The Effects of Humidity on Performance of Electric Vehicles – Report Example

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The paper "The Effects of Humidity on Performance of Electric Vehicles" is a great example of a report on engineering and construction. In applications such as electric vehicles, components such as inverters and electric motors are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as humidity. Such uncontrolled environmental conditions may affect the reliability and performance of the vehicle, as a result, increasing maintenance costs and events of failures. This paper focuses on how electric vehicles are affected by humidity. The effect of humidity on batteries and electric motors and inverters is discussed.

Further, the current EV technologies in regards to humidity are compared. Also examined include a range of technical problems and to improve the performance of EV with regard to humidity (Ciprian & Lehman 2009). Electric vehicles (EV) provide a platform that allows for advanced energy management which gives rise to advantages such as low running cost and simplicity of use (Khayyam et al 2008). In a typical electric car, the inverter and the electric motor are packed up as a single unit along with the heat sink that is set in the middle (Ciprian & Lehman 2009).

The heat sink consists of a cold chamber developed with the view of absorbing maximal heat losses from the unit consisting of electric motor and inverter. A study by Lohse-Busch (2004) to examine the capability of thermal overload of the electric inverter and motor unit found that the unit experiences a range of challenges that aside from the packaging and design, has a host of concerns due to their temperature limits. The researcher demonstrated that the inverter and the motor temperatures rise during operation.

Hence, they become susceptible to variations in humidity affecting their operation (Lohse-Busch 2004). Comparison of Current EVs Electric vehicle components are the electric motor for vehicle propulsion, battery for storing energy, power control system, mechanical transmission, and a generator. Currently, the main types of EVs exist include plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and Extended-range electric vehicles (TVA 2013). First, plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) included automobiles that are rechargeable from an external electric source. Energy is stored in rechargeable battery packs that drive the wheels. Two types of PEVs currently exist, namely plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

BEVs contain no combustion engines. They are rechargeable from an electric grid. On the other hand, PHEVs have electric drive systems and a combustion engine that recharges the battery. BEVs are all-electric vehicles since they have no internal combustion engine. Therefore, they have to be plugged into an electric power source to recharge the battery (Rahman, Zhang & Zhu 2008). Unlike PHEVs, they need large batteries of more than 35-kilowatt hours (TVA 2013). PHEVs, therefore, rely on an electric battery that supplements the conventional internal engine combustion, which in turn increases the fuel-efficiency of the car.

Additionally, the electric motor reduces the idling of the engine and increases the vehicle’ s capability to accelerate or start. Unlike BEVs, they are dual-fuel cars where the internal combustion of the engine and electric motor are capable of driving the wheels (Yang & Roorda 2012). Both the plug-in hybrid cars and hybrid cars use a battery and internal combustion to drive electric motor. The difference between them, however, is that while plug-in hybrid vehicles can be recharged using an electric power source or outlet, the hybrids cannot (TVA 2013).

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