Despite much talk of a zero-emission future most forecasts show that even by 2040 many cars will still have an internal combustion engine (ICE). Many of these will be plug in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) though that are zero emission capable for urban areas but still have a good range through so call self-charging.

One of the issues with self-charging is that the energy conversion is not particularly efficient as energy has to be converted from the ICE into a battery via a generator and inverter. More sophisticated hybrid systems such as those from Toyota and Magnomatics have modes whereby power can still be passed from the ICE to the wheels thus avoiding these conversion losses. The types of transmissions have been called Dedicated Hybrid Transmissions (DHT). The Magnomatics product is branded as the MAGSPLIT.

The first fully integrated MAGSPLIT transmission is on test at Magnomatics and the results are meeting all expectations.  This testing is part of a collaborative project with Changan Automotive, Romax Technology, CMCL Innovations and the University of Sheffield. The project is partially funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government funding body.

The MAGSPLIT transmission includes two electric machines and a continuous variable magnetic gear all integrated into a very compact unit that replaces the gearbox.  The transmission will enable the vehicle to run in a pure electric mode to provide a zero-emission capability. In the hybrid mode the continuously variable magnetic gear means that the engine can be operated at its most efficient point whilst still transmitting power and torque directly and efficiently to the vehicle’s wheels.  In its full implementation this transmission enables narrow banding of the engine will simplify the task of designing and calibrating the engine.  The combination of all of this means at least 30% reduction in CO2 emissions as well as an improvement in fuel economy when compared to a conventional gearbox. 

The magnetic gear is also able to filter all of the torsional vibration from the engine.  The transmission is also very easy to control using conventional off the shelf inverters.  Smooth output torque at the wheels is simply a matter of controlling the torque input from the internal combustion engine and the two electric machines.  This means a very high-quality driving experience with not clutches to control.

Magnomatics will be presenting the results of this testing at the Aachen Colloquium China in Beijing from 13th to 15th November 2019.

In addition to applying the MAGSPLIT to a transmission is can be used very effectively to drive engine ancillaries such as air compressors.  In this application the MAGSPLIT means that the compressor can be drive at optimum speed whatever the engine speed.  It can even be drive electrically when the engine is switched off.  This bring the potential for a much smaller air compressor and more efficient operation.