Rotating Inertia Impact on Propulsion and Regenerative Braking for Electric Motor Driven Vehicles


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Virginia Tech


A vehicle has several rotating components such as a traction electric motor, the driveline, and the wheels and tires. The rotating inertia of these components is important in vehicle performance analyses. However, in many studies, the rotating inertias are typically lumped into an equivalent inertial mass to simplify the analysis, making it difficult to investigate the effect of those components and losses for vehicle energy use. In this study, a backward-tracking model from the wheels and tires to the power source (battery or fuel cell) is developed to estimate the effect of rotating inertias for each component during propulsion and regenerative braking of a vehicle. This paper presents the effect of rotating inertias on the power and energy for propulsion and regenerative braking for two-wheel drive (either front or rear) and all-wheel drive (AWD) cases. On-road driving and dynamometer tests are different since only one axle (two wheels) is rotating in the latter case, instead of two axles (four wheels). The differences between an on-road test and a dynamometer test are estimated using the developed model. The results show that the rotating inertias can contribute a significant fraction (8 -13 %) of the energy recovered during deceleration due to the relatively lower losses of rotating components compared to vehicle inertia, where a large fraction is dissipated in friction braking. In a dynamometer test, the amount of energy captured from available energy in wheel/tire assemblies is slightly less than that of the AWD case in on-road test. The total regenerative brake energy capture is significantly higher (> 70 %) for a FWD vehicle on a dynamometer compared to an on-road case. The rest of inertial energy is lost by inefficiencies in components, regenerative brake fraction, and friction braking on the un-driven axle.



vehicle simulation, rotating inertia, regenerative braking, drive cycle