Hybrid powertrains and electromobility

The research group for hybrid powertrains and electromobility is concerned with the development of electrified powertrain concepts. The focus is on extending the range, improving functional safety and increasing the efficiency of the entire system. This includes research and development projects on topics such as the drive train, battery, E/E architecture and thermal management. The objective is to advance electromobility by extending range, performance and comfort, thus making an important contribution to environmental protection.

Drive train

In order to reduce the emissions of vehicles with conventional drive systems, combined drive systems involving electric engines are increasingly applied.  The hybrid drive train creates a greater degree of freedom, which entails considerable potential for improvement. The Department for New Drive Systems (NAS) takes a systemic approach to this topic.

 

Battery

The battery plays a key role as an energy storage device in both hybrid-electric and battery-electric vehicles, as well as those equipped with a range extender. As a system integrator, the Department NAS draws on the competences of the Fraunhofer ICT, in particular to investigate thermal influences on driving dynamics, range and charging behavior.

 

E/E architectures

Electric engines are increasingly used as traction drives in hybrid and electric vehicles. Various topologies are possible for converting the DC voltage, which is provided by the battery, to AC voltage. Depending on the driving cycle or the rotation speed of the electric engine, it is possible to obtain an increase in mechanical performance and maybe a better overall efficiency via an intermediate DC-to-DC converter. The Department NAS investigates strategies for the optimal operation of the power electronics.

 

Thermal management

Beside energy-consuming systems in the drive train itself, other relevant systems that consume energy relate to comfort: the interior conditioning and component conditioning. In this context, the New Drive Systems Department focuses on holistic approaches to energy flow regulation and conversion in electrified vehicles.