Motor controllers for electric vehicles

Paul Boughton

Sevcon has expanded its range of advanced technology Gen4 AC motor controllers for electric vehicles with the introduction of a new ultra compact unit.

The latest addition to the series is a new size 2 control unit that extends the vehicle control and power capabilities established by the existing Gen4 size 4 and size 6 control modules.

The Gen4 range is designed to control either AC asynchronous motors or PMAC synchronous motors. The products incorporate the latest in electronic motor control technology and enclosure assembly to provide the smallest controllers in the industry relative to power delivery.

The size 2 model extends this high power efficiency capability by introducing the smallest enclosure footprint available - allowing the controllers to be integrated into very tight engine compartments and body spaces without sacrificing performance.

Size 2 Gen4 controllers are available in the form of three individual new products providing with nominal battery voltages of 24-36 VDC, 36-48 VDC and 72-96 VDC and peak currents of 275A (for the 24V and 48V versions) and 180A. 

The fully sealed IP66 rated enclosures of the Gen4 range are designed to handle a wide range of electric vehicle requirements.

The rugged construction of the modules makes them suitable for industrial, off-road and on-road electric vehicle assemblies and the compact size to power ratio, particularly of the new Size 2 controllers, makes them particularly appropriate for use in electric bikes and scooters where component space is at a premium.

Gen4 motor controllers are fully CANopen compliant and the CANbus enables simple and flexible vehicle integration of controllers and devices through a fully integrated set of inputs and outputs.

Implementation of advanced flux vector control improves traction control efficiency and motor responsiveness – channelling drive power and energy from the battery smoothly and efficiently. The controller can also provide functions such as throttle, direction and other drive interlocks.

The Gen4 series controllers are also equipped with a self-characterisation capability to automatically define and optimise AC asynchronous motor operating parameters – allowing customers to select motor suppliers of their choice for any application without worrying about compatibility between controller and motor. 

Sevcon’s Gen4 range of motor controllers forms part of a comprehensive range of AC and DC motor controllers, power converters and battery chargers for electric powered vehicles.

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