VBD Automotive Technologies has developed a MAGLEV driveleine for wheeled fuel cell powered vehicles. The driveline known as the “Magnetic Hubless Wheel Drive” (MHWD), essentially allows for the elimination of the high torque output requirement for wheeled vehicles which currently derive their traction/driving force from the torque applied at the wheel hub to overcome the wheel radius.
The frictionless Magnetic Hubless Wheel Drive converts the electric current from the fuel cell power plant, at the wheel circumference and applies the MAGLEV traction force directly on the inside face of the rotating magnetized road wheel eliminating the need for a wheel hub and substantially reducing mechanical losses inherent in a convectional driveline.
The elimination of a mechanical link from the power plant of the vehicle to the traction wheel allows for new performance and safety enhancing features to be built into the vehicle e.g. variable wheelbase and wheel track for city traffic maneuverability and comfortable highway cruising in a small economical vehicle.
This technology is ideally suited to fuel cell powered vehicles which despite major advances in fuel cell stack power densities, require ultra efficient and innovative drivelines that enhance the vehicle's range and power output.
The Magnetic Hubless Wheel Drive (MHWD) is designed to propel and levitate a wheeled fuel cell powered vehicle by the use of force generated by magnetic flux between permanent magnets fixed laterally to the inside of a road wheel with alternating poles adjacent and dual electromagnets or superconducting electromagnets, supplied with a variable frequency alternating electrical current, mounted to a support brace that slides along the inside of the road wheel.
The inside of the road wheel fitted with permanent magnets effectively forms a portable track of infinite length for the sliding action and magnetic levitation of the support brace to which the vehicle body is attached.
When magnetized by a varying frequency alternating current, the electromagnets mounted on the support brace repel and attract the alternating poles fixed to the magnetized wheel successively with each current cycle causing the road wheel to rotate.
The innovative MAGLEV drive system relates to the propulsion and magnetic levitation of a wheeled vehicle body by the use of magnetic force generation and in particular pertains to the use of an infinite length portable track in the form of a magnetized hubless road wheel attached to the vehicle body by a support brace through which magnetic force generated is converted into tractive force for the propulsion and magnetic levitation of the vehicle body without the need for a separate independent fixed track.
Applying the drive output at the circumference of the hubless road wheel substantially reduces the additional power required to overcome radial torque of convectional hub driven wheels making this method of propulsion the most efficient for fuel cell powered vehicles, thus enabling the technology to progress beyond the levels of emissions and energy savings achieved by hybrid and battery operated electric vehicles.
“The Safari” concept car designed by VBD Automotive Technologies is featured with the MHWD installed.