- Published in Technology.
Jaguar Land Rover and development firms Ricardo and Cobham Technical Services have begun a three-year research project to develop high-torque switched-reluctance (SR) motors.
One of the main targets is the development of advanced multi-physics CAE tools to enable the partners to design and build prototypes. The simulation software will be based on Cobham's Opera toolset and will enable better understanding of the complex electromagnetic properties of SR machines.
Cobham Technical Services director Kevin Ward said: “In addition to expanding Opera's electromagnetic capabilities we'll investigate advanced integration with our other multi-physics software to obtain more accurate evaluation of parameters such as vibration.”
Powertrain electrification helps OEMs to reduce fleet average CO2 emissions but the rare-earth materials used in permanent magnet motors are becoming increasingly expensive. Switched reluctance motors do not suffer from this problem, and can be also be lighter, but achieving the same torque density and low NVH levels can be challenging.
Jaguar Land Rover's head of research, Tony Harper, said: “It's important to understand the capability of switched reluctance motors in the context of the whole vehicle so that we can set component targets that will deliver the overall vehicle experience.”
Ricardo's chief engineer for innovation, Dr Andrew Atkins, said: “The development of technologies enabling the design of electric vehicle motors that avoid the use of expensive and potentially carbon-intensive rare-earth metals, is a major focus for the auto industry.”