Energica introduced on the MotoE 2022 some important innovations to reduce the weight of the bike by 15 kg. Thanks to the availability of Giampiero Testoni, CTO of Energica Motor Company, we are able to go into the details of the new components, in particular the new engine.
The weight of the MotoE has always been her Achilles heel and is the aspect that was immediately identified as the one to work on by Dorna and Energica. Introducing technical innovations into a new competition is not easy, even less so during a pandemic. This is how the new engine designed by Energica, already available to be mounted on the Ego Corsa last year, had to wait a year for the first laps on track.
The first feature of the new engine is its weight, 10 kg less than the previous model. Some weight was also saved by the new inverter, which weighs 3,5 kg less. Also removing 2 liters of oil that were used to cool the previous version of the engine, the MotoE 2022 weighs about 247 kg, about 15 kg less than the model used in the first 3 years of the World Cup.
Giampiero Testoni, CTO of Energica Motor Company, explains that the advantages of the new engine are not only measured in lower weight but also in a different distribution of masses, lower inertia and better handling, giving a completely new riding feeling to the bike.
If the engine performance for the 2022 motorcycle in terms of power and torque was kept unchanged, everything else has changed, starting with efficiency. The previous permanent magnet drive had a peak efficiency of 95%, which, combined with that of the inverter (92%), brought the overall efficiency of the system to 87%. The new 2022 engine features 97% peak efficiency as well as having a wider high efficiency operating range. The efficiency of the new inverter is 97%, thus bringing the overall efficiency to 94%, seven percentage points more than the previous propulsion system.
Testoni explains that the advantages of the new engine motor are the result of a completely new concept and design. The motor of the MotoE of the previous three seasons was of the permanent magnet synchronous type (PMSM - Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor). In that type of motor, the flow of alternating current that passes through the stator windings generates a magnetic field that rotates the permanent magnets mounted on the rotor shaft. The latter transmits the motion to the pinion and from there to the wheel.
The new 2022 motor, on the other hand, is synchronous reluctance (SynRM - Synchronous Reluctance Motor) and is based on a completely different operating principle that exploits the anisotropy of the rotor to create a variable resistance to the flux of the magnetic field generated by the stator.
The new SynRM motor no longer needs permanent magnets to function, which helps to make it lighter. In addition, high-rpm PMSM-type motors suffer from the effect of electromotive force: a resistance generated by the permanent magnets that tends to slow the rotor. To counter this effect, the stator must produce a stronger magnetic field by absorbing more energy from the battery. On SynRM motors this does not happen, with the result of consuming less current at high rpm.
On the other hand, however, the new motor needs more current at low rpm, as it cannot count on the contribution of permanent magnets; a negligible aspect for track use, where the MotoE spend very limited time at low speed.
Thanks to the improved efficiency of the new motor, the operating temperatures of the stator windings are lower as well as those of the shaft bearings. All of this has a positive impact on overall efficiency in the new PowerTrain made by Energica.
The rotor is now air-cooled and no longer oil-cooled: fans mounted at the two ends of the shaft convey the hot air inside the engine towards the side covers and from here the heat is dissipated into the external environment. The liquid front radiator is used to cool only the stator of the motor and the inverter, through a plate exchanger.
The maximum rotation speed is now higher and reaches 11000 rpm, allowing the MotoE to slightly increase the maximum speed. Acceleration has also improved, going from 2,8 seconds to 2,6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h.
The characteristics of the new engine not only improve the speed performance of the MotoE but also braking performance. 15 kg less are felt especially when braking and entering fast corners. Not only the overall inertia of the bike has decreased, but also the moment of inertia of the rotor. As confirmed by Matteo Ferrari, rider of the Gresini Racing team, “now, when you use the rear brake, you feel that the wheel slows down while before it continued to rotate and push”.
Overall, the MotoE 2022 weighs 242 kg which rises to 247 kg with the addition of cameras, telemetry modules and related cables. Removing 15 kg at once on a racing bike is no small feat but Testoni is keen to point out that this is not the technological limit of Energica.
“The motor, although lighter, is designed as a component for road bikes; in fact, the same engine is fitted as standard on the various versions of the Energica Ego and Energica Eva. If we had designed a pure racing motor, it would have weighed another 10 kg less, but the current MotoE philosophy is different.
Ours project was brought to the track in 2018, if we were to design a track bike from scratch today, it would have even more extreme characteristics. It would certainly weigh less than 220 kg, it would have a range greater than 25% and it would be 2 seconds faster”.
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