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Twin-stator SR motor ‘out-performs standard designs’

21 May, 2014

US researchers have developed a switched reluctance motor with two stators that, they claim, produces significantly more power and torque for a given size and weight than traditional motor technologies, without using permanent magnets or rare-earth materials.

The researchers – from the Renewable Energy and Vehicular Technology Laboratory (REVT) at University of Texas at Dallas – say that their double-stator switched reluctance machine (DSSRM) could be manufactured entirely in the US, and eliminate the need to import costly rare-earth materials as well as reducing pollution from rare-earth mining. The motor, which has one stator on either side of its rotor, has a patent pending.

“The transformative nature of our motor technology stems from a novel magnetic configuration, which significantly reduces the radial forces while increasing the motional forces by a factor of three,” explains Dr Babak Fahimi, director of REVT and professor of electrical engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. “This technology also benefits from high levels of fault tolerance, low-cost manufacturing and low acoustic noise. I strongly believe this technology is highly appealing to automotive, oil and gas, and renewable energy industries.”

Fahimi has received $2.8m of funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) programme which is aimed at reducing the use of rare-earth metals.

REVT director Dr Babak Fahimi (right) with researcher Dr Wei Wang at their UT Dallas lab

Fahimi’s team was one of five selected to demonstrate their work recently at the annual ARPA-E summit in Washington, DC. At the conference, REVT members also showed the technology to potential commercial licensees.

The DSSRM research was first funded in 2012.

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