Innovative inverter testing equipment has been developed by Professor Phil Mawby and his team at The University of Warwick’s School of Engineering following almost £900k funding from the Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge. The University’s WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) also contributed £300k of funding.
The equipment has been designed to help speed up the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and reduce testing costs for British manufacturers. The facility was used for the first time by premium car manufacturer BMW to test a new power inverter.
Previously, car manufacturers tested inverters with motors at high-cost dynamometer facilities with concrete bunkers that contained high speed equipment failures. This newly designed equipment is smaller, less costly, easier to access and allows manufacturers to test components in isolation – i.e., the inverter – without the motor. This technology is also applicable to applications in other sectors.
BMW is one of the businesses behind @FutureBev, a project group made up of six partners including The University of Warwick and CSA Catapult, who have come together to develop a UK supply chain that can support the transition of BMW to SiC-based power electronics in their future generations of BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). This will ensure competitive powertrains in function and costs and enable UK technology transformation to zero emission mobility.