The new Jaguar I-PACE comes with an electric powertrain which can operate at currents of up to 650 amps. It is not an easy task to handle these large currents and changes in load. To cope with these changes, Continental came up with a next-generation power electronics system for Jaguar Land Rover that has been customized to cater to the requirements of sporty, performance-oriented powertrains.
Continental’s innovative power electronics solution was first used in the Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid and is meant to be used across the entire future EV line-up of both the Land Rover and Jaguar brands.
The power electronics unit of all hybrid and all-electric powertrains is used to supply power to the electric motor, and it also controls the cycle of energy recuperation. It essentially acts as an interface between the high-voltage battery and the electric motor.
The battery supplies energy in the form of DC power, but the motor needs three-phase AC power. Hence, it is the function of the power electronics unit to first convert the DC power using an inverter. This current is then supplied at the required current and frequency to the motor. It is these two electrical parameters that control the operation of the motor.
When it is in recuperation mode, the power electronics unit converts the AC current that the electric motor produces into DC current, and this current can be used to charge the battery. The power electronics unit plays a key role in determining the extent to which the potential of the electric powertrain can be used. Thus, the power electronics can significantly enhance the driving pleasure from high low-end torque and instant response that is typically seen in electric vehicles.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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