Key Components of Modular Propulsion Systems for Next Generation Electric Vehicles


A. Stippich, C.H. van der Broeck, A. Sewergin, A. Wienhausen, M. E. Neubert, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, 2017


The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of emerging technologies for modular power converter architectures for electric vehicles. Nowadays, the most common electrical drive-train architecture exhibits one single inverter which is directly tied to the battery. As a consequence, only one high-voltage battery module can be applied and the dc-link voltage of the inverter and its apparent power rating is directly dependent on the available battery voltage. To overcome this restriction, modern power converter architectures with a higher degree of freedom have been proposed. These architectures exhibit modular dc-dc converters to allow different battery technologies to be linked to drive inverters operating independently from each other. To make this development feasible, new components and technologies are evolving which enhance the efficiency over mission cycles while ensuring further integration of the power-converter architectures. Wide-bandgap power semiconductors enable high switching frequencies and miniaturization of passive devices. Smart topology enhancements and control methods allow a significant loss reduction, in particular at light loads, resulting in a higher efficiency of the drive train over the entire driving cycle. Highly integrated bidirectional battery charger systems with intelligent charging strategies inhibit battery degradation and provide opportunities for grid stabilization. It is demonstrated how these technologies are realized and implemented to contribute to the development of future electric vehicles.