Latest reported breakthrough comes from California's 360 Power Group
California's 360 Power Group of Marina Del Rey announced November 29 that it has successfully tested a new electric motor design that delivers 98.4% electrical efficiency at a load of 1,800 rpm, claiming a new record.
Those in the electric motor industry are no stranger to claims of unprecedented efficiency. Experienced technicians chafed at the idea of new NEMA efficiency classifications when they were first introduced in the 1980s, while others praised efficiency development for its modern application potential for things like electric vehicles.
360 Power Group is leaning on the aforementioned metrics, which it says are "more than three times the efficiency of a typical electric motor."
The purported breakthrough was achieved by 360 Power Group's research and development team, led by chief design engineer Michael Salerno, who has been working on the project for more than two years.
360 Power Group's design incorporates a radial-axial-radial magnetic field to produce 3 fields instead of two. Instead of using a field coil, the design uses modular coils that reduce copper consumption by 33%, reduce size and weight by 33%, and prevent catastrophic failure. In the unlikely event of a coil failure, the motor runs at a slightly reduced efficiency until the module can be replaced. The amazing efficiency means that a 360 Power Group motor has at least a 33% increase in range compared to conventional EV motors, using the same battery system.
The unique architecture also allows for a continuously variable-speed electronic transmission, eliminating the need for mechanical transmission. The low rpm reduces vibration, noise, heat, and associated maintenance costs that high rpm EV motors experience.
The motor is scalable from 1 kW to 500 kW in rated output and can be configured in a traditional drive train or in hub wheels.
"This represents a radical innovation in electric motor technology," said Salerno. "This technology operates as both a motor and a generator, making synergistic power engineering heretofore impossible, achievable."
Salerno points out that, as a generator, "The applications become huge because of the power density, small size, and weight compared to conventional technology Roof-top-mounted wind turbines are now feasible. Even the large megawatt sized generators will be much smaller, with no transmission, and simpler to maintain. The applications of this breakthrough technology are limitless."