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Multi-Objective Design Optimization of an Inverter for Electric Vehicles

Alberto Bassanese



Electric Vehicle drives offer numerous advantages in respect to conventional internal combustion engines. Such advantages include higher energy efficiency, lower emissions and decreased dependency upon oil. In this regard, Electric Vehicles (EV) may constitute an important component of a larger and viable roadmap for sustainable transportation.

At the heart of the development of a new Electric Vehicle is the necessity of converting electricity derived from a Direct Current (DC) source such as a lithium ion battery pack to Alternating Current (AC) that can be used to power an electric motor for traction. Many are the design requirements that an inverter has to meet, including specifications in terms of operating temperature, peak and continuous power, size, weight and cost. The targeted application’s specific drive cycle performance determines such requirements.

In this paper we present the results a Multi-Objective Design Optimization study of an Inverter for Electric Vehicles.

Different geometrical layouts are considered and optimized against mechanical, thermal, size and weight metrics. Parametrization of the different configurations as well as the related conjugate heat transfer simulations have been setup and solved within the Ansys Workbench Multiphysics Suite. The optimization has been carried out by using an hybrid approach involving Ansys Fluent’s Adjoint Solver and Esteco’s modefrontier.