Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The patent of electrostatic motors

For this piece of news, we move to the United States, in Massachusetts, where Draper company is accomplishing a great change in the world of electric motors through the introduction of electrostatic motors.
They are a new family of electric motors and generators not based on electromagnetic principles but on electrostatic principles; a patent that would make electric motors lighter and more efficient.
How have they achieved this technological turning point? The innovation is based on a radical technological disruption: motors that exploit the forces of electric fields, and not magnetism, to generate torque.
In the past, however, electrostatic motors were too weak and problematic to compete with their electromagnetic counterparts, for instance owing to the heavy weight, the low maximum rotation speed and the big volumes of dielectric fluid.
Nowadays, on the contrary, due to the progress of materials and design, Draper is actually developing powerful electrostatic motors that can make the difference. Draper electrostatic motor includes a cylindric rotor and a stator, with the electrodes positioned on a cylindrical surface inside the stator. Electrically conductive electrodes are mounted on the cylindric rotor and a dielectric fluid fills the space between rotor and stator to prevent the electret discharge.
This approach might bring various benefits to different applications of electric motors: for drones, for industrial robots and the electric mobility.

UK project for electric aircrafts

New resources join the biennial project of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK known as InCEPTion, Integrated Flight Control, Energy Storage and Propulsion Technologies for Electric Aviation.
The English Drive System Design has in fact become key partner of the project as consulting company that will develop the electric motor and the power electronics for a unique highly integrated propulsion module suiting a range of aircrafts.
The project is a joint investment of Government and industry to maintain and enhance the competitive edge of United Kingdom in the civil aerospace design and production. InCEPTion, guided by Blue Bear Systems Research, will in fact develop a modular electric propulsion unit for manned and unmanned aircrafts, vertical take- off and landing (VTOL) and conventional take-off and landing aircrafts (CTOL) for 30 passengers maximum.

Here is the study to extract magnets from electronic waste

The prestigious Bentley Motors brand aims at more sustainable electric motors and, concerning this, it has announced a specific triennial technological study. It is called RaRE (Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines) and will be based on the work accomplished by the University of Birmingham in the ideation of a method to extract magnets from electronic wastes. The goal is reusing the magnetic material extracted to implement new recyclable magnets to be integrated inside tailored auxiliary motors. Even more sustainability will be assured by the fact that the motors tailor-made through this method allow minimizing the complexity of some manufacturing phases, meanwhile supporting the development of the supply chain of the United Kingdom for both mass-production components and for small batches.
“While we are speeding up the electrification race, offering only hybrid or electric vehicles within 2026 and full electric within 2030, it is important to focus on each aspect of the vehicle sustainability, including sustainable provisioning methods of materials and components. RaRE promises a radical change of the electric recyclability, providing a source of low-voltage motors really tailored for a series of different applications and we are confident that results will provide a support for completely sustainable electric drives “. This is the witness by Matthias Rabe, member of the Board of Directors of Bentley Motors.

Man can fly. Here is the wingsuit with electric motor

The first test of a revolutionary wingsuit, which allows man “to fly” has been recently held in Austria. How? Thanks to a 15 kW electric motor that powers two 7.5 kW 25,000 rpm turbines.
The wingsuit, which allows flying at 300 km/h, is called Electrified Wingsuit and it is the fruit of a project funded by Bmw, whose protagonist is the designer Peter Salzman.
The test took place along the Alpine chain Die drei Brüder, where the man in the wingsuit jumped from a helicopter at three thousand metres of altitude.
At present, it is just a prototype, will it really be a possibility for all in the future?

Here is the hybrid tractor for agriculture

It is called REX4 Electra the hybrid tractor by Landini brand, trademark of Argo Tractors Spa company, multinational of Argo industrial Group headquartered at Fabbrico, in Reggio Emilia province.

The vehicle, intended for crossing fruit and vegetable fields in a sustainable way, has won the Technical Novelty Eima International, too.

Propulsion is dominated by the 110 HP diesel engine that, through the generator and the battery, powers the two front electric motors, which deliver 12-kW power that can rise to 16-kW for each wheel.

In REX4, the novelty is positioned in the “bow” of the tractor, with fully electric front-wheel drive on suspended axle and sensors, electronic controls, generator and battery dedicated to the Brake Energy Recovery, the energy recovery in braking and deceleration phases.

The system, which is called Electra Evolving Hybrid, is managed by PMS, Power Management System, which supervises the operation of all devices, battery included.
What are benefits in terms of performances? We will achieve the 10% fuel saving, the 15% steering angle improvement, the 15% vibration reduction and higher transport stability.

Volvo invests in a new laboratory in Shanghai

Volvo Electric Site to provide model for sustainable construction in China

To design and to manufacture in-house electric motors for the next car generation, Volvo Cars has inaugurated in Shanghai, in China, a new laboratory precisely dedicated to electric propulsion systems. This structure, in operation since last month, joins the unit that constantly develops electric motors in Gothenburg, Sweden, and modern laboratories for batteries in China and Sweden.

«Through in-house design and development processes, we will be able to perfect our electric motors, reaching higher and higher qualitative levels. Constantly ameliorating the overall performance levels of propulsion systems in terms of energy efficiency and comfort, we create an electric drive experience that exclusively identifies Volvo brand» – stated Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer of Volvo Cars.

The laboratory activity will focus on the development of electric motors for applications in purely electric and hybrid cars based on the modular architecture for SPA 2 vehicles. The future of the brand is well outlined: the target is rising to 50% the share of fully electric models out of the total of global sales by 2025, with the remaining part constituted by hybrid models.

Electric Motors Efficiency needs better copper

A new manufacturing process yields highest conductivity copper composites at bulk scale. This is a discovery of researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL): they have increased the conductivity of copper wire by about five percent. Higher conductivity means that less copper is needed for the same efficiency, which can reduce the weight and volume of various components that are expected to power our future electric vehicles.

The laboratory teamed with General Motors to test out the souped-up copper wire for use in vehicle motor components. As part of a cost-shared research project, the team validated the increased conductivity and found that it also has higher ductility-the ability to stretch farther before it breaks. In other physical properties, it behaved just like regular copper so it can be welded and subjected to other mechanical stresses with no degradation of performance. This means that no specialized manufacturing methods are necessary to assemble motors-only the new advanced PNNL copper composite.

The technology can apply to any industry that uses copper to move electrical energy, including power transmission, electronics, wireless chargers, electric motors, generators, under-sea cables, and batteries.

General Motors Research and Development engineers verified the higher conductivity copper wire can be welded, brazed, and formed in exactly the same way as conventional copper wire. This indicates seamless integration with existing motor manufacturing processes.

«To further lightweight motors, advances in materials is the new paradigm – said Darrell Herling of PNNL’s Energy Processes and Materials Division. Higher conductivity copper could be a disruptive approach to lightweighting and/or increasing efficiency for any electric motor or wireless vehicle charging sytem».

Electric vehicles for delivery

REE’s innovative architecture is becoming the cornerstone of the broadest range of electric and autonomous vehicles. Three platforms point to future EVs, including last and mid-mile delivery, commercial & MaaS vehicles. The platforms are based on the advanced REEcorner module which utilizes full X-by-Wire technology for steering, braking and drive all in the arch of the wheel, enabling a fully-flat chassis

The wide array of REE’s modular platforms offer unprecedented design freedom to create any EV; from last and mid-mile delivery vans to commercial vehicles and autonomous shuttles

«EVs, particularly e-delivery vehicles, are in huge demand, with growth drivers including global carbon-emission regulatory policies coupled with a boom e-commerce. There is also a rapid rise in ‘mobility as a service’ (MaaS). Our modular platform is set to revolutionize electric mobility and as we shared today, the journey is well underway. Our platform provides the perfect blank canvas for our customers on which to build EVs tailored to their needs, whether it’s a fully autonomous last-mile delivery vehicle, a spacious yet compact urban shuttle or a flexible delivery truck with higher load capability on a smaller footprint» – said Daniel Barel, REE Co-Founder and CEO.

REE’s modular platform technology enables customers to choose the size that perfectly suits their vehicle requirements while the company’s industry-unique technology offers a choice of REEcorner modules, each with different sizing based on platform weight, dimensions and targeted applications.


Hitachi enters the automotive world

To face the growing market of the sustainable mobility in the United States, the Japanese company Hitachi has decided entering the segment of electric motors for battery vehicles.

Last August 19th, for this purpose, they have established Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America, with Shingo Nakamura as President.

The location where electric motors will be produced is in Kentucky, exploiting already existing offices and factories in Berea city, covering almost 260,000 square metres.

Manufacturing is expected to start in 2022.


Will the autonomous-guide electric container ship be implemented?

The news of the manufacturing stop for Yara Birkeland, the first autonomous-guide electric container ship, arouses the debate about the green future of intermodal logistics. The matter was the transition of the transport from road to sea, reducing noise, pollution and fine dusts, with more safety of local viability.

The means, focus of the project started by Vard and Yara International in collaboration with Kongsberg Gruppen, which designs and develops autonomous-guide systems for military and civil vehicles, has captured the attention of the entire world. The “green” container ship is aimed at delivering goods in Norway through fiords, transporting products from Porsgrunn manufacturing site to Brevik and Larvik cities.
The reduction of nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions that would occur in the region are equal to those generated by about 40,000 travels per year of trucks.
The loading capacity of Yara Birkeland, which will cover a course of approximately 40 miles at a maximum speed of 10 knots, is equal to 150 TEU. Besides, also the loading and unloading phase will be sustainable: it will occur with electric equipment.
In the opinion of Svein Tore Holsether, president and managing director of Yara, “this new autonomous battery container ship accomplishes the transition of the transport from road to sea, reducing noise and fine dusts and improving the safety of local viability.”

The means was expected to be ready in the first months of 2020, becoming at fully autonomous guide in 2022, but Pandemic has postponed everything. Let us see …