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Electro-thermal analysis of power cable harnesses: a contribution for the optimization of energy distribution systems in road vehicles with electric drives

Abstract : In the context of growing ecological concerns, the development of road transport vehicles moves itself toward the development of less polluting vehicles with electric drives such as Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and full Electric Vehicles (EVs). With rising power requirements and reducing available space, thermal management is becoming an increasingly important concern during development of on-board vehicle components such as electric motor(s)/generator(s), power inverter(s), battery pack(s) and cable harnesses. Among them, the cable harness which is typically composed of electrical cables, connectors and power distribution boxes can only be designed properly after a detailed thermal, electrical, chemical and mechanical analysis.This thesis is written to contribute to the optimization of the electro-thermal design of cable harnesses through simulations and reduce the amount of experimental testing needed during their development. Theoretical models for the prediction of the electrical and thermal behavior of electric cables and cable harnesses are reviewed and adapted for automotive requirements. Validation is accomplished by comparing simulation results with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and measurement data. A major part of this thesis addresses the thermal simulation of electrical cables of infinite length installed in air, taking into account the temperature dependencies of conductor resistances and non-linearity of the total heat transfer coefficient at the cable surface. The influence of shielding currents and arbitrary current loads in the conductors on the temperature rises within electric cables is also considered using thermal ladder networks and illustrated by practical examples. Because shielding currents in vehicles are not only caused by induced currents but also by functional electrical currents generated by low-voltage power sources, new theoretical studies and experimental observations for the estimation of these currents as a function of the vehicle electrical architecture and circuit characteristics are presented. A primary finding reveals that keeping the resistance of grounding connections low compared to that of the shielding connections is an appropriate but expensive means for limiting the transfer of functional currents in the shielding circuits. Finally, a complete and modular model for the prediction of transient temperatures along the length of cable harness sections is developed and validated based on the outcomes of all previous findings.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 1:04:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:38:12 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-03356735, version 1


Christophe Holyk. Electro-thermal analysis of power cable harnesses: a contribution for the optimization of energy distribution systems in road vehicles with electric drives. Electric power. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014VALE0033⟩. ⟨tel-03356735⟩



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