Rothmans Electric and ITAinnova Shine at Motorland

On October 30, 2023, we conducted a joint testing session with ITAinnova (Centro Tecnológico de Aragon) at the short track of Motorland in Alcañiz, with the assistance of a very professional team of Motorland technicians.

This was the very first time ITAinnova and Rothmans Electric, collaborating on the development of an innovative powertrain for two years now, test the first prototype with our joint tecnologies.

The limitations of current electric technology are well-known by all of us. Rothmans Electric, with backgound developing production electric motorcycles, and ITAinnova, developing tailor made solutions for companies in different sectors, advocate together for a pure electric solution that hybridizes two energy storage technologies. All good, but how?

This powertrain incorporates a conventional axial flow motor that draws energy from three storage modules: two Lithium-Ion modules (located on each side of the kart) and one supercapacitor module positioned at the rear, just in front of the rear axle. The system efficiently regenerates energy from braking to these three modules. The distinctive feature lies in the power control, precisely identifying the optimal points for extracting and returning energy seamlessly.

However, our innovation begins at an earlier stage: utilizing a complex mathematical model developed and optimized by ITAinnova for Rothmans. This model allows us to simulate all energy flows before arriving at Motorland. These tests are crucial to assess the accuracy of the simulations against the real data logged during the actual testing, helping us understand the effectiveness of our simulations.

A Special Kart and Track:

Our testing team, comprised of three engineers from ITAinnova and the co-founder of Rothmans Electric, Inocencio Gonzalez, unveiled a truly unique kart: a modified BRM. This kart featured two 60V battery modules, an ultracap module, a multiport ECU/inverter, and a 20kW motor. The kart was thoughtfully sensorized to measure and record crucial data in real-time. It also sported a Rothmans Racing MRSpro competition steering wheel customized by Paco Sanfiel, a Canarian artist renowned for helmet painting, who has recently crafted for us several exclusive wheel designs for special occasions.

The Motorland circuit served as the perfect stage for the debut of this kart. Not only did it guarantee privacy, confidentiality, and professional service from the staff, but its layout, with a combination of fast and slow sections, along with uphill and downhill stretches, proved invaluable for optimizing our mathematical model (or the “digital twin,” as the modern terminology goes 😉

Results and Next Steps:

The team completed the entire test plan with a single set of batteries, demonstrating the kart’s efficiency during the 8 sessions of 4 laps each. The tests were conducted at 60V (prepared for up to 96V), motivating a return for more power. The consumption, lower than anticipated, highlights the effectiveness of regeneration thanks to the experimental ultracap module.

Although simulation results are for internal use, we can confidently say they surprisingly aligned with the model, encouraging us to continue optimizing our tool.

The next steps include model optimization, a new module of ultracaps, and updating the kart’s configuration.

The Future:

Rothmans Electric plans to offer energy simulation services to manufacturers, reducing time and costs. Additionally, we are working on applications of this technology for products that could hit the market soon. The intention is to return to Motorland with an updated system. Time will tell if the solution is acceptable for competition and/or applicable to electric vehicles.

PS: Fortunately, we will know before returning to Motorland because we will have simulated it beforehand 😉

Team Rothmans Electric.

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