UQM Technologies `breakthrough` in rare earth free permanent magnet motors

November 26, 2012

US developer and manufacturer of high-efficiency electric motors, UQM Technologies, Inc., has announced that it has made a significant breakthrough in the development of non-rare-earth magnet electric motor design as part of the work being done under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research and Development Grant.

“Leveraging our expertise in electric motor design, we’ve developed an electromagnetic design that produces competitive power-density and efficiency with non-rare-earth magnets,” stated Eric R Ridenour, President and Chief Executive Officer of UQM Technologies, Inc. “This is great progress toward our objective of identifying magnet materials and technology that can deliver the performance our customers expect while limiting our exposure to price and supply concerns associated with rare earth magnets.”

This work on non-rare-earth magnet motors is funded through a $4 million award to UQM as part of a DOE Advanced Research and Development Grant. Under the agreement, UQM is cost-sharing 25% of the total effort.

The engineering team at UQM is working collaboratively with Ames Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and apply these non-rare-earth magnets in a high-performance permanent magnet motor.

“The key to using non-rare-earth magnets in electric motors for vehicles is our patent-pending motor geometry, which in part defines the shape and magnetization direction of the permanent magnets,” added Jon Lutz, UQM Technologies Vice President of Engineering. “The completion of the electromagnetic design and analysis task is a significant step in the process of advancing motor and generator technology for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, providing an alternative to rare-earth magnets in permanent-magnet motor designs”

The next phase under the DOE grant is the mechanical design of the motor. Work on this is now underway at UQM to produce a concept unit.

www.uqm.com  

Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]   

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