BorgWarner has been granted a patent for an electric drive unit that includes an electric motor, a differential assembly, a transmission, and a pair of output shafts. The unit is designed to provide cost-effective and reliable cooling and lubrication to various components. The housing assembly of the unit features multiple lubricant supply galleries that allow lubricant from an upper reservoir to drain and cool the associated components. GlobalData’s report on BorgWarner 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 BorgWarner, Turbocharger bearings was a key innovation area identified from patents. BorgWarner's grant share as of September 2023 was 64%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Electric drive unit with improved cooling and lubrication

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

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11773962B1) describes an electric drive unit with improved lubrication and cooling mechanisms. The drive unit includes a housing assembly with multiple cavities, a sump, and an upper reservoir. An electric motor is housed in one cavity, with a stator, rotor, and motor output shaft. A differential assembly is located in another cavity, with input and output members. The drive unit also features a transmission to transmit power between the motor output shaft and the differential input member.

One key aspect of the invention is the inclusion of lubricant supply galleries within the housing assembly. These galleries allow lubricant from the upper reservoir to drain via gravity to various components of the drive unit, providing lubrication and cooling. The first lubricant supply galleries intersect the upper reservoir at a lower height dimension, while the second lubricant supply galleries intersect at a higher height dimension. This design ensures proper lubricant distribution to different components based on their lubrication needs.

Additionally, the patent describes the configuration of the second lubricant supply galleries to direct lubricant onto a portion of the stator, specifically the windings. This targeted lubrication helps to enhance the cooling of the stator and improve overall performance and longevity of the electric drive unit.

The drive unit also includes various bearings to support rotating components, such as the motor output shaft, differential input member, and output shafts. Lubricant from the first lubricant supply galleries is directed to these bearings, ensuring smooth rotation and reducing wear and tear.

Furthermore, the patent discloses the use of flow dividers and a discharge chute in the upper reservoir to control the flow of lubricant. The flow dividers help direct the lubricant to desired areas within the reservoir, including areas near the first lubricant supply galleries. The discharge chute guides the lubricant towards the flow dividers, ensuring efficient distribution.

Overall, this granted patent presents an electric drive unit with improved lubrication and cooling mechanisms. By optimizing the flow of lubricant to different components and incorporating targeted lubrication, the drive unit aims to enhance performance and durability.

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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.