The innovative system acts as an interface between the high-voltage battery and the electric motor
Continental has developed a power electronics system solution for the new Jaguar I-PACE that is adapted to the requirements of performance-oriented powertrains. The solution first went into production in the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid. The system can operate at currents of up to 650 amps and is designed for application across the entire future EV line-up of the Jaguar Land Rover brand.
The power electronics supplies power to the electric motor, while also controlling the process of energy recuperation. Since the battery supplies DC power, but the motor runs on three-phase AC power, the power electronics must first convert the DC power using an inverter, before supplying it at the required current and frequency to the motor. It is these two electrical parameters that control the operation of the motor.
In recuperation mode, the power electronics converts the AC current produced by the electric motor into DC current, which is then used to charge the battery.
“In view of its key role in the electric powertrain, the power electronics is a component of major strategic importance. We have been engaged in development work in this field for a long time. Today, with the third generation of our power electronics technology, we offer solutions for vehicles in all power classes,” said Christopher Breitsameter, Head of the High Voltage Electronics Segment at Continental’s Powertrain division. “In designing the power electronics for the Jaguar I-PACE and the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid, we worked closely with Jaguar Land Rover to maximise the potential of our current-generation system, with a strong focus on sporty driving and high performance.”
Continental developed microchips with double sided sintered technology to meet the much higher demands in terms of service life, reliability and thermal tolerance than conventional solder bonds. Another development goal was a high power-to-size ratio, in order to shrink space requirements to a minimum. The combination of performance, long life and compact dimensions was achieved thanks to the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) power modules, which are a key component of the inverter.
“Further notable features in addition to the double sided sintered technology include the use of special direct copper bonded substrates, known as DCB substrates, along with power semiconductors that have been built to order specially for Continental. The overall architecture of the power electronics, and the materials used, are optimised for maximum power and performance,” said Project Manager Alexander Reich.
The power electronics in the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid and the Jaguar I-PACE are completely identical in terms of hardware – the only differences are in the software.