New amorphous metal challenges rare earth magnets for use in permanent magnet synchronous motors

April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

Hitachi, Ltd, Japan, has announced the development of a 11kW highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor, co-developed with Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd., produced without using magnetic material containing rare-earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium.


Stator with amorphous core (Couresy Hitachi)

Back in 2008, Hitachi and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems established the basic technology for a raremetal-free motor. In order to further increase capacity and efficiency however, technologies such as structural optimisation and loss minimisation for the core have been developed and applied to realise a medium capacity 11kW motor.

In comparison to conventional motors of the same class, the motor developed is smaller and achieves an energy efficiency of approximately 93% which fulfils the highest standard of IE4 in the efficiency guideline set out by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Technology development will be pursued with view to product launch in 2014 the company stated.

A part of this work was supported by The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan as part of its support program for the development of practical technology to substitute or reduce rare metals.

In recent years, as part of the increasing social awareness of environmental issues such as global warming, there has been a growing interest in technology that increases the efficiency of electrical equipment and conserves energy. Although greater efficiency of motors using rare-metal magnets is also being pursued, there is a growing need to recycle the rare-metals or to replace them with substitute materials from the standpoint of dwindling resources.

In response to this need, Hitachi and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems, employed amorphous magnetic metal in the core and developed basic technology for an axial gap motor which raises motor efficiency without a magnet containing rare-metals, resulting in a prototype small capacity 150W class motor in 2008. To achieve higher capacity and efficiency levels, however, the development of a highly resilient motor structure and material to reduce energy loss was necessary. Thus, Hitachi and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems developed technology to optimise the structure of the axial gap motor to efficiently use low-magnetic ferrite material and a stratified core structure which efficiently draws out the low-energy loss characteristic of the amorphous metal, to achieve an industrial 11kW highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor without rare metals. 


Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor, [email protected]   

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April 17, 2012

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