Suter Industries & Plettenberg Starter-Generator System
Suter Industries is a leading developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art engines, drivetrain systems and vehicles for various end markets. The company holds a leading position among suppliers of combustion engines for UAV, VTOL and ultralight aircraft applications. Suter’s flagship engine for these applications is the TOA-288, which is a two-cylinder horizontal as opposed to a two-cycle engine. The TOA-288is extremely fuel-efficient and powerful relative to its dimensions and weight. It was designed for operation under harsh environments, including extreme coldness and high altitude. Suter was looking for a starter-generator system, capable of starting the combustion engine in fractions of a second (starter motor) and then supplying the onboard electronics with electric power (generator). All parts had to be able to withstand harsh environmental conditions and the generator had to be provided as an integration kit to be integrated into the motor housing. The aim was also to design a solution which is lighter than comparable systems on the market.
Plettenberg is a leading manufacturer of tailored BLDC motors, brushed DC motors and ESCs for high-performance applications. Plettenberg is also among the leading global suppliers of generators and starters as well as related electronics for combustion engines in applications such as UAVs and aviation. The supplied generators are available in the power range from 500 W to 15 kW. All systems can be tailored to the requirements of the customer and be provided as an external generator (separate to combustion engine), attachment kits (to be attached to combustion engine) or integration kits (to be integrated into combustion engine housing). Together with the engineers of Suter, Plettenberg developed two starter-generator systems with a total output of up to 2 kW. The system consists of a generator integration kit as well as a starter electronic box and a generator electronic box. The developed solution has leading power-to-weight and efficiency ratios and is very compact in size. Plettenberg also supported Suter in integrating the generator into the existing engine housing.
Suter received a tailored starter-generator system that fulfilled all its requirements in terms of weight, size and efficiency. The combination of starter and generator provides significant overall weight savings compared to a system with a separate starter and generator. The generator is provided as an integration kit and is directly installed at the crankshaft of the engine, which mitigates the need for complex redesign.