The TransPower electric drive system is a modern, highly efficient product, but relies on a relatively small number of major components. The TransPower system is in many respects simpler, and is certainly easier to operate and maintain, than convenoinal systems using internal combustion engines or hybrid-electric systems that combine combustion engines with electric drive. The figure below compares the architecture of a series hybrid drive system with TransPower’s battery all-electric system.
TransPower’s ElecTruck™ drive system provides a balance of proven electric drive components and newly designed components. The proven components enhance reliability while the advanced components enhance performance. The modular design of the ElecTruck™ architecture allows components to be replaced and upgraded as new versions become available. This allows vehicle owners to keep pace with rapidly-changing electric vehicle technologies. It also enables us to offer different variants of the drive system customized for specific vehicle or fleet operating requirements. For example, the number of battery modules on each vehicle can be varied to accommodate different power needs or range requirements.
|TransPower electric drive system architecture versus the more complex architecture for a typical series hybrid-electric drive system.|
At the same time, for vehicles that require internal combustion engines or fuel cells for extended range, the ElecTruck™ drive system provides a flexible platform upon which various liquid and gaseous fueled engine systems can be built. Whether utilized in their basic “all-electric” configuration or integrated into a hybrid solution, TransPower’s business model is to fill in the gaps in OEM capabilities by supplying components, subsystems, or integrated systems in the form of “kits” customized for different truck vehicle models. TransPower’s value to OEMs and vehicle operators is based on expertise and proprietary, industry-leading technology and products in three key areas:
Power Conversion – In a joint development effort with EPC Power Corp., a partially-owned subsidiary company, TransPower is developing an advanced power converter module that will combine the functions of the vehicle inverter, which controls the drive motors, and the battery charger, which regulates recharging of the vehicle battery pack. Integrating a high-power charger onto a vehicle represents a leapfrog technology that will simplify battery recharging and accelerate market acceptance. This breakthrough is enabled by recent improvements in power electronics technologies, which have enabled TransPower and EPC to design a grid-compatible Inverter-Charger Unit (ICU) that is much smaller and lighter than competing chargers with equivalent power ratings.
Energy Storage – TransPower is developing its own high-energy battery modules because the Company believes it can produce battery subsystems that are better suited to the demanding duty cycles of heavy-duty Class 8 trucks, and that cost less on a $/kWh basis, than any commercially-available energy storage product. TransPower’s scientists and engineers have evaluated dozens of different battery products and have performed months of hands-on testing at the cell level to simulate the power demands and surges that cells will experience when subjected to Class 8 vehicle duty cycles. Based on the results of this research, TransPower has selected the lowest cost lithium cell and battery management system (BMS) that it believes can handle such requirements, and has designed custom battery enclosures capable of accommodating battery subsystems weighing up to four tons on a single truck.
Vehicle Control – TransPower is perfecting a proprietary vehicle control system that builds on years of simulations of electric and hybrid vehicle duty cycles, enabling the development of algorithms that will optimize vehicle efficiency, maximize battery life, and protect key components such as batteries and power electronics from excessive temperatures, voltage spikes, or current surges. The vehicle control system is fully integrated into the control system used by each vehicle model into which the ElecTruck™ drive system is installed, as well as being fully integrated with the inverter-charger and BMS.