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The electrification of transport and traffic, especially on the roads, has finally gained momentum after long, tough birth pangs. The pioneer of this development is currently Norway. Although richly blessed with fossil fuels, the share of e-vehicles in new registrations there is currently around 80 percent. This sends an important signal: it works! Now, at the latest, it is time not only to think about electrification in areas that have been neglected so far, but also to finally take action. Machine manufacturers from all sectors have already recognised that electric drives are an important building block for a future-proof and sustainable product portfolio. To support and drive the electrification of off-highway machinery in particular, Bosch Rexroth recently presented a comprehensive portfolio of 700-volt components for the electrification of mobile machinery under the name eLION. The roughly outlined specifications for this new generation of components were first formulated by Matthias Kielbassa, Product Area Manager Electrification at Rosch Rexroth, at a trade conference in Ulm in September 2021: scalability, robustness and functional safety.

Scalability through modular construction kit

As of today, these specifications have been implemented to a large extent. The 700-volt electric eLION motor-generators from Bosch Rexroth cover a nominal power range from 20 to 200 kilowatts (peak power up to 400 kilowatts) and deliver nominal torques of up to 1050 newton metres and maximum torques of up to 2400 newton metres. They are available in four sizes, each with different lengths and motor winding configurations and, depending on the version, as a high-speed or low-speed variant. This results in more than 80 possible configurations, offering machine manufacturers the greatest possible design freedom for the electrification of existing and new vehicle architectures.

Everything from a single source

To match this, eLION also supplies inverters in various power classes with up to 300 amps continuous current and high overload capacity. The inverters support DC link voltages from 400 to 850 volts. But that's not all: new gearboxes with high power density for wheel and central drives (eGFT and eGFZ) enable particularly compact drive units for a wide range of applications. The range is rounded off by other electrical components such as DC/DC converters, power distribution units, on-board chargers and high-voltage cables. Thanks to these, eLION offers manufacturers an "all-round carefree package", completely independent of the energy source ultimately selected (for example hybrid or battery-electric).

New development with a view to operating conditions and functional safety

According to Kielbassa, the development department at eLION benefited from the company's in-house experience with electric industrial solutions and its comprehensive industry knowledge of mobile machinery. Bosch's many years of expertise in the field of electromobility also proved helpful. Nevertheless, since all components were developed from scratch, no compromises were necessary with regard to the harsh off-highway operating conditions. The eLION motor-generators and inverters are correspondingly robust: both meet the IP6K9K sealing protection class and can be used in temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius to plus 85 degrees Celsius. For the motor-generators, the upper temperature limit is even 100 degrees Celsius. The shock and vibration resistance of all eLION components is up to 50 g shock and 10 g vibration. Functional and electrical safety was also not neglected during product development: manufacturers and users alike benefit from inverter safety functions according to ISO 13849.

Ready to go

Although just over a year has passed since the launch in September 2021, the eLION platform is already ready for take-off, not least thanks to the cooperation of renowned manufacturers such as Kalmar or Sennebogen, who have been able to gain positive experience with eLION components in pilot projects. Kielbassa is accordingly pleased about the recent market entry: "The goal is to use our technology to shape a future with increased efficiency, lower noise emissions and less air pollution. To achieve this, we have the right products at the right time and at the same time help our customers to expand their market position in mobile machinery in a future-proof way."