The University of Auckland

Project #130: A CAN controlled, compact and light, 3-phase inverter to drive FSAE Electric Car



The UoA Formula SAE team requires a customizable modular three phase inverter to drive their electric cars. The current commercially bought inverter needs to be replaced with a new inverter which is compact, lighter and designed for an automotive application. The CAN controller should be interfaced with the inverter to communicate control setpoints and limits of the cars powertrain. The new inverter should be designed with components rated for operating temperatures as high as 800C, to eliminate the current issues experienced due to heating. An effective filtering stage is required to minimize conducted noise from the power switching stage. The input of the inverter will be supplied by a 600V, 15Ah battery pack. The inverter should also facilitate regenerative braking, and monitor motor temperature and RPM, phase current, and voltage.

The inverter must be capable of closed loop control with feedback from motor encoders, phase voltage and current approximations not acceptable. The inverter needs to be capable of driving the motors into field weakening operation.

The initial system specifications are
  - 3 phase output
  - Nominal DC voltage - 600V
  - Output voltage - 350V
  - Output frequency – 0Hz to 600Hz
  - Continuous power rating - 20kW at 80 0C
  - Operating temperature – 80 0C
  - Efficiency – 98 %


Research Components
  • Research variable speed inverter topologies to determine best option suitable to meet the above specifications.
  • Research design optimisation techniques to improve the above specifications.
  • Research the mechanical requirements of power electronics in performance automotive applications.


Both students must take ELECTENG 734 and ELECTENG 735.
Students must consult the supervisor before bidding on the project.








Lab allocations have not been finalised