What Are We Doing?

Meteor Power are focused on changing how we think about electric vehicles by asking, and answering, the questions everyone should be thinking about, including:

i) Why are electric motors so big?
ii) Why do I need to find space for separate motors, controllers and chargers?
iii) Why can’t I charge my car in ten or fifteen minutes?
iv) Is there an easy way I can sell my stored energy back to the grid at peak times?

Of course, those aren’t the only questions. How about:

i) Can we make a better motorcycle if we lose the biggest design compromise, i.e. having to design around a big heavy petrol engine?
ii) If I can charge my bike faster than I can put petrol in my old one why would I stick with technology from the last century?
iii) If my electric motor makes considerably more power than a typical petrol engine why not make use of it?

What about the other end of the market?

i) Are electric scooters robust enough for a commercial environment?
ii) What infrastructure is required to charge a dozen pizza delivery bikes parked outside the pizza shop?
iii) Will the same set up work for other lightweight vehicles, even those with four wheels?

Which brings us to the ‘Billion Dollar Last Mile Delivery Challenge’.

With more towns and cities introducing low or zero emission zones getting those vital goods to the shops and the parcels, or even pizza, to your front door is going to become more difficult.

Even if your typical Post Office van switches to electric you are still paying to transport a ton of aluminium and steel bodywork and infrastructure to deliver a few letters. Why not take advantage of the latest L-Category legislation allowing sub-600 Kg commercial vehicles to do the job for you?

Business Green Technology Awards Winner

Meteor Power had a great afternoon at the Business Green Technology Awards, held at the prestigious IET building in Savoy Place, London overlooking the Thames.

Having been nominated for three different awards the team were delighted to be declared the winner of the Business Green Technology of the Year category.

Not sure actor, author and all round TV personality Robert Llewellyn was too impressed ūüôā

Following on from our Clean & Cool trip to San Francisco back in June they decided to get all current and former Clean & Cool participants who won awards together for a photo.

Meteor Is Hiring

Power Electronics Engineer (x 2)

Meteor Power is looking to hire an experienced Power Electronics Engineer specializing in motor drives, grid tie systems and high power DC/DC converters, ranging from 5kW – 500kW and 48 to 800VDC / 460VAC.

Based at Silverstone we are developing some exiciting high rpm motor technology that requires fast switching rates from dual inverter power electronics. Currently looking at the latest silicon carbide (SiC) technology to deliver optimum motor control whilst reducing heat and electrical interference to a minimum.

Responsibilities:

  • Polyphase motor drive powertrains from thermal feasibility to detailed design of busbars, snubbers and DC link.
  • Cost Effective Gate Driver Architectures and circuit design for MOSFET, Si IGBT and SiC devices
  • Isolated and Non-Isolated High Power DC/DC converters (greater than 150kW)
  • EMI Filters and control for high power inverters, motor drives and DC/DC converters
  • Filters for importable and exportable sine wave power for grid tie and other applications

Qualifications

  • BSc., MSc. or PhD in Electronic Engineering with a power electronics or motor control related major.
  • 3 – 5 years in Inverter electrical design experience and DC/DC electrical design experience.

Other Requirements

  • Practical understanding of implementation of motor controller functionality, behaviors, and algorithms
  • Advanced knowledge of power electronics hardware development and motor controller design
  • Be familiar with Inductors and high frequency transformer design.
  • Experience of thermal management and control theory
  • Familiarity with safety and compliance standards for grid-connected power electronics
  • Experience with embedded firmware development for real-time controls systems
  • Experience of designing for compliance with relevant EMC/EMI standards
  • Familiarity with common designs for <1kV inverters, DC-DC converters etc.
  • Experience of synchronous and asynchronous motor control strategies, incl. modelling switching performance, etc.
  • Strong understanding of automotive hybrid/electric powertrain layouts and their operating modes

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Mechanical Design Engineer

Meteor Power is looking to hire an experienced Mechanical Design Engineer to work on vehicle chassis design and development, including key components and battery pack design, for two and four wheel applications.

Responsibilities

  • Technical leadership of chassis design and development, including suspension & electrical systems
  • Ensure design for manufacture to support cost effective production
  • Design solutions that meet agreed targets for ride & handling, durability, NVH, homologation, etc.

Qualifications

  • PhD. or MEng. in Mechanical Engineering, or equivalent.

Other Requirements

  • Creation of component specifications, component DFMEA, and other technical design documents.
  • Proficiency in CATIA V5, or similar 3D CAD software such as Solidworks.
  • Experience with low to medium volume (1 ‚Äď 10k units/year) production.
  • Analytical skills, specifically in tolerance analysis e.g. FEA, CFD, etc.
  • Knowledge of relevant manufacturing processes and a variety of engineering materials.
  • Experience designing a number of the following: electrical interfaces, electrical insulators, electrical conductors, thermal interfaces, thermal and fluid management systems.

Innovate 2015

Innovate 2015

Meteor Power exhibited at the Innovate 2015 event last November hosted by Innovate UK and UK Trade & Investment at Old Billingsgate in London.

UKTI have recently released a video of show highlights to promote Innovate 2016. Mike Edwards from Meteor Power features whilst explaining the benefits of hybrid power to Paul Gadd from Innovate UK (briefly from 2:07)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgiNqE8Gmmc

Venturefest Oxford

On Wednesday we attended the Venturefest Oxford event. This is a yearly event to showcase innovation from the Oxfordshire area and allow small companies to pitch to groups of investors.

The day before BBC South sent a cameraman round to interview us about the event which was shown on BBC Breakfast. Footage of us at the event was also shown on the BBC Oxford News in the evening.

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We had a stand where we showed our 3D printed model of our hybrid engine and discussed our products and investment plans with motorcycle fans, potential investors and even government representatives.

Meteor Power had been shortlisted from fifty applicants to take part in the Pitching for Success event. We had three minutes and just one slide to put across our products, finances and plans. Of the twenty companies that presented during the day we were awarded a runner up prize.

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Sharing Our Vision

A busy January saw Meteor Power invited to showcase our downsized hybrid engine technology at a number of high profile events. First was the MIA 10th International Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham followed by the launch of a new strategic partnership between the MIA & the IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology).

MIA 10th International Energy Efficient Motorsport Conference – 13th January 2016

Lots of interest in both the packaging and the power output of our design. Can’t wait to be able to show them¬†a fully working engine and hybrid powertrain.

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MIA & IET Partnership Launch Event – 20th January 2016

During the keynote presentation from IET president Naomi Climer, and presentations from other key delegates, our full size engine replica had pride of place on the main stage on a plinth between the speakers and the screens.

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Emission Reductions

‚ÄúCO2 needs to significantly reduce for motorcycles to have credibility as low carbon transport‚ÄĚ ‚Äď LowCVP 2010

‚ÄúCO2 emissions from PTWs are overall a very small share of total emissions. Given the fact of much lower CO2 emissions of PTWs per passenger, compared to passenger cars, the increase in trips conducted by PTWs will actually have a positive effect in the overall reduction of CO2 emissions from road transport.‚ÄĚ taken from http://righttoride.eu/regulationdocuments/report_measures_motorcycle_emissions_en.pdf

What Level Of Emission Reduction Can We Expect?

Based on the Ultraboost project (SAE paper number 2014-01-1185) where the 60% downsizing resulted in a 23% improvement in tail pipe CO2 emissions the research suggests that our 70% reduction in swept volume should result in a 29% reduction in accordance with Ultraboost findings (pages 25 & 26 of above document) and research from ‚ÄúFuture gasoline engine downsizing technologies‚ÄĚ by McAllister & Buckley, before the additional benefits of hybridisation, etc.

Using the VFR800 as an example we get a downsizing factor of 62.5%, resulting in a new CO2 figure of 119.1 g/km. Hybridisation should reduce that to approximately 83.37 g/km. Transport For London suggest that an average motorcyclist rides 87 miles per week so this would represent a saving of over 546 Kg CO2 per year per motorcycle.

Running the same calculations for a one litre sports bike, using the average data for over 750cc bikes from the EU funded research based on a 29% improvement from downsizing and an approximate 30% improvement from hybridisation we can estimate the following savings:

Average urban emissions 750cc+: 171.2 g/km CO2
Average yearly mileage: 7238.4 kms (87 miles per week)
Average yearly CO2 emissions: 1.239 tons

Downsizing Yearly Saving (per motorcycle): 171.2 * 7238.4 * 29% = 359.37 Kg CO2
Hybridisation Yearly Saving (per motorcycle): 171.2 * 7238.4 * 30% = 371.76 Kg CO2

Of course, it is the larger capacity motorcycles that tend to do the highest mileage and, even more importantly, pollute the most in the urban cycle where the pollution has the highest impact. It is also the urban cycle where the hybridisation could see the highest electric only use, increasing the impact of the emission reductions where it matters most.

Overall Yearly Savings (per motorcycle): 171.2 * 7238.4 * 71% * 70% =  615.88 Kg CO2
1.239 tons CO2 -> 0.615 tons = Saving of 0.624 tons (49.7%)

To put that in to perspective: 171.2 g/km CO2 * 71% * 70% = 85.09 g/km CO2

Using the ECE calculations for hybrid vehicles, based on the electric only range, would result in an official CO2 output of 42.5 g/km (25 km electric only range), 28.29 g/km (50 km electric only range) & 16.97 g/km (100 km electric only range).

For more information on the ECE calculations please see paragraph 3.2.3.2.1 of the following document:

https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs/updates/R101r3e.pdf