Bochum University and ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel jointly developing motor for new solar-powered car

Bochum University and ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel jointly developing motor for new solar-powered car

The current SolarWorld GT solar-powered car is still on its way around the globe, but work is already starting at Bochum University of Applied
Sciences, where it was built, on the next generation of self-sufficient electric mobility. For the first time, drive motors with electrical steel cores are to be fitted on all four wheels. The air core motors previously used for weight reasons offer limited power density. Electric cars of realistic weight and payload capacity require highly efficient electrical teel for the motor cores.

The team at Bochum University has been working on solar-powered cars for more than ten years with the aim of developing a vehicle suitable for
day-to-day use. The new model, which has yet to be named, will set new standards in this respect. Designed as a touring car, it will be a two-seater like its predecessor but this time with three doors and a trunk.

A team of students will unveil the sports car in May 2013, and the acid
test will come in October 2013 when it will race in the World Solar Challenge in Australia: 3,000 kilometers from north to south across the continent, powered only by the sun’s rays.

For the first time, Bochum University is cooperating on the development of the motor with ThyssenKrupp subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel, a global leading producer of electrical steel. Both partners agree that the new solar-powered car is the ideal platform to investigate the interaction between power electronics and electrical steel as the electric motor core material and to assess the diverse factors influencing overall vehicle performance. The top priority: The new solar car should use as little energy as possible.

“This project presents a good opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of highly efficient special steels in forward-looking applications,” says Dr. Peter Biele, Chairman of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel. With its extensive experience in electric mobility and proximity to the plants in Bochum and Gelsenkirchen, Bochum University of Applied Sciences is the ideal partner for ThyssenKrupp Electrical Steel.

For Prof. Dr. Pautzke, founder of the solar car team at the university and
Professor for Electric Mobility, this represents the closing of a circle: “I started my career as head of maintenance at a steel mill. Now the material is once again central to my activities.”

Source: Bochum

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