Increasingly, vehicles are being built on electric motors instead of internal combustion engines and smart components are increasingly being added into vehicles. The switch to e-mobility presents the automotive industry with major challenges, as an electric vehicle requires additional sensors that measure and control in the harsh vehicle environment.

Automakers and their suppliers are developing new knowledge and know-how. New components such as electric batteries, electric motors, and the related powertrain, are being produced and assembled with a high degree of automation. Also, a rise in varieties of components in the vehicle leads to components and parts that must be reliably detected, checked, and identified with sensors. For example, new compact, lightweight and powerful electric motors and controllers enable vehicle hybridization and electrification – especially when there is limited powertrain space.

Energy Management in electric motors

New generation electric motors

New generation of electric motors

Lighter and more energy-efficient e-mobile products are driving a new generation of electric motors and generators. Today, axial flux technology has resulted in motor technology that delivers 3 to 5 times more power density compared with traditional EV motors. Traditional Permanent Magnet EV Motors suffer from losses due to the large amount of iron in the motors. Compared with Traditional Permanent Magnet EV Motors, axial flux motors come with 80% less iron cores losses and over 5 times less iron mass, replaced by copper windings, and delivering up to 24% more vehicle range.

New high-speed axial flux motors deliver peak power densities in excess of 15 kW/kg and require smart energy management of the motor by cooling the windings for the lowest possible stator temperatures. Consequently, a highly accurate temperature measurement of the copper windings is required.

Platinum Temperature sensor Pt100 reverse welded wires

Choice of temperature sensor

Highly reliable, customized platinum thin film RTD temperature sensor installed in a stator connection module ensures accurate measurement of temperature according to the IEC 60751 norm, in the windings of the electric motor.

The IST platinum thin film RTD temperature sensors are developed with the highest quality materials and cover a wide operating temperature range. The sensors can operate in the harshest conditions while experiencing minimal drift. The construction is extremely robust and due to the small dimensions, the sensors are offered in various housings. The platinum temperature sensors are available with a standard TCR of 3850 ppm/K and with accuracies according to the IEC 60751 norm.

Fuel Cell applications

Conductivity measurement in Fuel Cells

Electric battery modules

Greater fuel cell security, increased performance and longer operating life are driving electric battery development.  Inaccuracies in traditional measurement of battery temperatures result in wide margins reducing the driving range due to engine performance inefficiencies. Water and coolant intrusion into the battery enclosure can increase the risk of battery pack failure and possible electrocution.

Precision platinum thin film sensors are ideal for the temperature monitoring of the coolant liquid in a low-temperature fuel cell, while a leak detection humidity sensor can detect coolant leakage or water ingress via a change in moisture content.

Platinum thin film sensors measure in harsh conditions with extremely high stability and low drift, maximizing the efficiency and lifetime of the electric battery. The IST platinum thin film RTD temperature sensors are developed with the highest quality materials and cover a wide operating temperature range. The sensors can operate in the harshest conditions while experiencing minimal drift. The construction is extremely robust and due to the small dimensions, the sensors are offered in various housings. The platinum temperature sensors are available with a standard TCR of 3850 ppm/K and with accuracies according to the IEC 60751 norm.

Hydrogen fuel cell

CGH2 Compressed Gaseous Hydrogen

Fuel cells operate at higher efficiencies than combustion engines, and, can convert the chemical energy in the fuel to electrical energy with efficiencies of up to 60%. Fuel cells have lower emissions than combustion engines. Hydrogen fuel cells emit only water, so there are no carbon dioxide emissions and no air pollutants at the point of operation. Also, fuel cells are quieter during operation as they have fewer moving parts.

Fuel cells operate like batteries, but they do not run down or need recharging. They produce electricity and heat, as long, as fuel is supplied. As a fuel, CGH2 Compressed (and extended-compressed) Gaseous Hydrogen requires extremely cold storage temperatures which have to be closely monitored, as the highest possible storage pressure at cryogenic conditions (subsequent to refueling) is 350 Bar with temperature levels of below 100 Kelvin.

Owing to the special construction of a ZrO2 Substrate with a Coefficient of thermal expansion matched to platinum and stable characteristics curve, the IST AG Platinum RTD temperature sensor “PW series" is ideal for low temperature measurement down to -200 °C. The benefits being no stress generated in the platinum layer and reduced hysteresis.

Conductivity measurement in Fuel Cells

Conductivity sensors for coolant monitoring

Fuel cell vehicles (FCV) require special coolants for fuel cells to support the current advancements in fuel cell technologies. These new coolants provide protection against corrosion, overheating and frost and they can be used safely with ion exchange resins in the fuel cell cooling system.

Compared to non-inhibited glycol water mixtures, these coolants can continually maintain a low electrical conductivity, and by doing so, secure the electrical safety of the system and reduction in loss of energy. Continuous conductivity measurement enables the quality of the coolant to be monitored quickly and reliably.

Measurements are made with conductivity sensors that work on the two-electrode method. [Inter-digital planar electrode and Pt1000 Temp Sensor]. The cell constant of a measuring cell must be certified by its manufacturer. IST AG has many years of experience in measuring cells in manufacturing that meet the most stringent requirements. IST AG offers the conductivity measuring cell Transmitter in a housing containing the electronics based on our conductivity sensors.

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E-mobility

Coolant leakage detection with humidity sensor MK33

Humidity sensors for coolant leakage detection

The IST AG MK33-W capacitive rH humidity sensor has been developed especially for high-end measuring applications and extreme environments making it optimal for coolant leakage applications. The MK33-W excels through its extremely high humidity and temperature working range and its outstanding chemical resistance suits the harsh electric battery environment

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Precision temperature measurement for charging plugs

Precision temperature measurement for charging plugs

Demanding electric safety requirements are driving new progressive charging plug designs and performance improvements. Charging plugs must endure a service life >10 years with no deterioration in charging efficiency. This demands precise, stable and drift-free temperature measurements throughout the service life, with fast response to a sudden temperature spike indicative of plug failure.

For optimal charging time, efficiency and safety, long-term stability and reliability, precision temperature measurement is required with innovative assembly and connection technologies inside the plug.

Platinum thin film sensors measure in harsh conditions with extremely high stability and low drift, maximizing the efficiency and lifetime of the charging plug. The IST platinum thin film RTD temperature sensors are developed with the highest quality materials and cover a wide operating temperature range. The sensors can operate in the harshest conditions while experiencing minimal drift. The construction is extremely robust and due to the small dimensions, the sensors are offered in various housings. The platinum temperature sensors are available with a standard TCR of 3850 ppm/K and with accuracies according to the IEC 60751 norm.

Electric power trains_image_Stadler rail

Temperature sensors with long term stability for electric power trains

Electric power trains are becoming lighter and smaller, demanding robust designs and reduced energy consumption that extend vehicle range. For maximum powertrain efficiency, operating at or close to the load limits of the power IC is required. For power train efficiency, long-term stability and reliability, precision temperature measurement needs to be made with innovative assembly and connection methods operating up to 300 °C.

A platinum thin film sensor mounted in a flat probe head for optimum temperature transfer from flat surfaces ensures accurate measurement of temperature according to the IEC 60751 norm, in the electronic power module. 

The IST platinum thin film RTD temperature sensors are developed with the highest quality materials and cover a wide operating temperature range. The sensors can operate in the harshest conditions while experiencing minimal drift. The construction is extremely robust and due to the small dimensions, the sensors are offered in various housings. The platinum temperature sensors are available with a standard TCR of 3850 ppm/K and with accuracies according to the IEC 60751 norm.

Sensors for automotive and transportation

LiDAR

LiDAR Devices act as the eye of the self-driving autonomous vehicles. They provide a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the surrounding terrain to drive themselves safely.

IST AG provides solutions for thermal management of the LiDAR Laser modules and Optical Components.