Internationally acclaimed high-performance brake system design, development and manufacturing company, Alcon Components Ltd, has developed a bespoke braking solution with Protean Electric to be used in its market-leading in-wheel motor, ProteanDrive.
The challenge overcome by Alcon was to package a braking system around an advanced in-wheel motor design whilst retaining functionality for steering and suspension and maintaining a positive offset inboard of the motor. Whilst the ProteanDrive in-wheel motor supports regenerative braking, hydraulic friction brakes are also required to meet legislative requirements, and regenerative braking is also not available when the batteries are fully charged. To meet the performance and packaging requirements, Alcon effectively turned the braking system inside-out with the rotor disc mounted to the outside of the motor and the caliper mounted inside the disc. Using a cast iron caliper allowed Alcon to minimize wall thickness, pushing the disc as far outboard as possible, allowing for the largest disc possible. Amongst other innovative design tweaks, Alcon also integrated a parking brake mechanism. Working as a supplier to Protean, Alcon is able to deliver braking systems that enable future mobility solutions in low to medium volume.
Dr. Chris Hilton, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Protean Electric, says, “Our innovative ProteanDrive in-wheel motor design required a completely different approach for braking. By teaming with Alcon we were able to source a purpose-designed system that solved a multitude of interlinked engineering challenges. Alcon has become a trusted partner, consistently delivering the flexibility, innovation and quality we require.”
Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon, says, “We’re very proud of what has been achieved in delivering a bespoke braking solution to Protean Electric. It has enabled ProteanDrive in-wheel motors to be supplied to a number of customers to meet a variety of future-reaching needs.” He adds, “As demonstrated on this project, if an off-the-shelf solution is not applicable then Alcon can tailor a braking system that solves all of the challenges faced in the most unconventional of vehicle system designs. As well as our established motorsport business, we’re receiving interest and achieving sales in a number of sectors, including defense, off-highway and other specialist areas where our innovative and tailored approach is solving problems.”