WO2012059831A1 - Converter-engine connecting module - Google Patents

Converter-engine connecting module Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012059831A1
WO2012059831A1 PCT/IB2011/054215 IB2011054215W WO2012059831A1 WO 2012059831 A1 WO2012059831 A1 WO 2012059831A1 IB 2011054215 W IB2011054215 W IB 2011054215W WO 2012059831 A1 WO2012059831 A1 WO 2012059831A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
converter
engine
module
housing
matrix
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2011/054215
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Martin Breu
Matthias Kessler
Original Assignee
Brusa Elektronik Ag
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US40949610P priority Critical
Priority to US61/409,496 priority
Priority to EP10189700.7 priority
Priority to EP10189700 priority
Application filed by Brusa Elektronik Ag filed Critical Brusa Elektronik Ag
Publication of WO2012059831A1 publication Critical patent/WO2012059831A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02MAPPARATUS FOR CONVERSION BETWEEN AC AND AC, BETWEEN AC AND DC, OR BETWEEN DC AND DC, AND FOR USE WITH MAINS OR SIMILAR POWER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; CONVERSION OF DC OR AC INPUT POWER INTO SURGE OUTPUT POWER; CONTROL OR REGULATION THEREOF
    • H02M7/00Conversion of ac power input into dc power output; Conversion of dc power input into ac power output
    • H02M7/003Constructional details, e.g. physical layout, assembly, wiring, busbar connections
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02KDYNAMO-ELECTRIC MACHINES
    • H02K11/00Structural association of dynamo-electric machines with electric components or with devices for shielding, monitoring or protection
    • H02K11/30Structural association with control circuits or drive circuits
    • H02K11/33Drive circuits, e.g. power electronics
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02KDYNAMO-ELECTRIC MACHINES
    • H02K5/00Casings; Enclosures; Supports
    • H02K5/04Casings or enclosures characterised by the shape, form or construction thereof
    • H02K5/15Mounting arrangements for bearing-shields or end plates
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02KDYNAMO-ELECTRIC MACHINES
    • H02K5/00Casings; Enclosures; Supports
    • H02K5/04Casings or enclosures characterised by the shape, form or construction thereof
    • H02K5/22Auxiliary parts of casings not covered by groups H02K5/06-H02K5/20, e.g. shaped to form connection boxes or terminal boxes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02KDYNAMO-ELECTRIC MACHINES
    • H02K7/00Arrangements for handling mechanical energy structurally associated with dynamo-electric machines, e.g. structural association with mechanical driving motors or auxiliary dynamo-electric machines
    • H02K7/10Structural association with clutches, brakes, gears, pulleys or mechanical starters
    • H02K7/116Structural association with clutches, brakes, gears, pulleys or mechanical starters with gears
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00 - H01R33/00
    • H01R13/40Securing contact members in or to a base or case; Insulating of contact members
    • H01R13/405Securing in non-demountable manner, e.g. moulding, riveting
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R9/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, e.g. terminal strips or terminal blocks; Terminals or binding posts mounted upon a base or in a case; Bases therefor
    • H01R9/22Bases, e.g. strip, block, panel
    • H01R9/24Terminal blocks

Abstract

The invention relates to a converter-engine connecting module (1) for electrically interfacing an electric or hybrid engine (13) with a converter (14), with engine- side contacts (2) and converter-side contacts (3). The connecting module (1) is flat and exhibits conducting rails (4), whose first ends form the engine-side contacts (2), and whose other ends form the converter-side contacts (3), wherein the conductor rails (4) run in the plane of the connecting module (1), and are embedded into a matrix (5) made of an electrically nonconductive material.

Description

CONVERTER-ENGINE CONNECTING MODULE

[0001 ] This application claims benefit of priority to prior U.S. provisional application no. 61/409,496 filed on November 2, 2010, and as a non-provisional thereof; this application also claims benefit of priority to prior European application no. EP10189700 filed on November 2, 2010; the entirety of European application no. EP10189700 and of U.S. application no. 61/409,496 are expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entirety, for all intents and purposes, as if identically set forth herein.

[0002] The invention relates to a converter-engine connecting module for electrically interfacing a converter-controlled electric engine with a converter, with engine-side contacts and converter-side contacts. The invention also relates to a converter-engine unit in particular for a vehicle, with a converter and an electric or hybrid engine, which are electrically connected via a converter-engine connecting module. Converters within the meaning of the patent application include voltage, current and frequency converters alike.

[0003] In addition to achievable performance, attention must be focused in particular on material and weight savings, low space requirement, efficient cooling and maximally optimized serial production, to include manufacturing and operating costs, during the development of drives for electric and hybrid vehicles, in particular during the conception of the converter and engine. These requirements often contradict each other, thus necessitating optimizations to achieve the best possible result.

[0004] DE 102007052017A1 discloses a connecting assembly that electrically connects a converter and engine. Current sensors are integrated directly into this component, and detect the current flowing to the vehicle engine. The current sensors attached to the housing are annular, made of magnetic material, and envelop the electrical connection cables. They are connected with the controller of the converter or the electrical control system of the vehicle.

[0005] L-shaped bus rails extend in the direction of the converter from the housing of the connecting assembly, and molded engaging sections are provided on the housing, extending into corresponding contact bolts of the engine. A housing holds together the contacts and electrical connections between the contacts.

[0006] One disadvantage to this arrangement is that it requires a lot of space, and is considerably heavy. Installation is complicated, since the contacts are difficult to access during assembly. In addition, the connecting assembly tightly abuts both the engine and converter when completely assembled, exposing it to the heat loss of both the engine and converter. This in turn requires a large cross section for the current-conducting parts. All of this has a detrimental effect on weight, manufacturing and operating costs.

[0007] EP 1363026A2 discloses a converter-integrated engine for a vehicle. Bus lines extend from the converter part and come into contact with contact bolts, which lead to the engine. The contact bolts extend through a resin cover, which divides a contact area into two areas: an area S facing the engine part, and the area bordered by a wall. However, this is not a modular component, so that one is confronted with an arrangement that must be put together as a whole. This makes assembly complicated, and the individual parts cannot be easily changed out. The current carrying lines are not efficiently cooled in this arrangement, which in turn leads to higher material costs.

[0008] The following articles originated at the Fraunhofer Institut in Erlangen, and relate to the possibility of completely integrating the converter into the engine housing (see www.iisb.fraunhofer.de/de/arb_geb/leistungssys_pub.htm)

Towards an Integrated Drive for Hybrid Traction; Martin Maerz et al., CPES Conference Proceedings, Blacksburg, Virginia (2005).

Power Electronics System Integration for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles; Martin Maerz et al., CIPS 2010. Nuremberg, March 16-18, 2010.

Leistungselektronik fur Hybridfahrzeuge (Power Electronics for Hybrid Vehicles); Martin Maerz et al., conference proceedings from the International ETG Congress 2007 "Hybridantriebstechnik - Energieeffiziente elektrische Antriebe" (Hybrid Drive Technology - Energy-Efficient Electric Drives), Karlsruhe, October 23-24, 2007, pp. 83-90. Mechatronische Integration von Hochleistungselektronik in Komponenten des Antriebsstrangs von Hybridfahrzeugen (Mechatronic Integration of High-Power Electronics in the Drive Train of Hybrid Vehicles), Haus der Technik, Mijnchen, March 21/21 , 2007, conference proceedings, ISBN: 978-3-8169-2677-1 .

[0009] These publications propose several geometric arrangements for how to integrate a converter into the engine. Thermal and space aspects are concurrently discussed, e.g., cooling water progression between the power module and engine. However, these publications do not depict a modular design. While these proposals do reveal a high level of integration, they are not conceivable for serial production given the high manufacturing costs.

[0010] DE 60318807T2 or its equivalent EP1462221A1 disclose an integrated drive engine unit for vehicles. In terms of the power electronic connection between the converter and engine, it refers only to an isolated terminal that penetrates through a flange. A modular connecting assembly does not emerge from this publication.

[001 1] US 2010 028 173 A discloses a converter-integrated electrical compressor. In terms of the connection between the converter and engine, only bus lines in resin material are depicted. A simple modular interchangeability is not possible here. As a result, replacement and assembly are complicated, and associated with effort. There is no efficient cooling of the thermally loaded power supply lines.

[0012] Document US2004004816A1 discloses a method for waterproofing contacts for power modules.

[0013] Document JP2004304874A relates to a connection (bus bar module) between a power module and a motor which consists of a package of electrical connecting bars which are packed together side by side in order to create a compact bar like electrical connection element with more than one electrical phase. As both parts (power module and motor) are apart from each other, this connection is not compact. It has a certain length and needs a certain quantity of material which makes it heavy. As the electrical phases lay side by side (some of them on both sides neighbored by other phases), the thermal influence of the phases is a disadvantage. Overheating is possible, unless the dimensions are big enough which goes hand in hand with too much weight.

[0014] The object of the invention is to eliminate the disadvantages described above and provide a converter-engine connecting module that combines both the advantages of a compact and space-saving design, lower weight and more efficient heat dissipation, and reduced manufacturing and operating costs, whether viewed separately or interacting with a converter-engine unit. In particular, it is intended to enable the efficient dissipation of heat arising in the current-carrying lines between the converter and engine. At the same time, assembly, replacement and maintenance are to be simplified.

[0015] This object is achieved with a converter-engine connecting module mentioned at the outset by having the connecting module be flat, or in equivalent terminology lamina-like or thin-plate-like, and exhibit conductor rails, whose first ends form the engine-side contacts, and whose other ends form the converter- side contacts, wherein the conductor rails run in the plane of the connecting module, and are imbedded into a matrix made of an electrically nonconductive material.

[0016] The flat shape defines a preferred plane in which the connecting module lies. The conductor rails also run within this plane. The flat shape gives the connecting module the appearance of a compact plate or card. As a consequence, the current flows from one edge of the plate to the opposing edge. At the same time, the ends of the conductor rails running parallel to the two outer surfaces of the connecting module in the preferred plane form the respective engine-side and converter-side contacts, making it possible to save not just on components, but also on weight and space. Imbedding the conductor rails yields a compact component, in which a majority of the material expended for the latter is used for the actual function, specifically carrying current. The matrix essentially is used for electrical insulation. Beyond that, no additional parts are required, since the support and retention function is performed by the conductor rails in conjunction with the matrix. The lamina matrix can exhibit a slight thickness in the directions perpendicular to the outer surfaces of the connecting module, provided it is ensured that the connecting module flatly abuts a cooled device section. The advantage of a flat design for the connecting module is especially evident here, since a high amount of heat can be removed per unit of time via the large outer surfaces. This makes it possible to dimension the electrical contacts and conductor bars with a small cross section (also saving on material and weight).

[0017] In an embodiment, the conductor rails are parallel to each other, making them even more compact in structural design.

[0018] In an embodiment, the conductor rails are cast into the matrix, preferably consisting of plastic or resin. This yields a mechanically especially stable and easily fabricated connection between the conductor rails and matrix.

[0019] In an embodiment, the matrix consists of two mirror-inverted matrix halves that envelop the conductor rails from opposite sides. If equipped with corresponding recesses for the conductor rails, a mechanically stable connection can also be achieved in this way. It is suitable in particular in cases where no boards have to also be integrated into the matrix, for example.

[0020] In an embodiment, a continuous molding is provided in the form of a flange on the outside of the matrix, wherein a continuous, lengthened packing ring abuts the flange. This measure makes it possible to reliably seal the converter housing away from its outside environment. To this end, the converter has an oblong opening, into which the connecting module can be introduced. The flange hits the edge of the oblong hole when inserted, tightly sealing the converter housing. A lengthened packing ring provides an additional measure of tightness between the flange and edge of the opening. As a result, the converter can exhibit IP67 tightness, and be situated under the vehicle, for example, just like the engine.

[0021] This seal is primarily used for transporting and testing the converter, when the latter has not yet been assembled to the engine. The final tightness is only achieved through assembly with the engine housing. To this end, another seal face is provided, which arises between the converter housing and engine housing, joining both together hermetically. As a result, the inner (hollow) space formed partially by the converter housing and partially by the engine housing is sealed to the outside. [0022] In an embodiment, at least the section of the conductor rails embedded in the matrix is flat. As a result, the thickness, and hence required space, of the connecting module can be further reduced. [0023] In an embodiment, one of the ends of the conductor rails, preferably the converter-side contacts, protrude out of the matrix, and exhibit a cylindrical shape. These contacts can be inserted into correspondingly shaped contact recesses in the converter. The cylindrical sections of the conductor busses preferably exhibit a coaxial borehole with female thread, or a male thread with locating surface, which makes it possible to secure the connecting module from the converter side by means of screws or nuts.

[0024] In an embodiment, the other ends of the conductor rails, preferably the engine-side contacts, are imbedded into the matrix, wherein the contacts are each formed by a mounting hole, preferably with a female thread, or by a protruding bolt with male thread, wherein the mounting hole or bolt preferably runs essentially perpendicular to the plane of the connecting module, and can be accessed via suitable recesses in the matrix. This enables an easy attachment to the motor via screw connections, wherein the best possible insulation is provided in the immediate vicinity of the contacts.

[0025] In an embodiment, the connecting module has at least one current sensor for measuring the current flowing over a conducting rail, wherein a separate current sensor is preferably provided for each conducting rail. The current is hence measured directly on the connecting module, thereby making it possible to save space in the converter itself.

[0026] In an embodiment, the current sensor is annular and put around an end of a conducting rail projecting out of the matrix, making the connecting assembly even more compact.

[0027] In an embodiment, the matrix, preferably its outer side, carries at least one signal connecting element or a board, which can be fitted with control and/or measuring electronics, wherein the board exhibits connection contacts for connection with the engine and/or converter. The matrix is especially suited for accommodating flat components, such as a board, without this significantly increasing the space required. [0028] In an embodiment, the matrix exhibits mounting holes in the area between the conducting rails for attaching the connecting module, wherein the connecting module can be mechanically joined in a rigid manner with the converter and/or engine housing, or a mounting location projecting from the latter (e.g., cheek).

[0029] In an embodiment of the converter-engine unit according to the invention, the converter is accommodated in a preferably liquid-cooled housing, and the converter-engine connecting module abuts the housing or a cheek projecting from the housing. This produces not just a mechanically stable connection, but also a good thermal coupling to the cooled housing.

[0030] In an embodiment, the converter-engine connecting module is rigidly connected with the housing or the cheek projecting from the housing. For example, this is accomplished by means of screws, which press a strip against the connecting module toward the mounting location.

[0031] Let it also be noted that the engine naturally sits deep within the vehicle. The tight integration with the relatively heavy converter (lots of copper, dense electronics, and not least cooling water as well) favorably influences the center of gravity of the vehicle even more, specifically toward the bottom; at the same time, however, relatively less material is consumed (feed lines, cable lengths), so that the favorable shift in the center of gravity is simultaneously accompanied by a lower overall weight, which naturally is advantageous with respect to the cruising range and acceleration of the vehicle.

[0032] Significant and direct advantages arise from short (current) pathways, little wiring, a simple modular assembly process, and joint sealing relative to the engine. The special arrangement between the engine and controller/converter with respect to cooling can take stock of the special requirements of the cooling sequence in the cooling circulation: 1 . controller, circuit, 2. engine, 3. heat exchanger. For example, starting at a temperature of zero degrees, the heat exchanger can also be bridged (small circulation), so that the controller/converter and engine quickly heat up to operating temperature, resulting in less wear and rapid energy usage. [0033] If the converter-engine connecting module is hermetically sealed in within the two cooled housings, and/or if the cooled housings of the engine and the converter form an interface, on which the conductor rails (4) lie on or which embraces the conducting rails (4), then the cooling of the conducting rails is optimized and its weight can be reduced.

Through appropriate configuration or formation forms a hollow space between engine housing and converter housing, which is appropriate for mounting of the converter-engine connecting module. If the engine housing has a detachable engine housing plate, which sealingly covers the converter-engine connecting module hosting hollow space, then on the one hand the connections are protected against environmental influences and on the other hand still readily accessible.

[0034] In contrast, if the housings of the inverter and the engine are designed, that the two housings of inverter and engine are positioned so relative to one another, that between inverter and engine is formed at least a partially enclosed outer hollow space, in which coolant lines, terminals and/or current carrying cables are preferably arranged and accessible for assembly purposes, then the mentioned connections are accessible for assembly purposes on the one hand and on the other hand they are protected against influences during operation on the road.

[0035] A particularly compact and efficient design is obtained when two preferably axially aligned engines are coupled to a shared converter, whereby for the electrical connection of each engine to the converter an inventive converter- engine connecting module is always provided. If the converter is mounted above the two aligned engines and covers the engines, whereby one converter-engine unit is provided each between the converter and each engine, results an ideal weight distribution for performance optimization of the electric vehicle, too.

[0036] Further centroid optimization of an electric vehicle is served, where the converter is mounted above the engine and the height projection converter plus engine is approximately as high as a gearbox fixed on the engine. [0037] It is particularly advantageous when the engine-converter unity on the front/output side of the engine in the assembled condition is easy to access. It should be noted that the interface between the converter and the engine is of a fundamental nature significant and in particular the advantageous cooling of the conducting rails makes it particularly useful.

[0038] These effects are optimized when the converter is mounted above the engine and the conducting rails project top down into the engine housing and the housings of the engine and the converter are cooled at this interface. This measure reduces the length of electrical conductions in an electric vehicle overall, as the engine is mandatory mounted near the ground/axis and therefore the leads from the vehicle battery to the converter and from there to the engine along one direction are formed optimally.

[0039] Additional embodiments of the invention are indicated in the figures and dependent claims. [0040] The reference list is part of the disclosure. The invention will be symbolically and exemplarily illustrated in greater detail based on the figures. The figures are coherently and comprehensively described. The same reference numbers refer to identical components, while reference numbers with different indices denote functionally identical or similar components.

[0041] Shown in:

[0042] Fig. 1 is a connecting module according to the invention, [0043] Fig. 2 is the connecting module from Fig. 1 in perspective view,

[0044] Fig. 3 is a connecting module, in which the conducting rails pass through the matrix, [0045] Fig. 4 is a connecting module, top view,

[0046] Fig. 5 is a converter-engine unit just prior to assembly,

[0047] Fig. 6 and 7 is a converter-engine unit after assembly, [0048] Fig. 8 is a converter-engine unit with closed housing, [0049] Fig. 9 is a converter-engine unit with two engines.

[0050] Fig. 1 , 2, 3 and 4 depict a connecting module 1 according to the invention with a flat shape. Conducting rails 4 proceed in the plane defined by the flat connecting module 1 , i.e., are parallel to the two large outer surfaces of the connecting module 1 . The conducting rails 4 running straight and parallel to each other are imbedded in a shared matrix 5 comprised of electrically insulating material. In the exemplary embodiment shown, three conducting rails 4 are present, reflecting a 3-phase drive. Of course, more conducting rails 4 can be present, e.g., five when using a current-excited synchronous machine SSM, wherein the two additional phases serve to excite the rotor.

[0051 ] A conducting rail 4 forms a motor-side contact 2 at one of its ends, and a converter-side contact 3 at its other end. The motor-side contact 2 is formed by a hole 6 that passes through the conducting rail 5, and can be accessed via congruent holes in the matrix 5. The hole 6 preferably has a female thread, wherein the contact 2 can be secured to the motor by means of a screw with the engine contacts or engine cables. Attachment to the engine 13 takes place via power cables, the respective ends of which are screwed to the contacts 2 of the connecting module 1 .

[0052] The converter-side contacts 3 project out of the matrix 5, and exhibit a cylindrical shape, wherein the cylindrical axis also lies in the plane of the connecting module 1. The cylindrical section of the conducting rails 4 has a preferably concentric borehole 17 open to the outside, which preferably is equipped with a female thread. As a result, a reliable electrical and mechanical connection can be established via bolting to corresponding converter contacts or relaying conducting rails 24 in the converter 14. [0053] The conducting rails 4 preferably consist of a single piece. They exhibit two sections: a flat or oblate section with a rectangular cross section embedded into the matrix 5, and a cylindrical section that projects out of the matrix 5. In the exemplary embodiment on Fig. 3, this contour of the conducting rails 4 is also visible through a partially transparent matrix 5.

[0054] The two ends could each be leveled or cylindrical. Angled, flat ends would also be very readily conceivable on the converter side. In like manner, the conducting rails 4 could be provided with cylindrical or flat contacts toward the bottom (e.g. 3).

[0055] The connecting module 1 has a continuous molded section 10 resembling a flange, bead or web, on which a lengthened packing ring 9 can additionally be placed. This flange is used to seal the converter housing 15 when the connecting module 1 is inserted into an oblong opening in the converter 14 provided for this purpose. [0056] As a consequence, the oblong opening in the converter 14 is completely closed and sealed by the connecting module 1 in the assembled state. This type of seal ensures that no contaminants, dust, dirt or moisture can penetrate into the converter during the manufacture, transport and inspection (test lab) of the converter with the engine still not assembled.

[0057] The converter-side ends of the conducting rails 4 can be sealed against the plastic part, thereby providing the structural design with an additional seal.

[0058] Another seal is provided in addition thereto between (parallel to) the engine housing 29 and converter housing 15, which essentially envelops the seal mentioned at the outset, thereby providing a dual seal in this sensitive area. In this embodiment, the mounting location between the converter and engine is provided with a seal or seal face, so that the inner space is hermetically sealed. Since the converter housing 15 and engine housing 29 reciprocally seal each other, the inner (hollow) space formed partially by the converter housing and partially by the engine housing is sealed to the outside, including the hollow space 26 for accommodating the connecting module 1 and, if needed, the inner engine compartment.

[0059] Annular current sensors 7 can each be put over or placed on the cylindrical sections of the conducting rails 4, so that the connecting module 1 simultaneously performs the function of current measurement. As evident from Fig. 2, the current sensors 7 exhibit contact pins that project upwards, meaning toward the converter 14, which can be inserted or soldered into contact receptacles in the converter 14 provided for this purpose, e.g., which are directly integrated into a printed circuit board 20. The current sensors 7 preferably have no contact to the matrix 5, and are held by the conducting rails 4 and converter 14. As a result, additional retaining parts can be avoided. [0060] In addition, one or more boards 1 1 fitted with control and/or measuring electronics can be secured to the matrix 5. As a result, control signals and measurement data can be exchanged between the engine and converter in addition to power current. To this end, the boards 1 1 exhibit the corresponding connection contacts 12. A plug on a board 19 can also be provided on the engine side, thereby making optimal use of the space on the connecting module 1 . The boards 1 1 and 19 can consist of a single piece, and are used for signal transmission or signal processing. [0061 ] In the area between the conducting rails 4, the matrix 5 exhibits mounting holes 8 for accommodating mounting screws. In the assembled state, a mounting strip 18 fixed in place by the mounting screws presses the connecting module 1 against a mounting surface, e.g., cheek 16, in or on the converter/engine (Fig. 8). [0062] The invention is not limited to the depicted exemplary embodiment. For example, the engine-side and converter-side contacts can be designed differently, or switched in terms of their shape. The conducting rails 4 are preferably cast into a plastic or resin matrix. However, it is also conceivable that the matrix 5 consist of two mirror-inverted halves with corresponding recesses for the conducting rails 4 running in between, wherein the two halves are adhesively bonded, clamped or screwed together.

[0063] Fig. 5 shows a converter-engine unit comprised of a converter 14 and engine 13, which are electrically connected with each other via a connecting module 1 according to the invention. The connecting module 1 is connected with the converter housing 15 or a mounting location formed by or projecting from the converter housing 15, e.g., a cheek 16 (Fig. 8), which establishes a good thermal contact between the cooled housing and connecting module 1 . The cooling cheek 16 is preferably connected or screwed with the cooled converter housing 15 as a single piece. The cooling water terminal for the inflowing cooling water is preferably situated close to the mounting location, and hence in direct proximity to the connecting module 1. The converter housing 15 itself preferably has a pressure compensation membrane to offset pressure fluctuations. [0064] Fig. 5 shows the converter 14 with the housing cover removed. The conducting rails 4 of the connecting module 1 penetrate through holes in a printed circuit board 20. Relaying conducting rails or plates 24 are secured at the ends of the conducting rails 4, preferably with screws. To this end, the converter- side contacts 3 of the conducting rails 4 exhibit the female threads already mentioned above. The converter 14 is enveloped by a converter housing 15, through which pass terminals, for example a control terminal 21 , a coolant terminal 22 and a power current terminal 23.

[0065] The electric engine 13 is located under the converter 14. The engine part has an oblong receptacle or slit 25 for the connecting module 1 projecting downward from the converter 14. In the assembled state as depicted on Fig. 6 and 7, the connecting module 1 projects into a hollow space 26, which can be sealed to the outside with a side cover (e.g., engine housing plate 29a on Fig. 8). A preferably cooled engine cheek 27 abuts the connecting module 1 in the assembled state. [0066] Also visible now from Fig. 6 and 7 are the power current terminals 23 and coolant terminals 22 on the side of the converter 14.

[0067] In the example shown, a hollow space 28 is formed between the converter 14 and engine housing 29 on either side of the assembly area. The latter is formed by connecting the converter 14 and engine 13 at only one (or two) mounting location(s), wherein the mounting location(s) is/are comparatively small in relation to the spatial dimensions of the engine and converter. As a result, the converter 14 does not come to lie completely on the entire surface of the engine 13. These hollow spaces 28 are suitable for accommodating coolant lines and coolant terminals, e.g., flexible tubing, cooling coils, etc. The latter are protected against mechanical impacts by the partially enveloped hollow spaces 28. In an especially preferred embodiment, coolant terminals of the converter are set up directly in this hollow space 28. [0068] Another advantage to having one or two mechanical interface(s) between the converter and engine is that no tolerance problems arise during construction and installation, so that production can be configured much more favorably. Despite this fact, complete integration takes place, and the additional intermediate space can be used for the required coolant lines and/or power cables (not shown on the figures). [0069] Fig. 7 additionally shows a support rod 30, which props the converter 14 against the engine 13, and provides added stability.

[0070] Fig. 8 shows a diagrammatic view of the spatial arrangement of the connecting module 1 between the converter 14 and engine 13. The lower portion of the connecting module 1 projects into a hollow space 26 of the engine part provided for this purpose. The molded flange section 10 already described above in conjunction with a lengthened packing ring 9 seals the converter 14 in terms of itself, and relative to the engine 13. In addition, a sealing bond between the engine housing 29 and converter 14 or converter housing 15 ensures that the hollow space 26 also accommodating the connecting module 1 is also sealed to the outside. At the same time, the inner engine is also sealed as a result.

[0071] The additional seal is only established when the engine housing 29 is assembled with the converter housing 15. As a consequence, this integrated design yields a complete separation between the environment and the interior workings of the engine/converter.

[0072] A part of the engine housing 29 is designed as a removable engine housing plate 29a for improved handling and easier installation. The latter is placed on and, for example, bolted down only after the converter-engine unit has been assembled, and contact has been established with the engine. A transmission 31 right next to the engine is diagrammatically shown. [0073] Fig. 9 shows another embodiment in which two engines 13 are regulated by a shared converter 14. Each motor is here provided with a connecting module 1 , which connects the respective engine with the converter 14. The two engines are preferably coaxially arranged in relation to their drive shafts (axially aligned), and act on a shared, centrally situated transmission 31.

[0074] The two engines 13 are preferably enveloped by a shared housing 29. Any combination of engines can be realized in place of the only two engines, wherein each engine is connected with the shared converter via a connecting module 1. A double or multiple engine arrangement also ensures compliance with the requirement that the drive have a deep center of gravity. [0075] Just as all other engine/converter assemblies, this particularly compact design for particularly high powers has a deep center of gravity, and of course especially high power levels given the two engines. However, the converter here does not double in size when assembled, so that, as a whole, this design also cuts down on weight by comparison to other solutions.

[0076] REFERENCE LIST

1 Converter-engine connecting module

2 Engine-side contact

3 Converter-side contact

4 Conducting rail

5 Matrix

6 Mounting hole/can also be designed as a bolt with male thread

7 Current sensor

8 Mounting hole

9 Packing ring

10 Molded section

1 1 Board/signal transfer unit

12 Connection contact(s)

13 Engine

14 Converter

15 Converter housing

16 Cheek

17 Coaxial borehole

18 Mounting strip

19 Plug on engine-side board

20 Converter board

21 Control terminal

22 Cooling liquid terminal/optionally also with another current carrying terminal, e.g. an HV plug

23 Power current terminal

24 Converter conducting rails

25 Oblong receptacle

26 Connecting module hollow space

27 Engine cheek

28 Outer hollow space

29 Engine housing

29a Engine housing plate/bearing bracket cover

30 Support rod

31 Transmission

Claims

A converter-engine connecting module (1 ) for separable electrically interfacing an electric or hybrid engine (13) with a converter (14), with engine-side contacts (2) and converter-side contacts (3), characterized in that the connecting module (1 ) is flat and exhibits conducting rails (4), which are lying in one plane and whose first ends form the engine-side contacts (2), and whose other ends form the converter-side contacts (3), wherein the conductor rails (4) run in the plane of the connecting module (1 ), and are imbedded into a matrix (5) made of an electrically nonconductive material, and the conducting rails (4) are parallel to each other, and/or that preferably at least the section of the conducting rails (4) imbedded into the matrix (5) is flat.
The converter-engine connecting module according to claim 1 , characterized in that the conducting rails (4) are cast into the matrix (5), preferably made of plastic or resin, and/or that preferably the matrix (5) exhibits mounting holes (8) in the area between the conducting rails (4) for attaching the connecting module (1 ), or that the matrix (5) consists of two mirror-inverted matrix halves, which envelop the conducting rails (4) from opposite sides.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a continuous molded section (10) in the form of a flange for interacting with one housing opening of the converter or engine is provided on the outside of the matrix (5), wherein a continuous, lengthened packing ring (9) preferably abuts the flange.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that one of the ends of the conducting rails (4), preferably the converter-side contacts (3), protrude out of the matrix (5) and exhibit a cylindrical shape, wherein preferably the cylindrical section exhibits a coaxial borehole with female thread or a bolt with male thread for a force-fitted connection with appropriate conductor connections. The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the other ends of the conducting rails (4), preferably the engine-side contacts (2), are imbedded in the matrix (5), wherein the contacts are each formed by a mounting hole (6), preferably with a female thread, which runs essentially perpendicular to the plane of the connecting module (1 ), and can be accessed via suitable recesses in the matrix (5).
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the connecting module (1 ) exhibits at least one current sensor (7) for measuring the current flowing over a conducting rail (4), wherein a separate current sensor (7) is preferably provided for each conducting rail (4), wherein the current sensor (7) is preferably mounted, e.g., put, around at least one end of a conducting rail (4) projecting out of the matrix (5), and/or that preferably the matrix (5), preferably its outer side, carries at least one board (1 1 ) fitted with control and/or measuring electronics, wherein the board (1 1 ) exhibits connection contacts (12) for connection with the engine (13) and/or converter (14).
A converter-engine unit in particular for a vehicle, with at least one converter (14) and at least one electric or hybrid engine (13), which are electrically connected via a converter-engine connecting module (1 ), characterized in that the converter-engine connecting module (1 ) is designed according to one of the preceding claims.
The converter-engine connecting module according to claim 7, characterized in that the converter (14) is accommodated in a preferably liquid-cooled converter housing (15), and that the converter-engine connecting module (1 ) abuts the converter housing (15) or a cheek (16) projecting from the converter housing (15), and/or that both the engine housing (29) and converter housing (15) are liquid-cooled, and that these two cooling systems are coupled, preferably integrated.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 7 or 8, characterized in that the converter-engine connecting module (1 ) is rigidly connected with the converter housing (15) or the cheek (16) projecting from the converter housing (15), and/or that preferably the converter-engine connecting module (1 ) incorporated into the converter (14) seals the converter (14) or its opening for the converter-engine connecting module towards the engine housing or towards the periphery.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 7 to 9, characterized in that the converter housing (15) and engine housing (29) are connected with each other in such a way that the converter- engine connecting module (1 ) is hermetically sealed within the two cooled housings (15, 29), and/or that the cooled housing or housings (15, 29) form an interface, on which the conducting rails (4) lie on or which embraces the conducting rails (4).
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 7 to
10, characterized in that the engine (13) exhibits a hollow space (26) for accommodating the converter-engine connecting module (1 ), and that preferably the engine housing (29) exhibits a removable engine housing plate (29a), which tightly covers the hollow space (26) accommodating the converter-engine connecting module (1 ).
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 7 to
1 1 , characterized in that the housings of the converter (14) and the engine (13) are so shaped and that both housings of the converter (14) and engine (13) are so disposed relative to each other, that at least one partially enclosed outer hollow space (28) is formed between the converter (14) and engine (13), in which coolant lines, terminals and/or current carrying cables are preferably arranged and accessible for assembly purposes.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 7 to 12, characterized in that two, preferably axially congruent engines (13) are coupled to a shared converter (14), wherein a respective converter- engine connecting module (1 ) according to one of claims 1 to 8 is provided for electrically interfacing each engine (13) to the converter (14). The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the converter (14) is mounted above the engine (13) and that the height projection converter (14) plus engine (13) is approximately as high as a gearbox fixed on the engine (13).
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of claims 13 to 14, characterized in that the converter (14) is mounted above the two aligning engines (13) and covers the engines, whereas one converter- engine connecting is intended between the converter (14) and each engine (13).
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the converter-engine connecting is mounted on the face/on the output side of the engine (13) and insomuch in the installed condition easily accessible.
The converter-engine connecting module according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the converter (14) is mounted above the engine (13) and that the conducting rails (4) project top down into the engine housing (29) and that the housings of the engine (13) and the converter (14) are cooled at this interface.
18. A converter-to-engine connecting module comprising:
a lamina-like housing matrix, said lamina housing matrix being made of an electrically nonconductive material;
said lamina housing matrix having a first engine-side;
said lamina housing matrix having a second converter-side;
a plurality of flat planar conducting rails, each respective one of said plurality of planar conductor rails having a respective linear axis, each of said plurality of planar conductor rails embedded in said lamina housing matrix so that said plurality of linear axes lie mutually separated along the planar extent of said lamina housing matrix;
each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said first, engine-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective engine-side electrical contact; each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said second, converter-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective converter- side electrical contact; and,
a border structure on said lamina housing matrix, said border structure delineating said first engine-side of said lamina housing from said second converter-side of said lamina housing.
19. The converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, wherein: said plurality of conducting rails are mutually parallel.
20. The converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, wherein: said lamina housing matrix is made of a plastic material.
21 . A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
at least one mounting hole in said lamina housing matrix, said at least one mounting hole located in an area of said lamina housing matrix between two conducting rails.
22. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
said border structure on said lamina housing matrix includes a
continuously-molded flange between said first engine-side of said lamina housing and said second converter-side of said lamina housing.
23. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 22, further comprising:
a seal abutting said flange.
24. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
at least one of said converter-side electrical contacts extends out of said matrix and has a cylindrical portion.
25. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 24, further comprising:
a threaded borehole in said cylindrical portion.
26. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 24, further comprising:
said cylindrical portion having a threaded bolt.
27. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
at least one of said engine-side electrical contacts is exposed through a recessed gap in said electrically nonconductive material of said matrix, said at least one exposed engine-side electrical contact including a threaded hole in its respective conducting rail.
28. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
a current sensor configured to measure current flowing over at least one of said conducting rails.
29. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 28, further comprising:
said current sensor is mounted on a conducting rail portion that emerges from said lamina housing matrix.
30. A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 29, further comprising:
a plurality of current sensors each configured to respectively measure current flowing over a respective one of said conducting rails.
31 . A converter-to-engine connecting module as claimed in claim 18, further comprising:
an electronics circuit board fitted on said lamina housing matrix.
32. A converter-to-engine interface assembly comprising:
a converter housing;
a converter-to-engine connecting module, said connecting module including a lamina-like housing matrix, said lamina housing matrix being made of an electrically nonconductive material;
said lamina housing matrix having a first engine-side; said lamina housing matrix having a second converter-side situated in said converter housing, said second converter-side of said lamina housing matrix extending into said converter housing through a slot in said converter housing; a plurality of flat planar conducting rails, each respective one of said plurality of planar conductor rails having a respective linear axis, each of said plurality of planar conductor rails embedded in said lamina housing matrix so that said plurality of linear axes lie mutually separated along the planar extent of said lamina housing matrix;
each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said first, engine-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective engine-side electrical contact;
each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said second, converter-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective converter- side electrical contact; and,
a border structure on said lamina housing matrix, said border structure delineating said first engine-side of said lamina housing matrix from said second converter-side of said lamina housing matrix, said border structure having a continuously-molded flange closing said slot in said converter housing, said flange disposed between said first engine-side of said lamina housing matrix and said second converter-side of said lamina housing matrix.
33. A converter-to-engine interface assembly as claimed in claim 32, further comprising:
a seal abutting said flange.
34. A converter-to-engine interface assembly as claimed in claim 32, further comprising:
an engine-side hollow space receiving said lamina housing matrix first engine-side therein.
35. A converter-to-engine interface assembly as claimed in claim 34, further comprising:
a removable housing plate closing said engine-side hollow space.
36. A converter-to-engine interface assembly as claimed in claim 34, further a cheek extending into said engine-side hollow space, said lamina housing matrix first engine-side being fastened to said cheek.
37. A converter-to-engine connecting module comprising:
a lamina-like housing matrix, said lamina housing matrix being made of an electrically nonconductive material;
said lamina housing matrix having a first engine-side;
said lamina housing matrix having a second converter-side;
a plurality of mutually parallel flat planar conducting rails, each respective one of said plurality of planar conductor rails having a respective linear axis, each of said plurality of planar conductor rails embedded in said lamina housing matrix so that said plurality of linear axes lie mutually separated along the planar extent of said lamina housing matrix;
at least one mounting hole in said lamina housing matrix, said at least one mounting hole located in an area of said lamina housing matrix between two conducting rails;
each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said first, engine-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective engine-side electrical contact;
at least one of said engine-side electrical contacts is exposed through a recessed gap in said electrically nonconductive material of said matrix, said at least one exposed engine-side electrical contact including a threaded hole in its respective conducting rail;
each of said plurality of conducting rails respectively emerging from said second, converter-side of said lamina housing matrix to a respective converter- side electrical contact;
at least one of said converter-side electrical contacts has a cylindrical portion;
a current sensor configured to measure current flowing over at least one of said conducting rails, said current sensor being mounted on a conducting rail portion that emerges from said lamina housing matrix;
a border structure on said lamina housing matrix, said border structure delineating said first engine-side of said lamina housing from said second converter-side of said lamina housing, said border structure including a continuously-molded flange between said first engine-side of said lamina housing and said second converter-side of said lamina housing;
a seal abutting said flange.
PCT/IB2011/054215 2010-11-02 2011-09-26 Converter-engine connecting module WO2012059831A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US40949610P true 2010-11-02 2010-11-02
US61/409,496 2010-11-02
EP10189700.7 2010-11-02
EP10189700 2010-11-02

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WO2012059831A1 true WO2012059831A1 (en) 2012-05-10

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PCT/IB2011/054215 WO2012059831A1 (en) 2010-11-02 2011-09-26 Converter-engine connecting module

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WO (1) WO2012059831A1 (en)

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