The MAXIMA project, funded by the Horizon Europe programme, aims to design, and develop a low-cost modular permanent magnet (PM) axial flux electrical machine (EM) for the automotive market, with improved performances, while limiting the use of critical raw materials (CRM) and the environmental impact. The project started in February 2023 and will last 4 years. To achieve this objective, the project will develop an advanced multiphysics design procedure that combines new concepts for thermal management, and a Digital Twin (DT) to optimize control strategies and operate the EM to its full potential. To reduce costs, the project will optimize the EM's manufacturing process flow using a modular concept design for mass production. The project will also address the EM's end-of-life by considering recycling options for the PM, which is made from critical raw materials. To reduce the project's environmental impact, the life cycle of each solution will be analyzed using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The project will conclude with the manufacturing of prototypes for testing, assessment, and validation of the new concepts addressed in MAXIMA, including the modular EM design, optimal control based on DT, and the manufacturing/recycling process flow. Limitations of the MAXIMA project may include that the methodology being developed must address multiple conflicting constraints, including efficiency, cost reduction, high performance in terms of power/torque density, and recyclability, particularly for critical raw materials. It may be challenging to find a design that satisfies all of these requirements simultaneously. Additionally, the project may face obstacles in achieving the desired balance between cost reduction, performance improvement, and environmental impact reduction. The MAXIMA project offers a new approach to designing and developing low-cost, high-performance EMs for the automotive market that takes into consideration the entire value chain from raw material suppliers to car manufacturers. The project also focuses on the development of a methodology for designing and manufacturing EMs, which will accelerate the time to market and reduce costs. Furthermore, the use of digital twins for optimal control of the EM represents an innovative approach to improving performance. In conclusion, the MAXIMA project represents a significant step forward in the development of low-cost, high-performance EMs for the automotive market. The project brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to address the main technological and scientific challenges involved in designing and manufacturing these machines while reducing their environmental impact. The project will lead to tools and know-how which will reduce the time to market for future EMs while providing a validated methodology and new technologies like Digital Twin for operating EMs to their full potential.
Mrs. Stéphane Clenet, Professor of Electrical Engineering, ENSAM- Arts et Métiers-Institute of Technology