Posted on November 15, 2019

A research team from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Qatar University (QU) developed an advanced reconfigurable multiphase motor drive system for electric vehicle (EV) applications. The project objective is to achieve extended speed and torque control region with gearless EV drive. The project is funded by a high impact research grant and led by an electrical engineering professor at QU, Professor Atif Iqbal.

The project contributes to the applications of EV especially in developing the electric motors, which is currently dependent on mechanical transmission systems. The project provides a promising solution to replace the mechanical system (gearbox) by electrical transmission system, which can only be achieved by reconfiguring the electric motor without adding further costs on the EV.

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Professor Atif Iqbal commented on the project saying, “The major aim of the project is to develop a system for EV applications that will fully replace the mechanical gear box from electric vehicles. The gear function will be performed by changing the number of poles and number of phases of the designed motor simultaneously. The existing full EV also uses a gearbox along with the electric motor. The use of a gearbox increases the weight and occupies significant space. Moreover, gearboxes need regular oiling and maintenance and still are prone to failures and faults. The developed motor drive system will consist of a single frame motor that can be used as a multiphase machine, with small number of poles in high speed operation, and as a three-phase machine with high pole numbers in starting condition.” 

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He added, “The project has developed an equivalent of up to five gear electric motors with smooth and wide speed control for use in heavy and light EVs. Hence extended speed/torque range is achieved without overrating the propulsion motor. New power electronic converter topologies and new control methods are developed for feeding and controlling the developed electric motor.  The major advantages of the proposed solution are envisaged as: gearless EV, smooth and wide speed and torque range, highly efficient drive system, low noise, high acceleration and deceleration and high fault tolerance.”

The team project investigators are Dr. Mohammed Al-Hitmi, Dr. Hasan Mehrjerdi from QU’s Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr. Anwarul Hassan from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Abdul Shakoor from the Center for Advanced Materials and Er. A. Praprath from Siemens, Qatar. Researchers working in the project are Dr. B. Prathap Reddy, Mr. M. Meraj and Mr. Syed Rahman.