Let's get to the core of why Infinitum is a company to watch, possibly invest in if you are comfortable with risk and how it could influence the Electric Vehicle movement of the global automotive industry.
First, understand that electric motors have been around for over 100 years. They are made up of an iron core, a ton of wrapped copper wiring and can be very heavy. In this regard is the biggest reason for the change coming with a company like Infinitum.
Example of traditional electric motor installed versus Infinitum All-in-one solution.
Here you can visually see the difference between a traditional electric motor and Infinitum All-in-one solution. The statistics speak for themselves.
All-in-one solution has been stated from the beginning of this writeup and one not versed in electric motors would be right to ask what does this mean?
Simple, most electric motors are what one would call idiot motors with no intelligence. Just a motor that spins, doing a job and unless it fails, it does nothing else nor can it change on its own to do the job better.
Here is the expanded view of the All-in-one solution and the feature list of the benefits.
Top of the line efficiency and energy savings
- Conventional motors feature a steel core with copper windings, causing eddy currents that result in significant motor losses. Replacing the core and copper windings with the PCB stator eliminates these losses, resulting in a higher efficiency motor.
Same power in half the size and weight
- Lightweight materials mean motors generate all the power in half the weight and size, at a fraction of the carbon footprint of conventional motors.
Low noise emissions
- The absence of magnetic forces between the rotor and the stator and the elimination of torque ripple drastically reduce the acoustic noise produced.
Durable and reliable
- The conductors are fully encapsulated and provide the entire coil with an equal coefficient of thermal expansion. This insulation method and stator design is almost indestructible per Infinitum.
Modular form factor
- The modular approach allows Infinitum to meet application and output requirements by incrementally adding or removing stator panels or motor modules.
Connected and Configurable
- Sensors embedded in both the VFD and motor provides insights into performance, allowing for predictive and prescriptive maintenance, preventing unscheduled downtime. Cloud connectivity is an optional feature.
Let's dig into the Technology basics of the Infinitum electric motor. While other motors make a drastic improvement in one characteristic of a motor at the sacrifice of all others, Infinitum re-imagined the motor, achieving total efficiency with a motor that is smaller, lighter, quieter, more durable, and more efficient.
- By etching copper coils directly onto the PCB stator, we eliminate the heavy steel core and copper windings of conventional motors. This not only reduces the size and weight by half, but by removing the iron in the magnet path we’ve eliminated torque ripple, cogging, stator hysteresis, and eddy current losses. The result is a significant increase in efficiency across all load conditions. The PCB stator also makes it much easier to automate the manufacturing process to ensure repeatable, consistent quality.
Market leading controls
- The state-of-the-art variable frequency drive (VFD) facilitates variable speed applications, reducing overall energy usage by running the motor at lower speeds. This provides a level of control not available in conventional motors and the high switching frequency of the VFD, up to 200 kHz, also dramatically reduces audible noise.
- Infinitum motors have built-in IoT capability to enable optional over-the-air software updates, on-demand access to real-time performance analytics, and remote monitoring.
Infinitum have built the Aircore for use in many existing places of low horsepower needs, their Mobility line is focused on the transportation sector.
Aircore mobility are liquid-cooled smarter air core motor design that delivers a premium performance mobility application. At a fraction of the weight of conventional motors, the Aircore Mobility motors dramatically improve efficiency and reliability while also offering high-speed, excellent torque, and a modular design. As a result, Aircore Mobility motors are well suited for drivetrain and propulsion and auxiliary motor applications for Class 1 -8 commercial vehicles as well as aerospace, marine, construction, and agricultural applications.
Aircore Mobility motors as designed for Class 1 to 8 commercial vehicles, aerospace and marine applications including heavy machinery can be set at 50 to 250kW (67 to 335 HP) of power without significantly increasing the size and weight of the drivetrain. Using an axial flux design, Aircore Mobility motors generate more torque and faster rotation in a smaller package compared to competitors motors.
The modular disc design of the Aircore Mobility motor allows Infinitum engineers to build multi-stator, multi-rotor motors that offer high power with increased performance. The innovative design allows for a highly efficient oil-cooling system that cools the interior stator, helping to increase power density by a factor or 3 to 5 times.
PCB stator have copper coils etched into the stator, eliminating heavy iron core and copper windings used in traditional conventional motors. This cuts the size and weight in half if not more while increasing high reliability and durability. This lends to an ultra-quiet EV.
Aircore Mobility advantages are as follows:
- Ultra-high efficiency
- Superior power density
- Modular axial design
- Rapid prototyping
- Durability and reliability
- High speed
A 150 kW Aircore Mobility electric traction motor has the following specification:
- 150 kW continuous power (201 hp)
- 300 kW peak power (402 hp)
- 190 Nm continuous torque (258 lb-ft)
- 7,500 RPM nominal speed
- 10,000 RPM peak speed
- 20kg active mass
- 95% peak efficiency
- Class 4-6 use
Some might wonder why an oil cooled system if these electric motor design as air cooled is so great. In quoting the research that went into the Aircore Mobility motor:
QUOTE Preliminary results show that, with oil flowing at 6 L/min, the cooling system could remove nine times more losses than the air-cooling system, allowing us to increase the motor power by a factor of three. At 6 L/min flow, as a function of losses, the temperature rise rate in the motor is only 0.0081°C/W. Compared to air cooling, where we see a temperature rise rate of 0.0729°C/W, the temperature rise of the 10 HP motor running a full load dropped from 41°C to only 5°C. If we allow the temperature rise in the oil-cooled motor to match the 41°C of the air-cooled version, the oil-cooled system could remove up to 5,000 W of losses – corresponding to the three-fold increase in motor power mentioned above.
The maximum temperature of the materials inside the motor, especially the stator, determine the maximum power rating. The more effective the cooling system, the higher the possible power density. In a radial-flux motor, like those used in EVs from Tesla and Volkswagen, the air gap between the stator and the rotor surfaces is usually too narrow for coolant to flow through, so designers need to apply coolant outside of the air gap. Further, with traditional copper windings, a large amount of the copper surface area isn’t exposed to the coolant. With Infinitum’s axial-flux motor, fluid is sprayed directly over the surface of the stator which maximizes heat transfer away from the current-carrying copper. Since the stator generates the most heat, direct coolant application has a significant advantage. While we have more work to do, initial modeling and testing of oil-cooled Infinitum motors show great promise for the electrification of vehicles because of their smaller relative size, light weight, and high-power density.
Infinitum Frequently asked Questions
Infinitum has also scaled this electric motor tech down to very small sizes that can benefit other areas of the EV industry such as traditional fans used with a heat pump or to operate other items on an auto such as doors, powered seats, frunk lids, etc. Infinitum believes there is not much they cannot design using this electric motor technology for a wide range of applications.
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