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Development of high reliability motor drives for next generation propulsion applications

Project description

An interdisciplinary approach to high-performance motor drives for propulsion applications

The EU-funded DORNA project comprises a research and innovation staff exchange network that will tackle technical challenges facing electrified transport. The focus is on the development of high-reliability electric traction drives (drives that use electric power for moving forward). Matching the type of drive to the correct motor in an application is critical for getting the best fit for torque density, power density, fuel efficiency and fault tolerance. Bringing together leading universities and industries, DORNA will take an interdisciplinary approach to the development of high-performance motor drives for next-generation propulsion applications that can operate at high speeds and harsh environments.


This action, entitled “Development of high reliability motor drives for next generation propulsion applications”, is a 4-year research focused training program. It is aimed to form a coherent Research and Innovation Staff Exchange network so as to address technical challenges facing the electrifying transport industry, with a focus on high-reliability electrical traction drives.

Transport electrification has been considered as a major advancement to reducing CO2 emissions and improving energy efficiency. At the heart of the propulsion systems are electrical traction drives. But technological developments are still at an early stage. Industries are trying out different traction drive technologies. Permanent magnet synchronous motors, induction motors, reluctance motors and DC motors-based traction drives are all found in use while they have their inherent advantages and drawbacks. In academia and industry, there are no consensus on the best traction drive for a single application. Existing technologies cannot meet the ever-growing market needs for safe, fast, green and affordable transportation. Major challenges include demands for very high torque density, power density, fuel efficiency and fault tolerance, pushing the devices and components to their physical and material limits. Particularly operating motor drives at high speeds and harsh environments require a new mindset of component and system design for safety-critical high-reliability requirements, as well as multidisciplinary approaches to combine multiphysics (e.g. thermal, stress) with the conventional electromagnetic and electronic designs.

This program will bring together EU’s leading universities and industries, and utilise the latest technological discoveries in power electronics, motor drives, drivetrains and control, sensors and monitoring, communications, big data and artificial intelligence. The outcomes will be significant to impact on EU transport sector, EU research landscape and EU economy.


Net EU contribution
€ 193 200,00
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
United Kingdom

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East Midlands (England) Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Nottingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 294 400,00

Participants (16)

Partners (4)