Tech Features

Battery testing start-up Novonix has spun off PUREgraphite to manufacture anode material in the US

Batteries are ubiquitous in our modern lives. Take a look around you and count how many items need be plugged in and recharged. If you’re at your desk, the answer might be four or five. If you’re out for a run, perhaps two or three. If you’re in a garage, there may only be one,… Read more »

SiC vs GaN semiconductors for EV power converters: Tech Opinion

Just as engineers are starting to get used to the advantages (and quirks) of silicon carbide (SiC ) devices, another semiconductor material joins the fray: gallium nitride, or GaN. Though there are some superficial similarities between these two materials, and even some overlap in their areas of best use, it is my opinion that only… Read more »

Battery bonding: Ultrasonic wire bonding vs laser welded bonding

Ultrasonic wire bonding vs laser welded bonding Li-ion cells come in many different shapes and size. There’s also a large variety of options to choose from when designing the connections between each cell and a vehicle’s electronics. In automotive applications, it’s critical to design reliable connections that are cost-effective and suited to high-volume manufacturing. F&K… Read more »

A closer look at the losses in power semiconductors

A previous article examined loss mechanisms in traction motors, which tend to be the single biggest source of losses in a modern EV drivetrain. This time, the focus is on the various power semiconductors, as they are the next biggest source of losses. Also covered in brief are ways to mitigate these losses and design… Read more »

LORD and Scheugenpflug collaborate to scale up EV thermal designs

When EV manufacturers find a high-quality gap filler that maximizes battery performance, they don’t want to hit a snag with the application system. One of the fundamental challenges in designing an EV battery pack is the effective management of heat generated during the battery’s charge and discharge cycles. A basic principle of physics is that… Read more »

ELANTAS increases electric motor longevity with nanoparticle-infused insulation

Protecting against dielectric fatigue Like the engines in conventional vehicles, the electric motors in EVs are designed for longevity, but every device will wear out eventually. While motors have many fewer moving parts than ICEs, they are under considerable electrical and mechanical stress. A properly designed electric motor should have a useful life that far… Read more »

A closer look at the losses in EV motors

  In the bad old days when the only batteries suitable for traction applications were flooded lead-acid and Ni-Cd types, the battery was the least efficient component of an EV powertrain, routinely delivering back only 50-70% of the amp-hours that went into charging it (aka the Coulometric efficiency). When you knew you were going to… Read more »

Churning out EVs: TDK has built a fully automated manufacturing line for its DC link capacitors

Raw materials in one end, pallets full of power film capacitors out the other For companies that produce products used for electric power conversion, EVs represent a huge new market, potentially much bigger than any other existing industry. Those who have realized the potential and invested early are now positioning themselves as leaders in automotive… Read more »

Top circuit protection considerations for DC fast chargers, a new class of high-voltage consumer electronics

DC fast charging isn’t just a godsend for EV drivers looking for a quick charge. It’s also an entirely new level of consumer electronics. “You and I, as members of the general public, have previously never had access to anything higher in voltage than what we see at home in our wall socket,” Tim Patel, Global… Read more »

Top causes of failure in power semiconductors

All electronic devices eventually die, and the failure can be quite spectacular if suitable foresight and care was not employed during the design and construction phases, especially if the device handles high power or is supplied by a large battery. It should go without saying that both conditions apply to much of the electronics inside… Read more »