Test & Measurement

FEV senses electrical partial discharge in high-voltage vehicle propulsion systems

14th March 2024
Paige West

FEV has unveiled the PD-HVX (Partial Discharge – High Voltage X), marking a leap in the early detection and mitigation of partial discharge (PD) phenomena within high-voltage electric drive units (EDUs).

Such discharges pose a risk to the insulation integrity of modern EDUs, potentially culminating in complete vehicular breakdowns. By integrating established measuring systems and specialised sensors into EDUs for qualitative assessment, PD-HVX empowers clients to pinpoint PD occurrences during the development phase, enabling timely interventions.

PD represents a localised electrical discharge that can transpire at voltages exceeding 600 volts, primarily due to minute defects or inconsistencies in the insulation material or due to contamination on surfaces. If undetected within an EDU and recurring, PD can significantly deteriorate the insulation, leading to early vehicle shutdown.

Employing electromagnetic frequency analysis, renowned for its accuracy and reliability in the realm of electric propulsion diagnostics, PD-HVX measures electromagnetic fields around the drive unit under scrutiny. The sophisticated software then interprets these measurements to ascertain the presence of PD within the EDU during its operation.

FEV's PD-HVX represents a full-service offering aimed at vehicle OEMs and suppliers, featuring test equipment tailored for EDU applications. This equipment distinguishes and eliminates drive-related noise, significantly enhancing PD measurement accuracy. Customers are provided with detailed test data for further analysis and interpretation.

With expertise in power systems, propulsion, control electronics, and sensor technologies for automotive applications, FEV also offers comprehensive data analysis and system optimisation services upon request.

“By detecting partial discharge in the EDU at an early stage, possible reasons for insulation damage in the electronics can be eliminated during the development process. This prevents delays due to premature vehicle failures and additional costs during development,” summarised Stapelbroek, emphasising the solution's benefits.

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