Shielding Challenges in Electronic Vehicles!Randy Mitchell
Shielding Challenges in Electric Vehicles! Low-frequency magnetic fields are an issue in electronic vehicles. Low-Frequency fields are related to human health and safety. Specifically, low-frequency magnetic field exposure of the nervous system where the frequency is below 500KHz. Additionally, some electric control units of an electronic vehicle can be adversely affected by this phenomenon. Obviously, anything that effects the controls of an EV can decrease the safety of the vehicle. The low-frequency magnetic fields in an electronic vehicle are largely generated by high voltage modules. Specifically, the powertrain module, the on-board charger, the battery pack, and the DC-DC module. Traditional shielding techniques work in the far field due to the small wavelengths involved. Low-frequency wavelengths are large and require near field shielding. Thicker, denser, and heavier conductive metal materials are needed to absorb the energy.
Shielding Challenges in Electric Vehicles! The added weight of these materials as opposed to lightweight conductive textiles traditionally used in automobiles a nightmare for engineers! Additional weight is the bane of optimal mileage per unit of energy. Electric vehicles already have a disadvantage in their limited mileage per charge to internal combustion engines. The additional weight of the heavier, denser shielding materials will decrease that mileage even more. A possible solution is better low-frequency magnetic shielding materials that are lightweight and can be cast /adapted to the component causing the low-frequency magnetic field. Alternatively, an engineering fix is to reduce the low-frequency magnetic field is to reduce the loop size and/or the current, which determine the field. Sadly, the current is needed, so reducing the magnetic field loop size and optimizing the wiring system is the only option. In overall vehicle design, trade-offs need to be made between vehicle design and safety. In conclusion, it will likely take a major breakthrough in shielding technology to solve this low frequency EV problem. We’ve landed on the moon, we’ll got this!
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