15 July 2014
Novel materials produce small motors with 90% efficiencies
(article by Drives and Controls Magazine)
Australian researchers have used novel magnetic materials to design and build small motors with energy efficiencies of up to 90%, compared to 60-70% for conventional designs. The new motors are also smaller in size for a given power output.
The researchers, from the University of Adelaide, are working with an industrial partner, Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions (IEMS).
They have used emerging magnetic material – soft magnetic composite (SMC) – combined with novel production techniques, to form stators suitable for use in motors or generators.
The SMC material consists of iron powder that can be pressed easily into any required shape. It is said to simplify manufacturing and to offer improved design flexibility. The technology can be scaled easily to higher output powers.
“Currently all commercial motors are made by pressing very thin metal sheets of silicon iron together and then stamping out the shape of the stator from the metal,” explains the lead researcher, associate professor Nesimi Ertugrul from the University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. “This process is wasteful of the metal sheeting, and also limits the best use of available space for the copper wire needed in motors.
“We’ve produced new stators using SMC with no need for machining, no scrap metal and improved space utilisation for copper wire for greater power output,” he adds.
The researchers have developed and patented prototype small motors, using SMC technologies. They say that these machines are achieving energy efficiencies of up to 90%.
A cutaway view of a water pump powered by the SMC-based motor technology developed in Australia
The first project resulted in a 2kW motor based on soft magnetic composites. IEMS designed and specified the SMC elements, while the University built a computer-controlled four-quadrant dynamometer testbed using an inline torque transducer.
The SMC-based motors operate at low speeds with high power outputs. Their production costs are expected to be low, and they are aimed at general-purpose applications such as swimming pool pumps.
The research has been funded through two grants from the Australian Research Council. The researchers are now looking for further investment partners to commercialise the technology.
The University researchers are also working with IEMS to develop a low-cost micro wind turbine generator based on the SMC materials. They say that this machine will have a high power density and low cogging torque.
See more at: Drives and Controls Magazine
Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul from the University of Adelaide – School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering is preparing more Technical Papers relating to the IEMS Soft Magnetic Composite Motor Technology and Patented Motor Winding for presentation at The 9th Institute Conference of Industrial Electronics and Applications ICIEA 2014 being held in Hangzhou, China between the 9th and 11th June 2014.
The Conference is organised by IEEE Industrial Electronics (IE) Chapter of Singapore Section and the Zhejiang University of Technology. Dates for the Deadline for Full Paper submissions have been set for the 31st October 2013.
The Directors are pleased to announce the collaboration efforts of Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd and The University of Adelaide – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the awarding of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project Grant.
The Research Grant is directed to the:
High power density, low cogging torque and low-cost micro-scale wind turbine generator system utilizing soft magnetic composite materials.
The Chief Investigator for this Grant from the University of Adelaide is Associate Professor Dr Nesimi Ertugrul and he recently stated: “This project will develop a low-cost, high performance and high-efficiency micro-scale wind turbine generator using a new magnetic material consisting of iron powder, which can be easily pressed into any desirable shape. This allows considerably simplified manufacturing, greater design flexibility and ease of scaling to higher output powers”.
This Federally funded research will be undertaken over the next three years
The Directors acknowledged the importance that independent, third party validation plays in attracting credible investors and manufacturers into this technology
Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd has applied for its third patent under the governance of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and we have now been advised by our patent Attorney that our “Patent is Pending” final approval. This patent application covers technology applicable to developments since our initial Patent Applications were lodged in December 2004 and granted in July 2009.
We see this as completing our technology to date and enhancing the design, manufacturability, and durability of our technology. This shall give confidence to our commercial partners and licensees that our technology can be defended under Patent Law.
Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd has been successful in being granted its two patents which it applied for in December 2004. Patent protection was applied for in both Australia and The United States of America. The Directors are pleased to be able to move forward and promote this technology in the full knowledge that Patent Protection is now available.
With regret the Directors of Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd note the passing of the Company Chairman – Mr Rodney Smith. Mr Smith had been fighting cancer for some time but never lost his passion in championing the company’s technology or promoting the people who he worked with in the development of the Company and its technology. He is fondly remembered.
Monday 10th April 2006
AN Australian motor manufacturer hopes to secure an unfettered portion of the global market with a new moulded electric motor design. Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions (IEMS) is a spin-off company from a manufacturing business with a 77 year operating history and has now been producing electric motors for five years . Like many Australian companies however, IEMS has faced increasing difficulty competing with large-scale production facilities in the US, Europe and Japan, and low cost labour countries, particularly China.
With this impetus, IEMS recently channelled over $1 million dollars into research and development, the company's CEO, David Gehlert told FEN. "The Australian market is being inundated by imports and so we decided we should develop our own product range," Gehlert said. The result was "moulded" motors with enormous commercial potential. The motors have an iron core, constructed in a single step by moulding iron powder into the required shape using a large press. This is a revolution upon the traditional method of stacking hundreds of thin sheets of iron (laminations), one on top of one another. IEMS' moulded designs are an estimated 30-40% cheaper to produce than conventional electric motors and eliminate the scrap material inevitably left over from conventional processes. They also use less copper.
These motors have the inherent benefits of brushless DC variable speed motors, with electronic controllers making them highly efficient. Gehlert said he expected the total efficiency of the power transmissions to be around 90%.
IEMS aims to establish the primary manufacturing capabilities of such high-efficiency, low-cost motors in Australia and is working with the University of Adelaide to optimise the manufacturing rocess.
Researchers at the school of Electrical and Electronic Enginnering are currently testing IEMS' designs with a computer aided test setup and developing faster design tools for future motor configurations.
The project has been supported by a $170,000 Australian Research Council Linkage Grant and IEMS is looking for further financial support from companies in end-user markets. Initial manufacturing targets are for applications in wheel-chairs, golf carts, scooters, electric-assisted bicycles and air-conditioners. The motor has already been used in a car under the University of South Australia's Two Person Renewable Energy Vehicle Project.
Click here to view the entire FEN article.
Friday 9th September 2005
Mr Rodney Smith – Chairman – is pleased to announce the collaboration efforts of Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd and The University of Adelaide – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the awarding of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project Grant.
The Research Grant is directed to the:
Innovative Design of Soft Magnetic Composite Brushless Permanent Magnet Motors with Enhanced Characteristics and Manufacturing Advantages for Commercial Applications.
The Chief Investigator for this Grant from the University of Adelaide is Dr Nesimi Ertugrul and he recently stated: “The importance and relevance of R&D in this area relates directly to the poor efficiencies of fixed-speed motors, the manufacturing cost and low efficiency of conventional variable speed motor drive systems, and the increasing demand for, and cost of electricity in industrialized countries. These factors exacerbated by complex stator winding requirements in conventional lamination machines and an excessive defect rate commonly caused by stator winding failures”.
Mr Smith acknowledged the importance that independent, third party validation plays in attracting credible investors and manufacturers into this technology. He said: "Whilst our motor designs have progressed to prototype models, it is the limited low volume manufactured model runs planned in conjunction with the University of Adelaide that will validate the quality and quantity of improvement achievable by this technology".
Tuesday 14th April 2005
Chairman Mr Rodney Smith announces that Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd is encouraged by preliminary findings which demonstrate significant power efficiency improvements for their current generation Torrent Technology prototype motor when compared to comparable motors in this market.
Initial performance indications are that the current prototype motor can achieve a 90% – 92% range of efficiency.
Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd, based in Adelaide, South Australia will continue to work with local universities to apply this technology and to receive independent third-party verification of test results.
Monday 20th December, 2004
Intelligent Electric Motor Solutions Pty Ltd, has applied for two patents under the governance of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and have been advised by our patent Attorney that our “Patent is Pending” final approval.
We at IEMS see this as vindication of out determination to proceed through a long and arduous process to product development and commercialization.
Our Chairman – Mr Rodney Smith says:
“We are looking forward to the commercialization phase of this product development and are actively seeking commercial partners through the Intellectual Property Licence phase. We are very proud of the developments produced by our Engineering Team and are confident that this will continue into the future”.