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`98% efficient` motors will be based on spinning discs

01 February, 2007

`98% efficient` motors will be based on spinning discs

The US company AVEC (Axial Vector Machine Company), which claims to have designed a 98% efficient motor with a power factor of 0.98, has revealed more details about its technology and announced plans to build a 0.5hp (0.373kW) machine to validate its claims.

So far, AVEC has concentrated on developing generator versions of its technology in which the magnetic flux conveying the rotational energy to electrical energy (and vice versa) acts axially to the direction of rotation, rather than radially across the gap between the rotor and stator as in most conventional machines. This is accomplished using a series of alternating rotating and fixed discs, with the fixed discs containing copper coils interconnected to accept voltage inputs (in the case of the motor). The rotating discs contain powerful permanent magnets which interact with the axial magnetic field to produce movement.

AVEC is setting its sights on the massive market for domestic refrigerators and air-conditioners. Each year, some 65 million refrigerators are sold around the world. At present, these appliances are driven mainly by two-pole induction motors with efficiencies in the range 45-65%, or by four-pole machines with efficiencies from 55-75%. AVEC says that its motors will be smaller and will have operating efficiencies of 97 or 98%. They will also operate without inrush currents and can be run at variable speeds to match the compressor demand.

AVEC claims that the combination of the higher efficiency and the variable-speed capabilities will produce an overall energy efficiency improvement on 30-35% or more in these applications.

The company is now starting to talk to refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturers from around the world to whom it hopes to licence its technology.

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