Motorsports

Published on December 11th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair

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BMW’s M and i Divisions Worked Together on this High-Tech Formula E Drivetrain

BMW Motorsport and BMW i have worked together to create the ‘Racing eDrive01’ drivetrain for Formula E’s BMW iFE.18.

Work on developing the BMW drivetrain for Formula E began in early 2017. The Racing eDrive01 began with pre-development for production drive systems and was produced in the same prototype construction facilities as the next generation of BMW i series drives.

The Racing eDrive01 consists of the electric motor, cooling system and inverter.

The electric motor is primarily made up of three parts: The rotor, the stator and the casing. In order to reduce weight and for strengthening, among other things, the rotor has supports made of fibre composites. In addition, innovative materials such as highly thermally-conductive resins, titanium and ceramic are used. The combination of all the state-of-the-art technologies used results in a high gravimetric energy density. It is cooled by a virtually 360° cooling geometry in aluminium casing manufactured via the additive manufacturing procedure. In addition, materials with high thermal conductivity – such as ceramic and resin – are used.

The inverter converts direct current from the standard battery into alternating current, which powers the electric motor. Parts of its casing are also made from fibre composites. Multiple MOSFETS (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors) with state-of-the-art silicon carbide technology are used on the inside for the semiconductor. Thanks to this technology, the inverter achieves very high dielectric strength while having a reduced size and minimal energy losses, and is thus smaller and lighter. An effective cooling system and low-loss circuit layout help make the inverter as efficient as possible.


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