Kollmorgen Helps Power Virginia Tech's EcoCAR Challenge Vehicle

Kollmorgen collaborated with Virginia Tech's team for the 2011 EcoCAR Challenge, helping the team develop its electric power generation system.

Kollmorgen collaborated earlier in the year with Virginia Tech’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) to develop and integrate the electric power generation system for the HEVT VT-REX hybrid vehicle. The Kollmorgen solution combines standard offerings comprised of mechanics and electro-magnetic technology to satisfy all the requirements put forth by the Virginia Tech team.  VT-REX is Virginia Tech’s entry into the 2011 EcoCAR Challenge, a three-year collegiate advanced vehicle technology engineering competition. Virginia Tech placed first overall, and received numerous additional awards related to hybrid vehicle design and performance.

For this project Virginia Tech required a power generation system (BAS [Belt Alternator Starter]) that satisfied hybrid vehicle requirements for highway vehicles. Specific requirements included a 320V DC motor/generator with the ability to generate 2 kW of battery charging power at high RPM, and provide 60 Nm of torque to start the engine. The system also had to withstand all of the challenging environmental conditions that highway vehicles are exposed to. 

The electric power generation system supplied by Kollmorgen is a unique configuration that consists of an induction motor/generator electro-magnetic package. The motor/generator is used as the primary starting source to start the engine through the belt system. When the vehicle is idling, the generator provides power to charge the battery and powers any peripheral components on the vehicle. 

“While consumer automotive hybrids are outside Kollmorgen’s strategic focus, the partnership with Virginia Tech illustrates our ability to deliver robust and flexible electric power generation solutions that provide all the On Board Vehicle Power needed to operate heavier duty electrical equipment on defense vehicles, utility trucks, construction and agricultural vehicles, refrigeration trucks, buses, lift trucks and more,” says John Boyland, Vice President, Engineering, Kollmorgen.  “Of primary significance in this particular application was Kollmorgen’s ability to quickly deliver and place a BAS system into a larger vehicle system, collaborate with the team at Virginia Tech to make sure it integrated within the complexity of the entire vehicle system, and to have it work right the first time.”

Kollmorgen has introduced a power generation platform specifically engineered to satisfy the rigorous commercial and military electric power needs. Kollmorgen’s unique low voltage Power Generation System consists of flexible power electronics that support multiple vehicle motor/generator configurations and mild hybrid capability, providing the power that OEMs need at the voltage they want. And unlike vendors who supply just high or low voltage systems, Kollmorgen is uniquely positioned to serve as a one-stop shop for heavy-duty vehicle OEMs who have a wide variety of power needs within a single vehicle, and/or across vehicle platforms. The Power Generation System has been named a 2011 Golden Mousetrap best new product finalist by the editors of Design News magazine. 

“As application demands evolve, commercial and military defense vehicle OEMs adjust their designs and need to find the optimum voltage to deliver the desired power, so working with a single supplier who can deliver low or high voltage solutions, or anything in between, is a huge advantage,” explains Boyland.