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What possibilities are available for avoiding turbo lag? extremely fast and dynamic electric drives could, for example, be used to provide support. But they do not yet exist, says Moving Magnet Technologies (MMT). The 100% subsidiary of the Swiss company Sonceboz set to work. an electric motor with an output of 2 kW at 200,000 rpm was developed to the laboratory stage. On the way towards a more realistic application, MMT decided against an electric turbocharger and in favour of an electrically supported compressor. The targeted 2 kW of driving power is already available at 75,000 rpm.




dr.-inG. stEphanE BiWErsi

is Chief Operating Officer at Moving Magnet Technologies (MMT) in Besanon (France).

dipl.-inG. stEphan tavErniEr

is Project Manager BLdC Motors at Moving Magnet Technologies (MMT) in Besanon (France).

Highspeed DC motors running above 50.000 rpm have long been used in low power applications such as dentistry. But the automobile industry is also showing interest in using electrically generated kinetic energy in highspeed drive units for turbines. The optimization of aerody namics and the pressure in the induction intake manifold are the center of attention [1]. The turbo lag could be reduced by electrically supporting the turbocharger during acceleration. This requires extremely fast drives, however, with a very high dynamic range and efficiency, that are not yet on the market. Other applications for pressure generation such as Eboosters, which require speeds of 80100,000rpm are also in sight. Using these drives as generators for recapturing flow energy is another possibility. For all these applications the main chal lenge is that physical effects that do not play any part at lower speeds appear at ultrahigh speeds with powers of several kilowatts. That requires especially flexible design models and simulations that meet the high demands in the fields of magnetism, ther modynamics and mechanics. Large series production also requires flexibility in design and materials. And controlling such motors requires special solutions. MMT, with its many years of experience develop ing stepper motors and brushless DC motors, uses designs based on permanent magnets to face these problems. These motors typically cover a power spectrum of 1W to 1kW and have long been validated for the rough conditions in the automotive field. That is why MMT decided to do research in the highspeed field as well. And thus the team in Besanon was able

to develop a motor capable of 200.000rpm with a power of 2kW, as well as a drive solution at 75.000rpm and 2kW, in which the motor is permanently connected to a compressor turbine.
ElEctric Motor assists turBo

The first challenge was to construct a structure that can achieve 2kW of power at 200.000rpm. This is the typical speed that is required for an electrically assisted turbo. It was possible to develop a com prehensive approach that built on the the ses of a doctoral dissertation [2]. The pre requisite was the selection of a simple structure, whose parameters MMT opti mized based on multiple physical factors. Then a special electronic controller was developed. And not least importantly, the experience of several generations of proto types, which had to prove themselves in a specially developed test environment, contributed to the work. Because of its higher efficiency and power density versus variable reluctance and asynchronous technologies, the brushless motor principle was chosen. MMT selected a slotless structure with simple winding arrangement, in order to mimimize losses and cogging torque, important factors at these speeds. A mul tiphysical model was developed, covering all common parameters of electric motors such as torque constant, iron and copper losses and electronic controller resistance. And of course specific parameters for high speeds were also taken into account, i.e.: : friction losses in the bearing : eddy current losses : ventilation losses : mechanical limits of the rotor and the behaviour of the controller.

Overview test bench electric turbo

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Measurement of the electrical input power (top) and mechanical output power (bottom) of the 200,000rpm/2kW motor

Since some of these elements cannot be determined purely theoretically, MMT continuously improved the model based on measurements of the prototypes [3]. Ultimately the developers defined a

structure that was able to satisfy all the objectives and put it into concrete form in prototypes. The addi tionally developed special test equipment, :

:: featuring a protection in case of motor failure :: the air cooling of the ball bearings for the prototypes :: the water cooling :: electronic controller. They also achieved a specific noncontact torque measurement solution, since con ventional methods are not applicable at such rotational speeds [4]. At the end of the process, an output power of 2kW at 200.000rpm was achieved with a supply voltage of 96V. The measurement of the electrical input power (top) and mech anical output power (bottom) of the 200.000rpm/ 2kW motor shows . Con trolling at lower voltages is theoretically also possible. The limitation to the power supplies in the MMT laboratory didnt allow it so far however.
Electric Motor assists compressor

Overview test bench electric compressor

Once the appropriate competencies and tools for the high-speed motor develop ment were available, MMT concentrated increasingly on possible applications. In place of developing an electric turbo, elec trical assistance for compressors was se lected, since that offers more opportuni ties in the short run and a lower speed is required. The approach was to utilize the compressor of an existing turbo charger, integrate the electric motor directly into the housing and thus use the already available hydrodynamic bearings for guiding it. That was of course not an optimal approach since the turbine was not designed for this purpose. Neverthe


Validition performance electric compressor (2kW/75,000rpm)

less, it was possible to achieve a target perfor m ance of 2kW at 75,000rpm. This required a higher torque density which is why MMT chose a slotted brushless struc ture. After designing based on the multi physical ap proach, MMT then constructed a prototype, including motor, compressor, pipe and pressure sensor. An overview of the compressor test bench shows . The supply voltage was 70V, here too under laboratory conditions. The expected theoretical power of the motor was dem onstrated in the test phase. The curve of pressure versus air flow and the planned turbi ne acceleration were achieved as well, .
Further developments

Customers projects are therefore expected to start within the very next months, with a possible arrival on the market of such products within the next five years.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Pierre- Daniel Pfister for its outstanding work during its Ph-D on very high speed motors.

The developments that have been described here show promising perspec tives to meet future specifications related to high speed drives and generators for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The combined theoretical and practical approach also illustrates how innovations for other applications area in the field of mechatronics will be possible.

This project has so far been self-funded by MMT, but with a strong focus on future possible applications. In that scope, some of the possible solutions have been developed and validated through proto typing. Also, the ability to industrialize in mass production the type of structures that are developed is a strong background focus since the beginning of the project. All this allows MMT to have a good basis to face incoming customers requirements. The next step is now to find industrial partners (OEMs, turbo-charger manufac turers, innovative powertrain designers) looking for such high-speed drives for their new developments, and several dis cussions already have started.
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[1] Balis, C.; Barthelet, P.; Morreale, C.: Elektronisch untersttze Turboaufladung Einfluss auf Downsizing und bergangsdrehmoment. In: MTZ (63) 2002, Nr. 9 [2] Pfister, P. D.: Very high-speed slotless permanent-magnet motors: theory, design and validation. Dissertation, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, 2009 [3] Pfister, P. D.; Perriard, Y.: Very high speed slotless permanent magnet motors: analytical mod eling, optimization, design and torque measurement methods. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 57, No. 1, January 2010 [4] Pfister, P. D.; Perriard, Y.: Torque measurement methods for very high-speed motors. The Inter national Journal for Computation and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Vol. 29, No.5, 2010