One for all
By Willi Parsch, Vice President Development Drives, Brose Group
The increasing electrification of the drive train is making conventional 12-volt electrical power Systems less important as they are being replaced by a variety of architectures ranging from 48 to 810 volts. Brose is responding to these new demands with a modular motor and electronics system. The mechatronics specialist hopes to use this technology to prepare its products for flexible usage scenarios in a wide range of operational voltages.
E-mobility is in. Virtually every reputable carmaker is working hard to expand its Portfolio of hybrid and e-vehicle products. For mechatronic systems suppliers like Brose, which already provides around 200 million motors to the market, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, the decline of the combustion engine means that beltdriven auxiliary systems must also be electrified. This opens up new business potential. On the other hand, OEMs are not taking a standardized approach. Instead, they are deploying a broad spectrum of electrical systems – depending on the type of drive and the manufacturer’s electronics philosophy –with voltages ranging from 48 to 470 to up to 810 Volts.
Flexible modular system
Consequently, almost all of the family-owned company’s motors and drives have to work with different operational voltages so that they can also be used in hybrid or electric cars. Brose helps car manufacturers with a costeffective solution: a cross-product modular motor and electronics System with standardized components covers power ranges from 250 W to 20 kW and voltages ranging from 12 to 810 V. This transfers Brose’s decades of experience and proven technologies to e-vehicles. Independent of the vehicle drive, carmakers benefit from short development times, robust products, a high level of flexibility and economies of scale in global production – even in the ramp-up phase for new products.
The unique feature of Brose’s modular system: the stators and rotors can be combined in any number of ways using standardized interfaces. What’s more, the motors and electronics are also uniform; the order of assembly is always the same. The automotive supplier achieves different power densities by using various types of magnets or adjusting the winding. Brose estimates that it will manufacture over ten million modular drives annually in the coming years.
Successful market launch
The company has already received its first major orders. One example is the electric air conditioning compressor, which combines the motor, compressor unit and power electronics to create a perfectly tuned system. It is more economical than conventional variants powered by an internal combustion engine because the auxiliary system only operates when it is needed. It can be used in 48 to 810-volt vehicle electrical systems and works with chemical refgrigerants or CO2. The air conditioning compressor delivers up to 7.5 kW. It can also be used as a heat pump, ensuring efficient heating and cooling of the vehicle interior – even before the driver enters the vehicle if desired. The high power density of this Brose product makes it particularly suitable for electric vehicles, since this minimizes the load on the battery and thus maximizes range. The scroll compressor used ensures constant coolant flow and low-noise operation. This is particularly important when charging electric cars when there is no driving noise. To support shorter charging times, the electric air conditioning compressor can also be used to cool the battery. The product is scheduled to begin series production in 2020. Starting in 2021 the mechatronics specialist will supply more than two million systems to a premium manufacturer over a ten year period.
Just as importantly, the modular concept helped the family-owned company successfully re-enter the brake market. A renowned systems supplier will begin using the new Brose motor for its power brake boosters from 2021 onward: the order is for 40 million Units over a period of nine years. The motor’s scalable size and performance also make it suitable for integrated braking systems that combine the power brake booster and ABS in a single, compact system. And it is ready for use in intelligent vehicles that brake autonomously. This is because it is especially dynamic and features a robust design that also satisfies functional safety requirements. As an emergency brake assistant the brake booster remendously enhances pedestrian safety –a feature that will play an increasingly important role in achieving the coveted five-star rating in the NCAP Crash test.
OEM&Supplier, Edition 2/2018