Nanocomposite Coatings for Low-Cost Motor Windings in Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles, including hybrids in the nearer term, are the principal transportation technology by which the United States can become independent of foreign oil, can become energy independent overall, and can effect control over greenhouse emissions. For this to become reality, electric vehicle costs need to come down and performance needs to go up. For electric vehicle motors, the goals are to reduce manufacturing cost to $4.7/kW by 2020 while improving operating performance and efficiency. This Phase I project will develop innovative magnet wire insulation for motor windings that results in lowering build cost, increasing power density, and increasing operating efficiency. This will be achieved by developing a wire insulation this is both thinner than conventional (but has the necessary dielectric strength) and has much higher thermal conductivity ( & gt;10 times) so that heat can be better dissipated, meaning that the motor will run cooler and therefore more efficiently. Thinner insulation will increase packing factor, and contribute to higher power density, and smaller, lower weight, less expensive motors. But better efficiency and heat dissipation owing to thinner, high thermal conductivity insulation can eliminate water cooling, further contributing to smaller, lower-cost motors. The proposed advance in magnet wire insulation will result from the incorporation of high thermal conductivity nano-particles into high performance polymers to increase both thermal conductivity and dielectric strength. The insulation is proposed to be applied by low-cost dip coating. Electrical, thermal, mechanical, and chemical property measurements according to NEMA standards for magnet wire will be made to insure that all requirements are met or exceeded. Market reports estimate hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) sales will increase from around 1 million units in 2011 to close to 4 million units in 2020. Also by then, it is expected that around 1 million plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) will be on the road. This will create a robust market for motors with the wire insulation being proposed here. In addition to application in EVs, wire insulation technology will also play a key role in larger electric motors that will be used in electric buses and land & amp; marine-based military vehicles. Beyond the traction motor applications mentioned, cost-effective, energy-efficient, small-sized motor/generator systems will also be critical for other energy technologies such as wind turbines.
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