Saturday, April 1, 2023

A new research centre on electric motors

Due to the funds coming from the RRNP and from structural funds, Turin Polytechnics will collaborate with the Municipality of Pianezza in the creation of a Research Centre for the design of electric motors. The concerned area has been reclassified as “of collective interest ” and will be redeveloped. According to this vision, they have established an agreement that will last for three years: the Municipality of Pianezza must provide the spaces and the intervention projects to allow the start of the collection of events of interest for public and private subjects interested in contributing in the creation of the Centre. In its turn, the Polytechnics will provide the necessary scientific support for the activities of research, study and training that will be held in the centre. The project will permit the conversion of territorial companies through the enhancement of the role of the industry that manufactures motors and of the entire industrial sector chain.
The Rector of the Polytechnics, Guido Saracco, stated: «With this agreement, the Polytechnics adds another important step in the process of support and development for the territorial economy and for the small medium enterprises that are going to start a process of industrial reconversion. With these synergies, we will share in further boosting economy, employment and youth’s education ».
In the photo Guido Saracco, Rector of the Polytechnics and Antonio Castello, Major of the Municipality of Pianezza (To).

Motor in the wheel? Here is the proposal by Hitachi

In the past, various companies have already tried developing disruptive zero-emission motors, for instance with motors hidden in the wheel. This frontier has not technically found its benefit, yet, especially owing to the weight hindrance.
Hitachi, more precisely its subsidiary Hitachi Astemo, is trying giving a solution to the problem with the Direct-Drive. In practice, the manufacturer is going to integrate everything in a single component, placing in the wheel the motor, the inverter and the brake to achieve a power/weight ratio of 2.5 kW for each kg. In this way, they can partially eliminate wirings, as well as transmission gears, so improving efficiency up to 30%.
The prototype wheel is 19″, with maximum torque of 960 Nm, operation at 420 volt and maximum power of 60 kW: multiplied by four wheels, the total value would amount to 240 kW.
To avoid undesired contacts between the inverter components and the liquid, the cooling oil circulates in a ring among the various parts, by means of tubes, directly acting on power semiconductors, and then it is conveyed to the motor to cool coils.

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?

Young scientists, awarded the project of the magnet-free synchronous reluctance motor

The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair is a big international STEM competition of higher schools that takes place every year in the United States. In the last edition, the young scientists of higher schools worldwide won almost 8 million dollars in awards and scholarships.
Among them – obtaining a prize worth 75,000 dollars – there is also a student committed to a project whose mission is revolutionizing the world of electric motors. He is the seventeen years old Robert Sansone from Fort Pierce, in Florida. The teenager has already accomplished over 60 projects connected with the engineering world and today the focus is on his project to improve the synchronous reluctance motor, which can operate without magnets and without using rare earths.
We cannot reveal a lot because the technology is not patented, yet. However, we can say the teenager, not relying on many resources to implement advanced motors, has to manufacture a scale prototype by using a 3D printer and exploiting plastic. The delivered torque exceeds 39%, whereas efficiency is 31% higher at a rotation speed of 300 rpm. At 750 rpm, the efficiency has improved by 37%. Clearly, they are much lower rotation speeds than motors on trade because the prototype has not been brought to higher rotation rates to avoid overheating plastic components. Maybe that money won will allow him further developments.

CITraMS for transport and sustainable mobility

The topic of sustainable mobility has become a heritage of the sensitivity acquired in recent times by public opinion and is almost unanimously considered central to the processes of territorial and especially urban development.
Complexity is inherent in the concept of sustainability to be understood as a volume of overlapping among environmental, social and economic spheres. It is necessary to be aware that moving people or goods in space is an articulated and complex function since it implies the involvement of users’ needs with acquired behaviors, territorial assets, different transport systems, technological devices, physical and regulatory constraints, etc.
Fig. 1 - CITraMS’s expertises. The Center was born with a high both territorial and international vocation and with a transversal scientific approach (engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, medical-neuroscientific science and humanistic disciplines)
The transportation sector in particular and the mobility sector in general have a large impact on health and human life, so anything that improves people’s health and protects human life should be counted among the sustainable initiatives. From this point of view, the sustainable mobility can only be analyzed following the logic of complexity through a systemic and multidisciplinary approach based on an adequate level of knowledge, analytical and numerical studies, simulation models for the critical evaluation of all effects.

The Research center

With the intent to contribute to addressing the complex issue mentioned above, in 2019 the University of L’Aquila has established the Interdepartmental Research Center for Transport and Sustainable Mobility (CITraMS) which involves the 7 Departments of the University, public Bodies, transport Companies and sever- al national and international ex- perts in the field of transportation. The Abruzzo Region and TUA, the Unique Abruzzo Public Transport Company, have joined this initiative that is unique in the Italian panorama.

Fig. 2 – Experimental system of UAQ4 high temperature superconducting magnetic levitation train

The Center was therefore born with a high both territorial and international vocation and with a transversal scientific approach involving several fields such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, medical-neuroscientific science and humanistic disciplines, as illustrated in the Fig 1.

Themes and objectives

CITraMS promotes and coordinates interdisciplinary research, technology transfer and dissemination activities in the transportation (passenger and freight) and sustainable mobility sectors, with particular regard to:
• Planning of transport infrastructures and related socio-economic and management aspects
• Theoretical analysis and modeling of demand, transport supply and their

Fig. 3 (a) Scheme of light hybrid electric architecture and power train hydrogen fueled (b) Scheme of electric architecture and power train of a transit bus hydrogen fueled

• Advanced transport systems and technological innovation of their components
• Innovative propulsion systems with low impact and technological innovation of their components
• Interaction between transportation, physical/social environment, education,
health, disability and aging.

The main objectives of the CITraMS are focused on:
• Promoting and disseminating the culture of sustainable mobility and knowledge in the field of transport in several contexts
• Promoting the interdisciplinary nature of the issues of analysis, the proposition
and experimentation connected to the different transport systems and methods and to their social, economic and environmental impacts
• Triggering partnership processes between universities, research centers, public bodies

Fig. 4 – Power-train for full electric vehicles

and companies in support of strategic sector research
• Fostering processes and socio-economic dynamics aimed to generating innovative entrepreneurship in the local, national and international context
• Supporting the technology transfer process in the sector
• Promoting agreements and promoting relationships with public bodies and companies to generate direct and indirect attractiveness and investments
• Developing national and international cooperation networks

New technologies for free emissions transportation systems

CITraMS pays great attention to research activities focused on the development and applications of new technologies for emission-free mass transit systems.

Fig. 5 - Propulsion systems modeling and control
Fig. 5 – Propulsion systems modeling and control

Listed below are some of the research and technology development activities that CITraMS members lead in the field of free emissions transportation systems:
a) Magnetic levitation transport system with high temperature superconducting suspension (Fig. 2)
b) Rail (Fig. 3a) and road (Fig. 3b) vehicles with emission-free energy cycle powered by hydrogen Fuel Cell and Flywheel Energy Storage System (FESS) power unit
c) Power-trains for full electric vehicles (Fig. 4)
d) Innovative propulsion systems design, testing, optimization and control (Fig.5).

(by Gino d’Ovidio, director of CITraMS)

A super electric motor incoming

Winding-free, featuring excellent performances, low weight and volume. Here are the main features of the new motor at which is working the Emilia company Poggipolini, top player in titanium fasteners for Formula Uno and aerospace. The new motor will address aerospace and defence, but also the world of the electric traction for Motor Sport and high-end cars.
Concerning this, a key role will be played by the factory of the future “Speed Up Lab”, headquartered in the new factory at San Lazzaro di Savena, in an area of over 20,000 sq. m., close to the Manufacturing Center of Excellence inaugurated in 2019. Its mission is working in open innovation.
Recently, the company has established a partnership with Puglia startup Roboze to design and to manufacture the mechanical parts of electric motors, 3D printed with innovative materials such as Carbon Peek, a carbon-reinforced polymer. The collaboration will aim at accelerating the adoption of this new process technology, shifting from engineering to industrialization.
The technology of the new electric motors will be fully innovative and will precisely concern its operation, as well as materials, which will assure lower weight and simplification of architectures and manufacturing processes.

Electric motor: no more secrets about cooling system

Coiltech Electric Motor Talks are going on successfully, with the target – always hit – of strengthening the technical collaboration among experts in the specific sector. On May 26th 2021 it was the turn of Cooling Systems, crucial theme that remarkably influences electric motors’ efficiency. Quality speeches were delivered by speakers from different parts of the world, in the ambit of this joint initiative of University of L’Aquila and of Coiltech to promote the exchange of know-how between Coil Winding specialists and related fields.
The webinar was introduced, as usual, by Sebastian Kuester, CEO of Quickfairs, and Prof. Marco Villani, professor at University of L’Aquila and technical director of Electric Motor Engineering. «A critical element in the matter of an electric motor’s efficiency is characterized by inner components’ temperature».
Moreover, the evocative image to introduce the key topic of this session dedicated to Cooling Systems was particularly nice: a fine ice cream!
The first speech of the proceedings was cared by Mircea Popescu from Motor Design Ltd who cast the spotlights on “Advanced cooling systems for high power, torque density e-motors”, study carried out in synergy with Yew Chuan Chong and Husain Adam.
«To succeed in designing a better machine we need better materials like magnets, laminations and insulation, better design: for higher speed, and hairpin windings and, finally, better cooling like direct cooling, spray/jet cooling and rotor cooling».
Speaking of thermal management of electrical machines, the expert went into detail and he explained it is necessary to combine both passive cooling and active cooling, copper loss is a major loss component and the insulation materials restrict heat extraction within the slots wire insulation, impregnation resin and slot liner.
«More thermally conductive insulation materials are crucial to reduce the winding temperature rise and contact resistance between machine components due to imperfections can lead to significant temperature rise».
The advanced cooling systems of modern electrical machines include open ventilated cooling, housing water jacket, direct stator cooling and flooded stator cooling, oil spray cooling/oil jets/oil dripping cooling and supercritical COcooling. A brief remark also on opened ventilated cooling that has been widely used in many transportations such as railway propulsion; airgap and ducts in the rotor are subjected to the effect of rotation.
«The housing water jacket is common cooling system used by automotive traction motors. It is simple and effective and ensures good cooling performance».
The speech by Mircea Popescu included also the direct stator cooling & flooded stator cooling. «It is important to meet the demand of electrical machines for aerospace industry. Front and rear regions were specifically designed to provide additional cooling to the end-windings by means of submerged oil jets. Segmented stators with concentrated winding are a common solution».
Towards the end of the speech, the public’s focus was addressed also on the comparison between housing cooling jacket and direct slot cooling and the analysis of oil spray cooling with various nozzles type and oil viscosity.

Magnetic Materials 09/06/2021 10.30-12.00 14.30-16.00
Manufacturing of Electric Motors for the Automotive Industry: cores manufacturing 24/06/2021 10.30-12.00
Manufacturing of Electric Motors for the Automotive Industry: winding and pm 23/06/2021 10.30-12.00
Insulating Materials 07/07/2021 10.30-12.00

Dr Fabio Campanini, Head of R&D of ELANTAS Europe spoke instead of “Thermal conductivity, with an outlook on electric motors’ encapsulation and future developments”. Focus on heat transfer methods. «Conduction is the main mood of heat transfer. It is the motion of a fluid driven by temperature differences across that fluid. It is the diffusion of thermal energy within one material or between materials in contact and energy is transmitted by the photons of the electromagnetic waves without the movement of mass». Besides, the expert showed some formulas on thermal conductivity, which is expressed in W/mK and he specified that the thermal management is a wide term and it includes various forms of heat transfer, like conduction, convection and radiation.
Another key question was “Why is it necessary to insulate an electrical device? The answer must be sought in the protection against moisture, protection against corrosive environments, improvement of electrical performance, mechanical protection versus vibrations and shock and easier handling.
Dr Campanini also spoke of the total encapsulation of electrical motors. «For this topic, the typical “wish list” includes low viscosity to allow good impregnation capability, good compromise between pot life and curing time, low CTE, good mechanical properties, very good electrical properties as a function of T, high thermal shock resistance, very good chemical resistance and high thermal conductivity».
Finally, zoom also on impact of toughness. The considerations in this ambit are that the thermal shock resistance is a key element too, difference design, dimensions and construction issue different challenges to the material and the mechanical stresses can be released with the creation of cracks.
«Cracks due to brittleness or ageing can be detrimental of thermal management and toughness of the system can be tailored working on the matrix and the use of special fillers».


Stefano Fortunati – CSM
Next Generation of Electrical Steel grades for Motor Applications
Prof. Luca Ferraris – Politecnico di Torino
Soft magnetic materials: new measurement methods and magnetic characterization
Benoît Clarenc – Aperam
Mechanical and magnetic capabilities and also facilitates the production process
Dr. Jürgen Klinkhammer – Magnet-Physik
Quality Control of Permanent Magnets
Koen Vervaeke – Magcam
Fast advanced inspection of PM rotors using magnetic field camera scanners
Simone Sgarzi – SPIN
From theory to practice and vice versa: how Spin nails final performance prediction thanks to its Lab
Cesare Tozzo & Gabriele Rosati – Comsol
Fitting B-H hysteresis data in time dependent and frequency domain FEM analyses
The Talk continued giving the floor to Braitec srl, Ansys partner specialized in the supply of engineering simulation software and consulting services. Its speech “Application of Computer Aided Engineering in optimizing the cooling systems of high-power electric machines” was delivered by Pedram Nasab, Braitec srl, engineer, PhD in multi-physical analysis of electromagnetic systems.
The engineer analysed how the thermal modelling of electric machines allows exploring various possible configurations for the cooling system, researching the optimal performance for and efficient cooling system, which can assure final product’s reliability.
The question that Pedram Nasab asked is “Why CAE?” «Because pluses are low cost, fast and reliable approach in evaluating the performance, run coupled analysis, enable designing compact products, check the critical working points like high-speed range and minimum battery voltage, and examine the non-ideal working conditions like short circuit test, cooling system failed test and general faulty condition».
The last technical contribution of the webinar was carried out by Philipp Bucher from LCD LaserCut who chose a very particular title: “Cool motor stacks for hot summer times”. The company’s primary competences are fastest possible shipment of prototypes and small series, high precision laser cutting technology and production of stacks and sub-assembly groups.
«Going one step further by 3D manufacturing. Added values of 3D additive manufacturing in terms of improved motor cooling integrated housing cooling, integrated shaft cooling, integrated end shields cooling, integrated power electronics cooling, integrated peripheral features and reduction of weight and material».
Finally, the highlights referred by Mr Bucher are best possible product based on integrated highly efficient cooling features and weight and material improvements, fast delivery time of complete assembly groups and only one involved party.
(by Lara Morandotti)

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.


The new generation of electric vans by Peugeot uses hydrogen

Among the first that have proposed a commercial electric van powered by hydrogen fuel cells as standard, Peugeot is more and more raising the bar. And it does it with the new e-Expert Hydrogen, compact van equipped with a next-generation technology called “Next gen e-Van Hydrogen efficiency”, enabling it to travel over 400 km at zero emissions, being recharged in less than 3 minutes.
Based on the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform) multi-energy platform, the PEUGEOT e-EXPERT Hydrogen is an all-electric vehicle, combining two on-board sources of electrical energy, thanks to STELLANTIS’ innovative “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric” system: the system combines a battery that can be recharged from the mains with the fuel cell powered by hydrogen contained in the canisters under the vehicle floor. The PEUGEOT e-EXPERT Hydrogen benefits from all the advantages of hydrogen, battery technology and electric traction.
Actually, it is the hydrogen version of its electric van with fuel cell technology by Stellantis.
The hydrogen-powered fuel cell is combined with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 10.5 kWh capacity and 90 kW power. Positioned under seats, the battery also supplies the electric motor during some driving phases.
An onboard 11-kW three-phase battery charger is used for the power supply. These two energy sources work in synergy to power a permanent-magnet electric motor, with 100 KW (136 HP) power that delivers 260-Nm torque.
Positioned on the front axle, this electric traction chain resembles the one of Peugeot e-Expert (electric battery model). The van features the same load volume characteristics as battery electric and diesel versions: up to 6.1mü of cargo volume, 1100 kg of payload, 1000 kg of towing capacity. The high-voltage battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km, by at least 70% of its efficiency.

Regal’s edge product tools

Regal Beloit Corporation, specialized in the engineering and manufacturing of high-efficiency electric motors and power transmission products, has recently announced its enhanced Power Transmission Solutions (PTS) Edge tools. Regal’sEdge tools include product selection modules for belt drive, bearing and gearing products and mechanical power components, as well as bearing registration and a belt drive efficiency calculator. These improved Edge tools are easier to use, mobile-friendly and fully integrated to the online product catalogue.
Edge product selection modules assist users in selecting the right power transmission mechanical components based on their specific application requirements. Once they install new bearings products, the bearing registration allows users to not only register their bearings but also manage assets on the Regal PT mobile app. The belt drive efficiency calculator helps users to calculate how much money they can save on energy consumption by using Browning™ belt drives.
«The enhanced Edge tools – said Matthew Clemens, DCX marketing specialist at Regal – allow a mobile friendly, integrated customer experience across The modules have been updated to help point customers to common parts, versus made-to-order parts, so the primary selections are readily available».