The world is now full of advancements. And as man’s mechanism to adapt to these advancements, several individuals and groups support different funded projects to further make the present technologies even more sophisticated. Whether these technologies give advantages or disadvantages, what is important is that they are built with the aim of helping mankind.
Among other things, countries are in competition with regard to advanced technology. When one country has invented a system, expect that another country will release a new invention. And so others do the same. And this pattern goes on and on.
On this issue, the state performs an important role in supporting its constituents to produce more and more advanced technologies.
Five next generation vehicle research projects were chosen by the United States Department of Energy to receive a maximum of $19 million from the DOE fund in order to further develop plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). A total of $33.8 million projects chosen for negotiation of awards were mixed with the industry’s cost share.
The five chosen projects support advanced power electronics and electric motor technologies so that they would be able to help introduce advanced PHEV, HEV, and FCV applications to the market. This was in support of President George Bush’s Twenty in Ten plans. These seek to minimize by twenty percent the country’s gas consumption within the decade through maximizing the use of alternative and renewable sources of energy and advancing the current Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards.
While also increasing vehicle efficiency, the projects will emphasize the reduction of cost, weight, and size of electric drive and power conversion devices. High-temperature three-phase inverters, high-speed motors, integrated traction drive systems, and bi-directional DC/DC converters are the four areas in which the chosen projects will focus on.
Selected projects are the Delphi Automotive Systems in Troy, Michigan, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Virginia, the General Electric Global Research of Niskayuna, New York, the General Motors Corporation in Torrance, California, and the U.S. Hybrid Corporation of Torrance, California.
For negotiation of an award reaching to $4.9 million intended for high-temperature three-phase inverter research, the Delphi Automotive Systems in Troy, Michigan has been chosen. The agility of electric motors are controlled and regulated by three-phase inverters. The Dow Corning, GE Global Research, GeneSiC, Argonne National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the other team members for the project.
For negotiation of an award of up to $1.7 million, the DOE has chosen Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Virginia. The project will focus on developing an advanced soft switching inverter in order to minimize switching and power losses. The Azure Dynamics, Powerex, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are the other team members for the project.
To work on developing high-speed electric motors, the General Electric Global Research of Niskayuna, New York, has been chosen for negotiation of an award of up to $3.4 million. With team members GE Motors and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the project will be focusing on increasing the traction motor drive power density and efficiency at minimized costs for PHEVs, HEVs and FCVs. This will be done by building an electric motor of at least 55kW peak power and that has the capability to operate on a high speed. The project’s goal is to have at least 14,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).
Maker of quality GMC suspension bushing, General Motors Corporation in Torrance, California, has been chosen for negotiation of an award costing a maximum of $7.9 million. The work is to develop a combined traction motor and power electronic inverter for PHEV, HEV, and FCV. To lower the cost, weight, and package volume, and increase efficiency is the goal of the project. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ames National Laboratory, Arnold Magnetics, Encap Technologies, Isothermal Systems Research, and AVX are GMC’s team members.
To work on a vehicle system research on order to determine the optimum operating battery and DC-link voltages, allowing for higher efficiency and less costs, the U.S. Hybrid Corporation of Torrance, California has been selected. This was for an award of up to $1.3 million for a bi-directional DC/DC converter for PHEVs. The project will include University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and SiCED as the company’s teammates.
As an essential part of DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, advancing vehicle technologies aims to develop and improve vehicle technologies and alternative fuels that could tremendously reduce the need for petroleum, lessen emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and enable the U.S. transportation industry to maintain a strong, competitive position in the domestic and international markets.