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An ultracapacitor system for an electric vehicle has been implemented. The device allows higher accelerations and decelerations of the vehicle with minimal loss of energy and minimal degradation of the main battery pack. The system uses a DC-DC power converter, which is connected between the ultracapacitor and the main battery pack. The design has been optimized in weight and size, by using water-cooled heat sinks for the power converter, and an aluminum coil with air core for the smoothing inductance. The ratings of the ultracapacitor are: nominal voltage: 300 Vdc; nominal current: 200 Adc; capacitance: 20 Farads. The amount of energy stored allows us to have 40 kW of power during 20 seconds, which is enough to accelerate the vehicle without the help of the traction batteries. The vehicle uses a brushless DC motor with a nominal power of 32 kW and a peak power of 53 kW. A control system based on a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) manipulates all the aforementioned variables and controls the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching pattern of the converter transistors. The car used for the implementation of this system is a Chevrolet LUV truck.
Date of Publication: Aug 2002