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Novel technology `triples power of standard motors`

01 January, 2004

Novel technology `triples power of standard motors`

A US company claims it can triple the power of standard induction motors, as well as boosting their efficiencies, by making minor changes to the machines. Utah-based Raser Technologies is not revealing how its Symetron technology works, but says that it produces full flux density at the optimum 90-degree torque angle.

Raser asserts that its adapted motors:

• deliver three times more torque than the standard motors;

• operate at 95% efficiency at full torque;

• can be used with simple, low-cost controllers

• exhibit low switching losses; and

• are cheaper to operate than the standard motors.

Raser says its claims have been confirmed by independent test organisations.

In one of Raser`s tests, a standard low-cost industrial motor was modified internally with its technology, adding about 500g to its weight. The company says that the modified motor exhibited up to three times higher power density without affecting its efficiency.

Raser also claims that a modified standard 5hp motor was able to produce more than 75hp continuously at 7,200 rpm. It emphasises that this improvement is different from simply over-driving the motor, which would result in the motor over-heating and failing.

Raser has also demonstrated its technology applied to a pancake motor that can deliver high levels of torque without the needing usual costly rare-earth permanent magnets. It suggests that motors of this type could be particularly attractive for driving hybrid electric vehicles and would deliver more kW per kg than the motors being used in existing EVs.

In another demonstration, a Raser-enhanced motor has been fitted to a snowmobile in a hybrid configuration with a four-stroke engine, replacing the vehicle`s standard two-stroke engine.

The company suggests that its technology can be applied to a wide range of motors from fractional horsepower types upwards.

Raser, an R&D company founded in 2001, hopes to licence its technology to motor manufacturers. "We`re not offering the market another electric motor," says chief executive Kraig Higginson. "We`re offering electric motor manufacturers a technology to make their motors better."

He adds that manufacturers "can choose to offer a smaller, lighter, lower-cost motor with the same performance, or a higher performance motor in the same size package".

Raser has applied for several patents to cover its technology. It says it has agreements with several automotive, electric motor, aerospace and military organisations to perform test demonstrations using modified versions of motors supplied by the organisations. It is also planning demonstrations of its technology in Detroit, Europe and Asia.

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