The use of variable-speed mechanical transmission in electric drives
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Automotive Industry Institute
Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Automotive and Construction Machinery Engineering
Publication date: 2017-03-31
The Archives of Automotive Engineering – Archiwum Motoryzacji 2017;75(1)
Electric vehicles are now a viable alternative to their combustion counterparts. Despite their obvious advantages, one prominent disadvantage is their limited driving range, which strongly depends on the operating conditions. Therefore, it seems purposeful to adapt the configuration of the electric drive to obtain its high efficiency regardless of the operating conditions of the drive, which will in turn reduce the energy consumption without increasing the energy storage capacity of the electrochemical battery. This article will describe the impact of the applied variable-speed transmission on the electric power consumption. The use of variable-speed transmission solutions in electric drives allows to adapt the electrical machine’s operating parameters to the load conditions to keep its operating efficiency as close to high-performance parameter range as possible. A computer simulation study has been carried out to verify the influence of applying an additional element of the drive train system on the energy consumption. The study compares two setups with different transmission types used. Namely, one configuration features a constant-speed transmission drive whilst the other a transmission allowing the selection of three speeds. The results obtained on the basis of computer simulation confirmed the positive impact of the variable-speed transmission on energy consumption in both urban and non-urban operating conditions, whereas in the first case this reduction was significant. This clearly indicates that for vehicles operated in cities it is preferable to use electric drives equipped with a variable- speed transmission.
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