McLaren Applied Technologies has a rich history in developing high-performance products in motorsport, including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula E. Less well known are our activities in the field of Automotive.
As a niche tier 1 supplier, we have a range of technologies including vehicle electrification components, electronic control systems and virtual engineering tools. We operate at the forefront of technology to produce systems that are high performance, lightweight and assured to automotive standards.
Our team has been working on a new range of vehicle electrification components that we will debut for the first time at the 2018 CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) event on 12-13 September.
Four new products will be showcased, one of which we are keeping under wraps until the week of the show.
DC/DC Converter Unit (DCU-200)
First up is our 1.5kW DC/DC converter (DCU-200), a device that converts the high voltage of the vehicle traction battery (between 550V and 890V), down to 12V to run all of the electronic systems on the vehicle. What sets it apart from other products on the market is its use of Gallium Nitride (GaN), a new type of switching technology. The use of GaN makes the system incredibly efficient, which can eliminate the need for active water cooling and means the DCU-200 can be air cooled. This reduces the need for the additional cost and complexity involved in liquid cooling. The DCU-200 is also very compact and incredibly lightweight with a power density of 1.5kW/l.
Voltage Control Unit (VCU-200)
Secondly, our Voltage Control Unit (VCU-200) will also be on display. It is a high-power 200kW DC/DC converter, that links together two independent HV buses (500V to 800V). Multiple configurations are possible, depending on the different voltages and the directions of power conversion required. It’s designed for use in applications such as hybrid battery systems that incorporate both high-power battery energy storage combined with a high energy battery (that perhaps cannot meet the peak power requirements of the vehicle). It can also be used on high power fuel cell vehicles that also need to incorporate a battery system that operates at a different voltage to the fuel cell. In both cases, the VCU-200 is designed to manage the power flow between the two high voltage power sources.
MPU-200 Silicon Carbide Inverter
Thirdly, we will also be debuting our new Silicon Carbide Inverter, known as the MPU-200, for automotive use. It is 200kW and weighs just 4kg. It’s far smaller than anything else in the market and more efficient due to the use of Silicon Carbide. The core technology is already proven in motorsport and this new automotive version is targeting vehicle applications as early as SOP in 2021. We can also provide a 6 phase version of the inverter, known as the MPU-400, which can control either two three phase motors or a single high power 6 phase motor.
New electric drivetrain product
Our fourth new product will be revealed on Monday 10 September, just before LCV 2018. It’s designed to help OEMs simplify their electric drivetrain integration efforts, by putting everything into one easy to manage package.
As well as these vehicle electrification technologies, we will also showcase our range of safety critical controllers which we have developed over many years. All of them conform to ISO 26262 – the international standard for functional safety of electrical and/or electronic systems in automobiles. We are seeing a wide range of uses for our flexible vehicle controllers from centralised Vehicle Control Units (VCU) for EV’s through to use in L4/L5 autonomous vehicles.
We’ll also be bringing a host of motorsport products. Motorsport is becoming greener and not just the premier electric series Formula E. There are a host of championships which are electric or hybrid and we have the capability to supply them with the products they need to push the series forward and entertain fans all over the world.
What sets McLaren Applied Technologies apart in the market is over three decades of experience of supplying high-performance components into motorsport and automotive. In particular, developing technologies for Formula 1 and Formula E has given us the unique opportunity to work with the latest technologies, long before these technologies are mature enough for adoption into even niche automotive applications.
Everything we’re showcasing at LCV 2018 demonstrates our core competencies across a range of areas including power electronics. We push the boundaries of energy and power to achieve unrivalled performance.
Visit our stand and learn about our new products at the 2018 CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) event on 12-13 September. (Stand C3-106)