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Sealing

Seals and sealants perform a host of unsung but vital functions. Peter Donaldson explains the different types, their uses and the materials they are made from

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Battery Safety

The EV battery industry offers a variety of ways to minimise the hazards they can pose, as Peter Donaldson explains. Proximity to large amounts of energy has always presented hazards, but people have mostly learned to live with them and enjoy its benefits. However, being close to a high-energy electrochemical system such as a 100 kWh battery is still...

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Power Electronics

Nick Flaherty explains the three types of switching technologies for inverters and how to match them to a given inverter design. Power electronics is of course a key technology for e-mobility systems, and the development of their components is a vital part of the evolution...

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Condition monitoring

Peter Donaldson examines the factors involved in keeping tabs on the health and performance of key EV components. While an EV’s most costly component is its battery, there are also many other subsystems – inverters, generators and so on – whose condition is critical to safety and efficiency. Machinery health and usage monitoring is well-established...

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Battery Cooling

As liquid-based cooling for EV batteries becomes the technology of choice, Peter Donaldson explains the system options now available. Although there are other options for cooling EV batteries than using a liquid, it is rapidly taking over from forced-air cooling, as energy and power densities increase. It is emerging as the dominant technology...

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Thermal Management 2020

Peter Donaldson reports on the methods and materials for keeping EV batteries and other components in their optimum temperature range. Thermal management is the art and science of moving heat energy around to keep various components of a vehicle – and its occupants – at safe, efficient and comfortable working...

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DC-DC converters

Peter Donaldson investigates the technology that underpins these essential voltage switching devices. In modern pure electric and hybrid vehicles, battery voltages of 300- 400 V is becoming common, 600 V is gaining ground and 800 V systems are starting to emerge, all to help produce more power yet keep...

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Battery Materials

Nick Flaherty reports on how recent advances in materials are leading to EV batteries with ever-growing energy densities. Battery systems for e-mobility platforms are based largely around lithium chemistry. Liquid lithium salts with graphite anodes and composite metal cathodes are the dominant combination for battery cells...

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Magnetics

Making electric motors more efficient means looking beyond the magnetic materials and switching techniques, as Nick Flaherty explains. The development of the first rare earth magnets in the 1960s by scientists at the US Air Force Materials Laboratory introduced a key new capability for e-mobility. Combining yttrium and cobalt in an alloy for the magnets, then moving to combinations...

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Fuel cells

Nick Flaherty explains the issues at play when designing and building a fuel cell. Sometimes it seems that the specification and design of a fuel cell is more of an art than a matter of engineering. While the basics of the cells are clear, most often based around a stack of proton exchange membrane (PEM) cells...

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