Development of a compact power generation system with very high power density

Financed by:

Ministerio de ciencia

Funder Program: RETOS COLABORACION 2017

File number: RTC-2017-5984


  • Sapa Operaciones

  • Lancor 2000

  • Ceit

  • Tecnalia


There is growing need to integrate a large number of energy consuming elements in vehicles generally (e.g. compressor, fan, starter motor, heating system, fuel pumps, energy export, coolant pumps, power steering, ABS brakes, windshield wipers, C4I systems, sensors, vehicle lights), as well as in military vehicles, which require special equipment (e.g. cameras, satellite communication systems, UAVs, frequency inhibitors), and with it vehicle needs regarding energy consumption and electrical power are also growing.

The technological trend of increasing the available electrical energy involves the incorporation of heavy batteries, which supply high voltage in direct current, using conventional converters.

Within this framework, between 2015 and 2017 Sapa operations, with the help of Ceit, developed a high-power electric power generation system, capable of converting the vehicle into a large engine-generator that is capable of exporting energy in high and low voltage and high power, thereby eliminating the logistics problems related to engine-generators in remote sites and that simultaneously can complement the propulsion system, in this case, as a starter motor.

Despite the fact that said development of power generation is already integrable into the GMP of a heavy-duty off-road vehicle, current market demands call for the reduction of the weight, size and cost of power generation systems. The present project is proposed with the main objective of developing a compact system of energy generation onboard a vehicle with a very high power density, adapted to the requirements of the applications and the market.

In order to carry out this development, the project leader, SAPA, is collaborating with entities that are experts in different areas and with a strong interest in being present at the forefront of electrification solutions for traction vehicles:

  • Lancor 2000: Expert company in the development of electrical machines.

  • Ceit: Research entity expert in R&D of electrical machines.

  • Tecnalia: Research entity expert in R&D of DC/DC converters.

The main lines of development of the project will be the following:

  • New compact high-speed electric machine and its oil-glycol and oil-cooling system.

  • New compact AC/DC alternator that is integrable with the electric machine.

  • New very high frequency compact DC/DC converter from commercial DC transformers.

  • Sequential integration of the new electric machine (two types of cooling: water-glycol and oil) with the compact AC/DC and very high frequency DC/DC that would eventually be integrated into the new compact power generation system.

Ceit's role in the project

Ceit's technical objectives in the COMPACTPLATFORM project are focused on optimizing the power density of the electrical machine. The following are established:

Analysis of machine operating speeds up to values ​​between 15,000 rpm and 20,000 rpm. Increasing the speed of the machine to such high values ​​means a reduction in weight and volume of the machine of up to 30%.

  • Optimization of the cooling of the electrical machine. Specifically, research into direct oil cooling systems for both the stator and rotor is proposed, as well as the spray cooling technique.

  • Development of automation and industrialization methodologies for high speed machines, advanced refrigeration and hairpin winding.

  • Design of two electric machine demonstrators for operation as a 75kVA generator, including the design aspects for high speed and cooling most suitable for optimizing performance and power density.

  • Experimental validation of the design of the electrical machines designed and comparison of the results based on the applied technologies.