Highly Optimized Passive Lubrication System for an EV Transmission

Presentation by Dr. Milos Stanic, nanoFluidX Product Manager at Altair.

Optimising the rotational losses of an EV transmission is essential to improve range. Whilst bearing and gear losses are well understood, the interaction between rotating components and transmission fluid rarely exploited other than reducing lubricant viscosity. Effective methods for modelling drag and fluid transfer around a transmission have not robustly existed previously.

Converting electrical power into mechanical power to drive a fluid pump is wasteful. However, in tightly packaged EV transmissions where thermal cooling is limited it is essential to manage the lubricant. A novel method for passively moving fluid around an EV transmission with low losses has been developed. The system uses existing components in the gearbox to move fluid in a controlled manner. The cost savings of using this technology can be used directly elsewhere to improve vehicle range.

In order to iterate through potential design solutions a suitable computer based modelling approach had to be developed. A new smoothed particle hydrodynamics approach was created to predict the fluid movement and the drag level on the remaining components. A correlation of this approach was carried out with real world testing to prove its validity.
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