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This study investigates the feasibility and potential benefits of high frequency alternating current (HFAC) for vehicle auxiliary electrical systems. A 100Vrms, 50kHz sinusoidal AC bus is compared with 14V DC and 42V DC electrical systems in terms of mass and energy efficiency. The investigation is focused on the four main sub-systems of an on-board electrical network, namely: the power generation, power distribution, power conversion and the electrical loads. In addition, a systemlevel inquiry is conducted for the HFAC bus and a comparable 42V DC system. A combination of computer simulation, analytical analysis and experimental work has highlighted benefits for the HFAC power distribution sub-system and for low-torque motor actuators. Specifically, the HFAC conductor mass is potentially 70% and 30% lighter than comparable 14V DC and 42V DC cables, respectively. Also, the proposed cable is expected to be at least 80% more energy efficient than the current DC conductor technology. In addition, it was found that 400Hz AC machines can successfully replace DC motor actuators with a rated torque of up to 2Nm. The former are up to 100% more efficient and approximately 60% lighter and more compact than the existing DC motors in vehicles. However, it is argued that the HFAC supply is not feasible for high-torque motor actuators. This is because of the high energy losses and increased machine torque ripple associated with the use of HFAC power. The HFAC power conversion sub-system offers benefits in terms of simple power converter structure and efficient HFAC/DC converters. However, a significant limitation is the high power loss within HFAC/AC modules, which can be as high as 900W for a 2.4kW load with continuous operation. Similar restrictions are highlighted for the HFAC power generation sub-system, where up to 400W is lost in a 4kW DC/HFAC power module. The conclusion of the present work is that the HFAC system offers mass and energy efficiency benefits for the conventional vehicle by leveraging the use of compact lowtorque motor actuators and lightweight wiring technology

Publisher: Cranfield University

Year: 2011

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