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PCB-stator motor with IE5 efficiency will debut in June

22 January, 2020

Infinitum Electric, the US company which has patented a new design of motor that uses PCBs (printed circuit boards) instead of copper windings for its stators, has announced that its first commercial product – a 15hp (11.2kW) motor aimed at HVAC plenum fan applications – will start shipping in June. The IoT-enabled IEx series motors are said to be a third of the size and weight of conventional motors, while delivering class-leading efficiency and IoT capabilities.

Infinitum has also signed deals with three OEM fan-makers – Twin City Fans, Comefri and Acme Fan – to start using the motors in their products.

The new motors have efficiencies that “can exceed IE5”. Their customisable design will allow for easier production and greater optimisation than any other form of motor, according to Infinitum, resulting in shorter lead times, cost reductions of up to 25% and weight savings of up to 60%. They can be connected to the IoT (Internet of Things) and are said to be more durable than conventional designs.

Infinitum is planning to start shipping 5hp (3.7kW) and 10hp (7.5kW) versions of the motors before the end of the year. It has also started research and development work on applications in other sectors such as oil and gas, aerospace and electric vehicles.

“With the launch of our IEx series motor, we are delivering a smaller, smarter, quieter, lighter and higher performing motor into the roughly $150bn yearly electric motor market,” says Infinitum Electric CEO, Ben Schuler. “After the electric motor has gone virtually untouched for more than 100 years, our product is generating exciting interest in key industries, and we’re honoured to introduce our first product line with three of the industry’s top fan and blower OEMs.”

Infinitum was founded in 2016 with the mission to disrupt the way electric machines consume and create energy. Its PCB-based stators have etched copper tracks and are used instead of traditional stators with copper windings. They also eliminate the need for coil-winding machinery and replace this with automated PCB manufacturing, simplifying motor production and cutting costs “significantly”.

Infinitum says that the 15hp version of its PCB-stator motor will be a third of the size and weight of conventional motors

“Demand for high-efficiency motors is on the rise, and an innovative product like Infinitum’s PCB-based 15hp motor gives the market a highly competitive offering,” comments Ivan Campos, manufacturing technology research analyst with IHS Markit. “The level of efficiency based on the size and weight of Infinitum’s 15hp motor coupled with its IoT capabilities could be of great benefit to not only the HVAC industry but for other industries as well.”

“Infinitum is bringing the electric motor into the 21st century,” says Jeff Robinson, vice-president of engineering applications at one of Infinitum’s OEM partners, Twin City Fans. “We’re thrilled to incorporate Infinitum advantages into our fan designs that will be more compact, lighter weight, more efficient and have easy speed control. This will give our customers the competitive advantage that we’re excited about.  We are striving to bring the most efficient solution to our customers, and Infinitum helps us do exactly that.”

Sylvie Braun, chief operating officer at another partner, Comefri, describes Infinitum’s approach to motor development as “unique in the commercial HVAC industry”, while Lee Buddrus, president of Acme Fan, says: “Not only does Infinitum offer unique performance advantage by being smaller, lighter and more efficient, their motor insulation provides fundamental change in quality and durability.”




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