Car Thermal Management and System Integration

The thermal management and system integration activity focuses on issues such as the integration of motor and power control technologies. A primary research focus is the thermal management of inverters and motors with two-phase cooling technologies. Advanced component modeling, fabrication, and manufacturing techniques are also being investigated.

One of the challenges for researchers in this area is to simultaneously increase inverter and motor performance and life in harsh environments while reducing size and weight. Beyond 2006, research efforts will focus on developing an integrated inverter/motor system. Integrating emerging power electronics technologies in the areas of motor, inverter, cooling system, and interface connections will allow for better management and control of high-power components, which will in turn provide rapid, bidirectional energy flow to improve performance and lower costs.

The thermal management and system integration activity seeks to develop:

  • Integrated motor/inverter drive systems with emphasis on cost, density, reliability, and efficiency;
  • Advanced thermal management techniques for the inverter, motor, and other vehicle systems; and
  • Steady-state and dynamic electric-drive-system computer models, including the capability to determine performance/cost trade-offs for drive systems.

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