SUSU Postgraduate Is Engineering a Motorized Wheel for Electric Vehicles

Postgraduate student of the SUSU Institute of Engineering and Technology has designed and built a test prototype of a motorized wheel for hybrid and electric vehicles. In the course of the work a design of a combined excitation motor was modelled for a motorized wheel, which could improve the effectiveness of vehicle control. The article on vehicle movement simulation was published in a scientific journal recommended by the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles.

Year after year, the number of electric vehicles in the world is growing, but final solutions to the problems related to the electric transmission configuration and the choice of traction electric motor have not been found yet. SUSU postgraduate student Ivan Chuiduk is working on engineering a motorized wheel for electric vehicles. A motorized wheel is a complex unit consisting of a wheel, electric motor, cooling system, reduction unit, and braking system. The use of such wheels has a number of advantages: they have no complicated transmission gear, but feature high efficiency, improved dynamics, and easy fulfillment of any algorithm of active safety. The sum of these factors provides for up to 20% of battery saving. Part of the research also includes development of a software package for designing of motorized wheels for electromechanical transmissions.

"Currently, together with my academic advisor, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering) Sergei Gandzha, we are preparing a Candidate thesis on the "Synthesis and analysis of combined excitation AC electric motors for electric transmissions of land-based vehicles". We have analyzed various types of transmissions with a classical configuration and with independent wheels drive. As a drive motor, we decided to use a combined excitation AC electric motor because it most fully meets the requirements set for electric transmissions and allows to change the rotation rate and torque moment of a motorized wheel within a wide range," shares Ivan.

All the existing similar models are either too big in size and mass, or have a limited range of regulation, what is very critical for vehicles. Increasing of a wheel mass may affect the driving performance of a vehicle.

The designed combined excitation AC electric motor allows for a wide range of regulation with a smaller size. The main specifics of these motors is that their design features two sources of magnetic field: powerful permanent magnets and exciter winding. Thanks to the magnets, it is possible to save on the motor mass and volume, and the exciter winding provides for the wide range of regulation. The control system gets simpler and can be made in a smaller size.

"The regulation range is critical for electric vehicles since they need a high torque at the start and high speed during the movement. We have engineered and studied a combined excitation AC electric motor of innovative design. Thanks to a unique design of our motorized wheel, we have managed to reduce the motor mass and volume and ensure a wide range of regulation. This fact is proved by the performed calculations and bench testing of the mockup sample. We are planning on obtaining a patent for our design. By now, we have filed an application to the patent office and we are expecting to get a favourable decision from them," says Ivan.

In the long run, motorized wheels of this design could be used both in passenger vehicles and in cargo carriers. For example, if we implement electric traction in commercial vehicles with the capacity of up to 10 tonnes, this could help the owners of these vehicles achieve a colossal saving. This project received support from the Foundation on Innovations Facilitation under the UMNIK contest.

South Ural State University is a university of transformations, where innovative research is conducted in most of the priority fields of science and technology development. In accordance with the strategy of scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation, the university is focused on the development of big scientific interdisciplinary projects in the field of digital industry, materials science, and ecology. In 2021 SUSU became the winner in the competition under the Priority 2030 program. The university acts as a regional project office of the World-class Ural Interregional Research and Education Centre (UIREC), which is aimed at solving the tasks of the Science and Universities National Project.

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