Continental shrinks EV power electronics module by one third

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By eeNews Europe

The unit provides a continuous power output of 20 kW; the weight is now 8 kg and the space has been reduced to five liters. The power density of the module has increased significantly because the inverter uses an innovative semiconductor module.

The modular approach enables customer engineers to modify just a few components to adapt the device to the respective application in electric vehicle as well as in hybrid vehicles. The module is already in use in HEVs such as the Audi Q5 as well as in purely electric vehicles, the company said.

Regardless of where the unit is installed in the vehicle, it always takes the function of a mediator between a high-voltage battery and the electric motor. It ensures that energy stored in the battery in the form of direct current reaches the electric motor in the form of three-phase alternating current in the right rating and at the right frequency. Those are the parameters that control the electric motor. The power electronics also enables the reverse procedure, known as recuperation. Here, the electric motor acts as a generator to produce energy. The power electronics converts that energy into direct current and route it to the battery. Power electronics also comes into play when the driver wants to reverse down. The controls then change the polarity of the electric motor, thus reversing its direction. The direct current converter (DC-DC converter), part of the power-electronics package that Continental integrated in one housing, supplies the 12-volt electrical systems on hybrids and electric cars.

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