SolarEdge Technologies. has filed a patent for a vehicle with a virtual gearbox that includes a microprocessor to manage and limit the motor driving torque. The virtual gearbox sets limits for maximum angular velocity and torque based on the vehicle’s speed, providing optimal performance. GlobalData’s report on SolarEdge Technologies gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on SolarEdge Technologies, Smart energy mgmt systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. SolarEdge Technologies's grant share as of September 2023 was 47%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A patent for a virtual gearbox for vehicles

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: SolarEdge Technologies Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230311670A1) describes a method and a vehicle system that aims to simulate the experience of driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, even if the vehicle has an electric motor and a fixed gear ratio transmission. The method involves receiving the speed of the vehicle and the acceleration level from the speed gauge and acceleration pedal, respectively. Based on these inputs, the system sets limits for the maximum angular velocity and torque of the electric motor according to a predetermined rule, which is determined by the speed of the vehicle. The electric motor then provides the appropriate angular velocity and torque to the transmission, taking into account the acceleration level, maximum angular velocity, maximum torque, and speed of the vehicle.

The patent also mentions that the limits of the maximum angular velocity and torque can simulate multiple gear ratios of a traditional gearbox. Additionally, the system can generate a counter-driving power when the acceleration level is negative, such as during braking. This counter-driving power can vary in intensity based on the speed and acceleration level. It can be used for vehicle braking, simulate downshifting, or mimic engine braking caused by the friction of an internal combustion engine.

Furthermore, the system can simulate the engagement and disengagement of a mechanical clutch based on the clutch slip level. It can also reproduce a sound that corresponds to a real internal combustion engine in the same condition as the vehicle. The torque and angular velocity can be variable if the vehicle has a continuously variable transmission. The system can also determine the torque and angular velocity based on the gear selection, which can be activated automatically.

In summary, this patent describes a method and vehicle system that allows for the simulation of driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, even if the vehicle has an electric motor and a fixed gear ratio transmission. The system takes into account various factors such as speed, acceleration level, and gear selection to provide the appropriate torque and angular velocity to the transmission. It also includes features such as simulating gear ratios, generating counter-driving power, simulating clutch engagement and disengagement, reproducing engine sounds, and accommodating continuously variable transmissions.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.