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One of the most important research topics in drive train topologies applied to electric/hybrid vehicles is the efficiency analysis of the power train components, including the global drive efficiency. In this paper, two basic traction electric drive systems of electric/hybrid vehicles are presented and evaluated, with a special focus on the efficiency analysis. The first topology comprises a traditional pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) battery-powered inverter, whereas in the second topology, the battery is connected to a bidirectional dc-dc converter, which supplies the inverter. Furthermore, a variable-voltage control technique applied to this second topology is presented, which allows for the improvement of the drive overall performance. Some simulation results are presented, considering both topologies and a permanent-magnet synchronous motor (PMSM). An even more detailed analysis is performed through the experimental validation. Particular attention is given to the evaluation of the main drive components efficiency, including the global drive efficiency, presented in the form of efficiency maps. Other parameters such as motor voltage distortion and power factor are also considered. In addition, the comparison of the two topologies takes into account the drive operation under the motoring and regenerative-braking modes.
Date of Publication: March 2012