INVERTERS FOR ELECTRIC
& HYBRID VEHICLES
TOP PERFORMANCE FOR MOTORSPORT
Zytek has over 20 years of motorsport experience in developing the highest performance EV and HEV automotive inverters that unlock a race car’s HV electrical system potential.
Specifically engineered for the highest levels of performance, inverters are developed in parallel with our electric machines and batteries.
Significant Impact on Electrical Powertrain Performance and Electrical Power.
Inverter selection is a critical component of the electrical powertrain performance and electric motor.
Inverters need to be thought of as less of a pure current switching device, more of as the primary system enabler, but most importantly, as the primary choice when conceiving your motorsport electrification requirements.
The traditional route to conceiving an electrified powertrain is to specify the system components in the order of electric machine, battery pack, and then inverter. In this sequence, the most complex unit, responsible for optimising bi-directional energy flow between the battery and electric machine as well as integration with safety-critical vehicle operating systems, is given the lowest priority!
As the inverter has an equally significant impact on whether or not the system’s performance and cost targets are achieved, we recommend that inverter selection should be considered a key element at the time of specifying the battery and motor.
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THE KEY PARAMETERS
Before inverter selection, or specifying a new bespoke inverter, all the following parameters need to be understood:
- Input voltage range (ie battery DC voltage)
- Output voltage range (matched to the requirements of the electric machine)
- Output power & current, drive cycle (to ensure thermal performance can be maintained)
- Working temperature range and coolant details (thermal capacity & flow rates)
- Maximum electrical frequency (used to select the optimum PWM frequency to control switching losses)
- Battery characteristics (to optimise DC-link capacitance to reduce DC ripple current losses).
As you can see, the standard information presented on a datasheet or sales flyer is not adequate to convey the necessary information to compare inverter products.
Having now selected or designed an inverter capable of operating using all of the above data, only using very advanced, state of the art, machine control techniques can the optimum performance be realised.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
An electric vehicle (EV) inverter converts direct current into alternating current for charging an EV battery pack. Inverters can be used in both stationary applications, such as solar power plants, and mobile applications, such as plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Yes, all have been developed for use with the most arduous of conditions in mind.
It is a common misconception that all similarly rated inverters will drive electrical machines to produce the same power/torque output, this is not the case.
Zytek uses a proprietary AC controller, using space vector modulation with advanced discontinuous and over-commutation techniques, all implemented on a system-by-system basis to assess the power/torque output.
At no point is any table lookup of torque vs machine current used, as this technique cannot be used for top end, high-performance systems capable of extracting the maximum torque/amp (and hence minimised system loss).
Live, closed-loop models of both inverter and machine loss are run in the inverter, enabling the highest operating efficiencies to be realised, along with high levels of delivered torque accuracy (typically <1% torque error when applied to salient machines, where torque is not proportional to any measurable physical variable).
Our inverters meet FIA safety requirements, necessitating the ability to continue to function even in the case of a complete loss of 12V KL15 & KL30 ignition signals.
Our inverters are capable of achieving all of the above and more.
Via complex simulation and detailed electrical plus thermal models of key components, built into a much larger product model. Zytek also has close relationships with key component suppliers, meaning early access to the latest technology.
Yes, from our Lichfield facility, using a range of LV, HV, and dyno facilities.
Yes, power inverter design and development for electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles is a large part of our business, particularly useful when space is limited or performance under extreme conditions is expected.
Zytek also develops the full range of EV/HEV electrification and electronic components.
Usually yes, unless there are specific reasons to deviate from this architecture (eg. adoption of a 3 level architecture in very high voltage applications). Zytek can also perform simulation exercises to conclude the best architecture which can include an analysis of a variety of multi-phase combinations.