New Modular Motor Drives for Electric Cars

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Birzeit University has sent one of its academic instructors from the Electrical Engineering Department, Mahran Quraan, to pursue his PhD in Electrical Power Engineering at the University of Birmingham-UK. He is also supported by the Palestinian Telecommunications Group, PalTel.

Quraan is undertaking research in the field of integrated modular multilevel converters for battery electric vehicles. His research responds to the need for more resilient traction converters for battery-operated electric vehicles in terms of modularity, fault-tolerance and cell balancing. The new converter, completely designed and built at the Birmingham University School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, which is made up of elementary half-bridge modules connected as a double star to improve the lifetime of cells and the converter’s availability, reduces the stopping times of vehicles as a result of vehicle failure and maintenance costs.

The balancing control of the cells is integrated with the three-phase PWM control of the AC traction motor and runs on an FPGA real-time controller, avoiding completely the Battery Management System. The converter enables a range of different modes (DC source to AC load with back-up batteries, batteries to AC load, AC source to DC load with back-up batteries and AC source to batteries) that can be useful for several power conversion applications, such as electric traction, UPS and industrial drives.