More Power without Rare Earth Minerals

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Ricardo, a long-time developer of internal combustion engines, has become a major force in the electric motor field, too.   Its latest offering is an 85 kilowatt synchronous reluctance drive designed primarily for electric vehicle traction applications, made with advanced manufacturing techniques and no rare earth minerals. Without spilling any number beans other that the expected power output, Ricardo says that, “Using a conventional distributed stator winding, the Ricardo synchronous reluctance electric machine is a highly innovative design that makes use of low-cost materials, simple manufacturing processes and uncomplicated construction. It has a rotor made from cut steel laminations, which are used to direct and focus the flux across the air gap. By maximizing this flux linkage between the stator and …

Additive Manufacturing for Electric Motors

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) is working with the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on the “Additive Manufacturing of Optimized Ultra-High Efficiency Electric Machines,” or making motors through 3-D printing with metals, possibly obviating the need for rare-earth elements. The $2.7 million ARPA-E award will fund the East Hartford, Connecticut-based project through early 2016 and may lead toward the goal of creating lower-cost, more efficient motors. Because modern permanent magnet motors require rare earth minerals in their magnets for maximum performance, manufacturers must make optimum use of these minerals with minimum waste to be successful.  Because these minerals do not exist in large quantities in North America, makers must import a great many of them from Asia, where …