University Joins Research Project to Develop Heat-resistant Electrical Systems for Vehicles

The University of Arkansas announces it will help lead an $18.5 million dollar engineering research center to develop new electrical systems for vehicles that are more powerful, efficient and heat-resistant. The university houses a 7,000-square-foot testing facility that will assist the team.

“Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems center, or P.O.E.T.S., will focus on improving current thermal and electrical limits in vehicle designs to make cars more fuel efficient and extend the range of electric cars,” according to University of Arkansas News.

“P.O.E.T.S. has assembled a great team of engineers and scientists poised to have a substantial impact on power electronics technology, transportation systems, the workforce and the economy,” Alan Mantooth, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, said.

Other project partners include Stanford University, Howard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil.

The team plans to produce new technologies such as next-generation power converters, three-dimensional thermal circuits for cooling, and algorithms for automatically coordinating the technologies.

The research group’s goal is to increase the power density in vehicles by 10 to 100 times.

“That would translate into billions of liters of fuel saved and nearly double an electric car’s range. Today’s technologies are at their thermal limit. A systems approach is the only way we’ll push beyond the current state of the art,” Andrew Alleyne, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said.

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