car-management-system via induction coils and necessary changes to charge-point and back-end systems
  • Develop candidate solution architecture and business case and costed plan for demonstrator phase using selected locations in the Redbridge and other councils.

Main focus is establishing viable technical solution with an IC partner that provides candidate mechanisms to mitigate identified complexities and risks that we can test thoroughly during demonstrator stage.

There is a very small number of current suppliers of IC equipment but several potential suppliers entering the market. There are also emerging standards from the Society of Automotive Engineers defining operating frequencies and issues such as stray fields. The innovation in our proposed solution comes from taking this emerging technology and deploying it to the novel context of on-street residential electric vehicle charging which requires us to not only address a number of technical challenges that are specific to this context but also the needs and concerns of local residents and private vehicle owners. Our solution will integrate IC pads with our Elexon-approved CMS to settle energy usage from unmetered supplies, thereby not needing additional, costly connections. Reusing lampposts means that there is less in the ground and the on-post solution is a neat and accessible container for the controls and communications.

Energy Management (8085)

Funder: HVM Catapult

Partners: High Technology Investment Partnership (HTIP)

The single–phase mains in the UK has a nominal value of 230 V +10%/-6% but the average value is 242 V. Over-voltage results in excess losses in appliances and premature equipment failure. The problem of over-voltage is being exacerbated by the spread of distributed generation, notably solar panels.

Recently AC to AC converters for voltage regulation, based on power electronics, have been developed by us in collaboration with a company called HTIP. The challenge is achieving an exceptionally high efficiency (over 98%) combined with meeting requirements such as a specified short-circuit current withstand capability.

Review the existing design of domestic voltage regulator prepared for HTIP and assess ways of making the device more efficient through modelling and then experimental work.

The design, rated at 4 kW, will then be tested against regulatory requirements and for efficiency – providing a springboard for developing larger three-phase units for distribution network use.

The ultimate aim is to give HTIP units that meet specification ready for manufacture.

High Energy Efficiency (8086)

Funder: Catapult

Partners: Arriba Cooltech, Zapinamo

Battery energy storage systems are increasingly seen as a key ingredient in the decarbonisation of the electricity supply. They will enable the management of demand to match the availability of power; this is important as peak loads such as from the rapid charging of electric vehicles can be high and the supply from renewable sources in particular is variable.

This proposal focuses on high efficiency power conversion, essential for this technology, by harnessing the benefits of silicon carbide based solutions for bi-directional AC to DC conversion (linking battery packs to the mains) and also DC to DC conversion (linking battery packs and drives).

The aims of the project are:

  1. To develop next-generation highly efficient power conversion for UK industry:
  2. The design and demonstration of a 10 kW modular bi-directional AC to DC converter (700 V DC to 400 V AC) using silicon carbide devices and extensive assessment of its performance
  3. The design and demonstration of a 10 kW modular bi-directional DC to DC converter (nominally 500 to 700 V each side) and performance measurement.

High-power batteries for performance vehicles (HP-Lisd)

Funder: APC

Partners: BMW Motorsport Ltd (Lead), McLaren Automotive, Delta Motorsports Ltd

Project Highlights

  • Development of high-power lithium ion storage device
  • Batteries developed with a lightweight module design
  • Aims to improve power-to-weight ratio in current hybrid lithium ion batteries
  • Technology will be utilised in future luxury and high-performance vehicles
  • £20.1 million total project value, receiving £10.4 million funding through the APC


Partners: McLaren, Hofer, Yasa

Funder: APC

Hofer powertrain, Germany, is one of the world’s leaders in the development of powertrain technologies and manufactures class-leading hybrid transmissions. Its UK subsidiary is collaborating with WMG, McLaren Automotive and Yasa Motors through an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) project that will provide the UK with capability for the design and manufacture of advanced hybrid transmissions, complementing the next generation of low carbon vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover Prosperity Partnership

Funder: EPSRC

Partners: Jaguar Land Rover

This Prosperity Partnership will tackle the emerging challenges for vehicle electrification through a unique collaboration to grow scientific understanding. This integrated approach brings the potential for the UK to lead, both industrially and scientifically, in an area of high growth and relevance in the UK's industrial strategy.

Our shared vision is to create new scientific insights to underpin the Automotive Council’s electrification agenda, from batteries and power electronics to electric motors and electric drive units.


Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: GKN Innovation Centre, AVID technology

The purpose of this project is to assess if 48V battery in wheel electric drive can be made viable for mass market adoption in L, M and CAV class vehicles; define the technology design and manufacturing processes that will enable it to be cost effective, efficient, durable and safe.

Mass adoption of electric drive is being slowed by the charging infrastructure required by current high-voltage passenger cars, particularly in developing countries and very large cities where the capacity of the local electric grid is restricted.

A low voltage battery would be an affordable solution to this issue. However, it would mean reducing the power of the vehicle to such an extent, that the vehicle itself would need to be impractically small.

By distributing the power at each corner, MiWheel overcomes this limitation. This solution could provide suitable performance across a wide range of vehicle types enabling these vehicles to exploit the market opportunity offered by electric vehicles. This feasibility study will assess overall capability of such a system and research potential motor topologies and manufacturing methods to achieve a low-cost safe and durable MiWheel for high-volume manufacture.

Modular Architecture for Ultra Low Emission Buses (subcontractor)

Funder: APC3 (sub contract from University of Cambridge)

Partners: Magtec, Wrightbus, University of Cambridge

The purpose of this project is to develop a high-power wireless inductive power transfer (IPT) system which is designed to meet the charging duty cycles of electric buses. The objective is to develop a modular power transfer system which is tailored for this application and demonstrates marked improvements in technical performance and cost-effectiveness over any of the devices which are currently available, or are expected to be in the market during the lifetime of the project.

Virbius (48V Mild-Hybrid Power Pack)

Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: Jaguar Land Rover, Motor Design Limited, Loughborough University, Victrex Manufacturing, Avid Technology

Jaguar Land Rover is leading an exciting research project to develop future state of the art electric hybrid vehicle systems, in conjunction with universities and businesses across the UK. The project aims to significantly improve the vehicle system efficiency through utilisation of innovative electronic systems and componentry.

Our role is to bring academic knowledge and cross-sector perspectives to the project, especially relating to electric machine manufacturing technology in correlation with electric machine performance and modelling.

Our specific objectives are

  • To use the "make-like-production" facility at the University of Warwick to build the necessary components for the 48 V electric machine required for the power pack and gain knowledge on new manufacturing processes.
  • To understand the impact of manufacturing processes on the performance of electric machines, especially its winding insulation system characteristics and the losses in the electrical steel and permanent magnets.
  • Using component tests, including NDT methods such as CT scanning, to investigate production variability and failure rates from novel manufacturing and assembly processes.
  • To provide comprehensive test data on parts and assemblies built in the MLP facility, facilitating the validation of the design process by comparison against predicted behaviour.
  • To validate design tool models with electric machines constructed using production-like processes.

Wireless Charging Infrastructure for Milton Keynes

Funder: Innovate UK

Partners: eFis, Open University, Milton Keynes City Council, Charg-y

This project will study the feasibility of extending the existing charging infrastructure to enhance the Milton Keynes support for the up-take of public service vehicles. The primary focus of the work will be on the use of wireless charging to support taxi/private-hire services and light, flexible, on-demand bus services. Secondary lines of investigation will explore use cases associated with light freight deliveries (e.g. parcels and grocery deliveries), healthcare, and waste collection services.

Objectives of this project include:

  • Commercially proving the wireless technology systems (using both mature, commercially available systems as well as systems that are new entrants to the market).
  • Examine a new type of wireless charging device, currently under development at WMG: This device uses the latest silicon-carbide technology to produce a much more compact and high powered unit than anything else which is currently available on the market. Use of this device would enable high power (50kW) devices to be installed much more easily on the small and medium size vehicles that are traditionally used for the service applications being studied here.
  • Examine the potential of linking the new wireless charging device to an existing network of cable-connected chargers: leading the way to deploying a city-wide network of wireless chargers without having to provide new power connections in every case. As a result, a significant management and cost saving could be made in any future roll-out programme.

Finally, the Feasibility Study will take account of the fact that urban operators such as taxi companies, public transport service providers, and light freight distributors, have not yet adopted EV's at scale for reasons that are rooted in their culture, practices and business models. This project will therefore include an in-depth socio-technical study which is designed to better understand these factors and help define the best possible strategy for deploying the wireless charger infrastructure.

Wireless Electric Fleets

Funder: OLEV (Innovate UK)

Partners: UK Power Networks Services, UPS, High Speed 1

Wireless charging has long been hailed as an important technology for accelerating EV uptake. However, there are few real-world demonstrators of the technology.

We consider that wireless charging has the potential to deliver lower cost EV charging, safer unobtrusive infrastructure, and provide an important solution where physical space or user requirements means that wired charging is not possible or not feasible.

We consider that the lack of wireless charging projects in the UK is primarily the result of a lack of clarity or confusion around the business case for wireless with many users considering this technology immature or lacking a strong business case.

Key objectives

For each of the three use-cases identified:

  • Evaluate the readiness of the wireless charging technology and estimate system costs
  • Assess the economic, social and environmental benefits
  • Develop the business case
  • Develop the project initiation documents and functional specifications for each of use-case shown to be feasible

Main areas of focus

This project will establish the fundamental economics of wireless charging. The project will develop and test the business case of wireless charging for a number of common real-life use cases which are replicable and scaleable. Three use-cases will be examined:

  1. Depot based charging of logistics vehicles, charging whilst vehicles are being loaded with packages - explored with UPS
  2. On-site charging of utilities vehicles, charging whilst engineers work - explored with UK Power Networks Services
  3. Charging of taxis moving along a taxi-tank, charging whilst drivers wait for jobs - explored with HS1

How is this innovative?

The will be the first time a feasibility study of this type has been undertaken in the UK. A positive business case will accelerate the uptake of wireless charging. A negative business case will inform what the key drivers for wireless charging are and where improvements need to occur to make wireless charging feasible.

The project brings together world leading organisations who will deliver a highly credible feasibility study. A global leading logistics company (UPS), Europe's most reliable high speed rail company (HS1), one of UK's largest power distribution company (UK Power Networks Services) and one of the Europe's leading academic institutions specialising in automotive transport engineering (Warwick Manufacturing Group).

The output of this project has the potential to lead to a pilot demonstrator project and significantly accelerate EV uptake, whilst unlocking a whole new market for EVs, associated infrastructure and the companies who service this market.