Mobility by thyssenkrupp

mobility of the future | Electrical steel drives experts and solar car to top performance

“I’ve always been a fan of technology and innovations,” says Abdullah Kahveci, an electrical steel expert at thyssenkrupp’s Bochum plant. Since 2011 Kahveci, who has a degree in electrical engineering, has been working as part of the Applications Technology team to study the properties of electric motors of all kinds, and he uses his knowledge to advise developers and manufacturers of electric machines – including the SolarCar team at Bochum University.


He is particularly fascinated by future-oriented areas such as e-mobility. So he’s delighted by the collaboration between thyssenkrupp and Bochum University on the SolarCar project, which started in 2013 and is now working on its third vehicle. He is currently working with the students on two hub motors, which will power the new SolarCar over 3,000 kilometers through the Australian outback at the World Solar Challenge. Kahveci is looking forward to this event just as much as his student colleagues.



The students don’t just build the body of the solar-powered cars themselves, for some years they have also been manufacturing the hub motors mounted in the wheels.

Abdullah Kahvecielectrical steel expert at thyssenkrupp’s Bochum plant

He supports them with his expertise and his personal enthusiasm. “The project gives me an insight into technologies I wasn’t previously familiar with, for example how the solar panels and batteries work.” Seeing how the students work on the project and making his own contribution is a good mix that he really enjoys.


The motor, where Kahveci and the students work, is integrated in awheel and supports the hub, allowing the torque to be transferred directly to the wheel. An important material in the motor is the electrical strip, a cold-rolled sheet of iron-silicon alloy, which is required for the production of magnetic circuits.The steel experts and students in the SolarCar project are now looking into how the electrical steel influences the performance of the motor. Once the geometry and technical requirements for the motor have been defined, the most suitable electrical steel grade is selected.


For the 2017 SolarCar, Kahveci recommends the non-oriented electrical steel grade 030-160Y420. “This material permits high energy density in a small space, two essential factors for e-mobility and thus also for the solar car,” he explains. The flat-rolled electrical steel is produced at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s Bochum plant and then cut into laminations using a CO2 laser beam cutter; the students then process the laminations into stators and rotors for the electric motors. “Great care is needed when processing the electrical steel,” Kahveci stresses, “because any inaccuracies could negatively impact the properties of the motor, which would result in lower performance or parasitic effects.” Kahveci finds it highly commendable that the students want to take on this challenge themselves rather than just buying in ready-to-install motors:

They get to know all the components from the ground up and know exactly how they work and what properties they have; that knowledge will help them in their future careers.

Abdullah Kahvecielectrical steel expert at thyssenkrupp’s Bochum plant