ABB drive system aims for 300mph electric WLSR

Power technology specialist ABB United Kingdom in Manchester has put its drives and motors to the test by providing the 500bhp main drive system for the new British challenger for the World Electric Land Speed Record. Comprising an inverter from ABB's 'ACS 800' range and two 40kW IP23 through-ventilated AC motors, its system is intended to enable the e=motion electric car to travel at over 300mph

ABB drive system aims for 300mph electric WLSR

ABB's system uses the drive to convert the 600V DC output from the car's four packs of lead-acid batteries into AC power for the two motors. Producing a combined output of more than 500bhp, the motors have already helped propel e=motion to 146mph during testing at Bruntingthorpe, ahead of the 139mph UK record for the fastest speed travelled by an electric vehicle. The current world record, held by an American-built vehicle, stands at 247mph.

e=motion is due to be transported next month to Tunisia ,where it will be used by its designers, Mark Newby and Colin Fallows, to attempt to set the new WELSR.

To qualify as an official world record, the car must perform two runs at better than 252mph over a distance of 1km. This will require the motors to reach speeds in excess of 6000rpm. To achieve this, ABB has supplied induction motors capable of operating at speeds of between 5000-9000rpm. To prevent overheating, each motor has been adapted to include a force ventilation system comprising a 24V DC fan, which will be used to cool the motors to ensure they do not exceed their maximum operating temperature of 180degC.

The high power:weight ratio of the motors, coupled with ABB's direct torque control (DTC) drive technology, allows full motor torque even at zero speed, which will enable the car to accelerate faster towards its maximum speed.

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