Semikron and Finnish drive manufacturer Visedo sponsor e-car project ‘Electric Raceabout’ of the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

September 12, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

The e-car 'Electric Raceabout', developed by the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, is an electric sports car which has already broken speed records of electric cars. With a speed of 252 km/h (156 mph) on a frozen lake in Finland, the 'Electric Raceabout' now is the fastest electric vehicle in the world on ice. It ranked 12th in the last Silvretta car race over a distance of 330 km, which is quite a success being the only e-car among the 28 participating vehicles which has been developed by a university. Mercedes with seven models and Volkswagen with four e-Golfs were among the participants.

Sami Ruotsalainen, project manager of the 'Electric Raceabout' at the University Helsinki: "The electric drive, that is the inverter and motor, along with the battery are the key components of every electric vehicle. It is crucially important for us as a system integrator that the drive reacts quickly and reliably to our control system. The Visedo-Semikron inverter and the support provided by Visedo enabled us to implement new engines in our 4-motor electric sports car in only two months, and to set a new speed record shortly after."

"As the leader in technology of power electronics, Semikron fosters research and development in the field of e-mobility," states Harald Jäger, Business-Line-Manager Systems at Semikron. The Semikron SKAI2® product platform serves markets in the automotive sector. The systems are operated with battery voltages between 24 and 800V and a power output of 10 to 250kVA. They comply with the latest standards in automotive and qualification.

Tomi Ristimäki, Manager Sales and Marketing at Visedo Oy: "The applied PowerMASTER™ high-performance inverters are equipped with electronics and control software developed by Visedo and power electronics by Semikron. The new inverter by Semikron and Visedo improves the structure of the 'Electric Raceabout' by reducing weight and simplifying electric connectors. This way, the reliability of the genuine design and engine control are increased."

Visedo Oy develops, manufactures and delivers electrical drive trains for heavy mobile work machine, marine vessel and bus applications. The drive trains are suitable for both hybrid electric (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) solutions. Visedo products are designed from the basis of harsh operating environment and heavy duty requirements. The latest technology offers the optimal solutions to save fuel and to lower emission and noise levels. Visedo Oy headquarters and factory are located in Lappeenranta Finland and the company also has a sales office in Germany. Visedo Oy is Semikron GmbH primary partner in heavy duty hybrid and electrical drive train solutions.

Key Products

* PowerDISK™ axial flux permanent magnet generators and motors

* PowerDRUM™ reluctance assisted permanent magnet motors and generators

* PowerMASTER™ compact heavy duty inverters for mobile applications -- using Semikron SKAI2® product portfolio

* PowerCAP™ Supercapacitor energy storage units * co-development with WIMA Spezialvertrieb elektronischer Bauelemente GmbH & CO.KG

* PowerBOOST™ DC/DC Converters

The product portfolio ranges from chips, semiconductor discretes, IGBT, diode and thyristor modules, customized solutions and integrated electronic power unit systems. With a market share of 30%, SEMIKRON is the leader in diode and thyristor semiconductor modules. (Source: IMS Research, The World Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes & Modules -- 2011 Edition). By purchasing the Finnish manufacturer of quality filters, Nidecon, the company further extended its comprehensive competence in power electronics. Nidecon filters are 35% to 50% smaller than standard filters and enable an ever higher integration of SEMIKRON's systems with power semiconductors, cooling, DC-link capacitors as well as protection and driver electronics.

Besides customer specific products SEMIKRON offers the SKAI2® product portfolio to the electric and hybrid vehicle market.

Key System Products

* SKAI2®HV - IGBT based inverter platform for commercial vehicle application

* SKAI2®LV - MOS-FET based inverter platform for industrial vehicle application

* MCB - IGBT based Multi Converter for vehicle application

The company recently presented an innovative packaging technology for semiconductors which can do completely without wire bonds, solder connections and thermal paste. The new SKiN- technology replaces wire bonds with a flexible foil, and uses sintered connections instead of soldered connections and thermal paste. This allows higher maximum current capability and higher power-cycling capability. This technology helps reduce an inverter's volume by 35%.

The family enterprise has its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. It was founded in 1951, and employs more than 3,000 people worldwide. An international network of 37 companies and production plants in Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Korea, Slovakia, South Africa and the USA ensures rapid and comprehensive services for local customers. With the foundation of its subsidiary, SindoPower, in 2009, SEMIKRON also extended its distribution channels. SindoPower, an e-commerce company, sells power electronic products online, and offers competent technical consulting to small and medium businesses.