Electric traction motors are at the heart of the transition towards a zero tailpipe emission road mobility landscape, with their performance and cost directly impacting the attainable market penetration of electric vehicles (EV). To accelerate the transition, next-generation electric motors need to push the existing boundaries in terms of efficiency, power density, manufacturability, cost, and environmental sustainability. A reduced and more circular use of rare earth resources is critical to reinforce Europe’s strategic autonomy and establish a more economically sustainable value chain. Recently developed axial flux motor technology based on a yokeless and segmented armature topology yields promising prospects in all these areas, significantly reducing the required amount of rare earth magnet material by design, and combining this with unmatched power density compared to state-of-the-art radial flux machines.

Our goals

The goals of the CliMAFlux project are focused within four main objectives:

The CliMAFlux motors, their components and related systems will provide up to 50% costs reduction as compared to benchmarked EMs and demonstrate >23 kW/l of continuous power densities and >7 kW/kg of specific power. By installing CliMAFlux EM technologies on target vehicle segments, >60 Wh energy loss saving is expected.

CliMAFlux will thus provide solutions to position AF motor technology as a cornerstone of sustainable EV mobility. Project objectives are therefore converted into a concrete set of activities within the work package structure. Distinct life cycle phases of AF motors (design, manufacturing, use and end of life) are explicitly addressed in the distinct work packages (WPs).

  • WP1’s operational objectives are to set up an effective project management structure, which will ensure unambiguous and mutually agreed operating procedures, a quality control scheme for project results and deliverables, efficient information exchange (within the consortium and towards the EC) and that the project is executed according to the contract with the EC.
  • WP2’s overall objective is to align and facilitate the technical project activities. WP2 specifically aims at (i) optimizing the global power train architecture for different vehicle segments; (ii) agreeing on the vehicle, subsystem and component specifications (hardware and software); (iii) defining a representative validation plan; (iv) guaranteeing compatibility between available models and devised algorithms, and (v) to draft a tailored framework for holistic benchmarking in production, use and end of life.
  • WP3’s overall objective is to develop novel multiphysics design methodologies for and concepts of nextgen axial flux motor drive subsystems with minimal environmental impact and optimised performance. The operational objectives are set as (i) simultaneously optimizing the geometric & electromagnetic design of a yokeless axial flux motor with associated transmission system; (ii) attaining an effective knowledge transfer from the EU HighScape project towards power electronic integration for AF motors; (iii) further reducing the need for rare earth magnets in AF motors by fundamentally redesigning the AF rotor with a hybrid excitation; (iv) integrating nextgen AF motors subsystems throughout the vehicle systems and (v) incorporating the use of multiphysics digital twins.
  • WP4 aims to define novel manufacturing options for nextgen AF motor subsystems taking into account circularity principles. The associated operational objectives are (i) to develop a manufacturing decision framework balancing performance (handprint) and environmental impact (footprint); (ii-iv) to investigate predefined concepts in the domains of sustainable materials, circular processes and reusability of critical components and (v) to realise the actual AF traction unit and automotive actuator using novel circularity concepts.
  • WP5’s overall objective is to develop robust real-time control algorithms exploiting the benefits of the nextgen AF drive systems in operation. The objectives are (at increasing control hierarchy level) to: (i) develop the realtime controllers for the novel AF motor designs; (ii) achieve a robust thermal management of the integrated system; (iii) incorporate lifetime considerations in the control strategies for optimal performance; (iv) maximise vehicle range via powertrain control; and (v) develop an energy-efficient motion controller.
  • WP6’s overall objective is to validate the performance of the developed concepts and digital twins and integrate this in sustainability guidelines for EVs exploiting AF-motor technology. Subobjectives include (i) performance assessment of the individual components and subsystems; (ii) functional assessment of the vehicle system in a combined hardware-virtual environment; (iii) performance assessment of the integrated research vehicle; (iv) investigation of the advantages of AF motors for electrifying multiple vehicle segments; and (v) use of performance measures to formulate holistic guidelines related to the whole lifecycle impact of the systems.
  • WP7 aims at an effective transfer of the CliMAFlux outcomes and knowledge to the full range of stakeholders. Science communication, dissemination & exploitation will guarantee maximum impact of the project results within the EV and electric motor community, as well as with the broader audience.

To achieve these ambitious targets, CliMAFlux brings together the competences of 4 academic partners, 1 industry-oriented RTO, 3 SMEs and 1 LE with dedicated R&D and production facilities in the fields of motor and transmission development, power electronics integration, electrified vehicle systems, automotive design, and life cycle assessment and costing aspects.

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