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Components design key to power quality in EVs

A REO van

Steve Hughes, managing director of REO UK, explains the challenges faced by EV manufacturers

While EVs pose substantial benefits to the environment in comparison to internal combustion vehicles, one of the biggest challenges for EVs is the design of the individual components. The components used in internal combustion vehicles have undergone a century and a half of design refinement.

According to Toyota, the average car is made up of 30,000 parts and each component must be able to withstand repeated bouts of acceleration and braking. This is in addition to being able to perform in varying weather conditions and low and high-speed driving over smooth and rough terrain.

With so many electrical and electronic components working in such close proximity to each other, EVs run a greater risk of experiencing power quality issues. The reason for this is that, while EV components provide a much more efficient way of transferring energy, the process of power conversion used by these electronics can result in electromagnetic interference (EMI).

EVs are designed so that the same lines that deliver power to the vehicle are also used to provide information like the charge status, temperature and voltage to the battery management control system. EMI issues, if left unaddressed, can result in efficiency losses, the vehicle overheating and interference with the vehicle’s data communication systems, jeopardising the accuracy of the data.

The components used in EVs can be both inductive and resistive, such as radio frequency interference (RFI) filters, chokes and dynamic braking resistors. Together, these components ensure that drive energy is stored, delivered and regenerated to provide the highest efficiency.

Electronics manufacturer REO UK has worked with these types of components in railway traction applications to develop and integrate cutting-edge EV technology into production vehicles for some leading German automakers. The REO PFC Choke (CHI 412), for example, has been designed to limit the mains harmonic currents that are generated by non-linear AC power supplies, while the REO common mode choke (CHI 131) features a high performance impulse filter, which eliminates noise in the inverter that occurs due to high frequency switching.

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