BorgWarner Focuses on Hybrid Development

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【Summary】Supplier BorgWarner has developed a hybrid architecture that allows a single electric motor design to be used to in various vehicle locations.

Mia Bevacqua    Aug 26, 2017 12:10 PM PT
BorgWarner Focuses on Hybrid Development

Hybrids were a rarity 15 years ago. Every now and then, you might have caught a glimpse of an outlandish Toyota Prius as it whirred by. Fast forward to present day and hybrids are everywhere. Nearly every manufacturer makes one, including Porsche and Ferrari. Given the proliferation of hybrids, it's no surprise that suppliers are rushing to meet demands. One company that's banking on a hybrid-filled future is BorgWarner. 

Preparedness driveline architecture

There are many different hybrid layouts currently in production. At one end of the spectrum, there's the mirco-hybrids and belt-alternator-starter hybrids (BAS). These vehicles use electric motor/generators that are driven off the serpentine belt. At the other end of spectrum, are strong hybrids and plug-ins. BorgWarner plans on addressing each of these layouts with their preparedness driveline architecture. 

With the preparedness system, hybrid layouts are differentiated by motor/generator (MG) location. For example, location P0 (‘P' for preparedness) identifies belt-driven MGs attached to the front of the engine. On the other hand, P4 represents MGs located at the other end of the vehicle, in the rear drive axle. 

48-Volt hybrid systems 

John Barlage, Director of Product Strategy at BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems, predicts a lot of 48V hybrid applications coming in the next design cycle. Use of 48V systems provides electricity to power hungry hybrid systems, such as e-boosting and automated driver assistance. Audi and other German automakers are already employing 48V systems in production vehicles. Barlage predicts these systems will soon begin to gain popularity in North American, too. 

BorgWarner engineers see 48V and higher hybrid power modules as being particularity useful in all ‘P' locations. Barlage uses the P2 location as an example. P2 designates MGs located between the internal combustion engine and transmission. 

"P2 offers a lot of very interesting driveline opportunities," Barlage mentioned, "including paired with dual-clutch (DCT) and even automated-clutch manuals. It also presents a very nice combination for plug-in hybrids. A P2 with PHEV capability actually delivers better overall efficiency in pure electric mode than a powersplit type does. If you want to go on the autobahn in electrically, or want to electrify a truck, you want a P2 type hybrid."

Motor/Generator design

Joel Maguire, BorgWarner's Technical Fellow, explains that the company started out with a BAS-style 48V MG. The team then began using the motor in other locations. Maguire points out that this, "has economies of scale by applying a common electric machine across the locations."

BorgWarner's P2 MG features an axial length of 6.57 in, peak torque of more than 243 lb·ft and peak power is of more than 80 kW. The MG can be located on-axis (on the same axis as the transmission/crankshaft). It can also be located off-axis, which places in on the transmission to be driven by a chain.  

One key element of the MGs is that they can be used with existing engines and transmission. For example, the P2 design includes a disconnect clutch within the motor and an integrated dual mass fly wheel. This allows it to be used with automatics, DCTs, CVTs and automated manuals. 

Maguire summarizes the thought process behind the preparedness driveline architecture "Our strategy is to play in all architectures, from P-Zero to P4, so as we see OEM movement into any of the hybrid positions, we've got a system engineered for them all." 

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