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14 July, 2024

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UK-developed 400kW motor is ‘most power-dense’ of its type

02 March, 2023

The UK powertrain developer, Equipmake, has unveiled an ultra-lightweight electric motor which, it claims, is the most power-dense of its type in the world. The HPM-400 motor has been designed for high-performance space, aerospace and marine applications.

The high-power, short-duration motor was original specified as a rocket fuel pump by the Australian company, Gilmour Space Technologies, but it incorporates several technological and packaging innovations born out of its need to withstand extreme acceleration that are said to make it suitable for other high-performance applications.

The motor has a top speed of 20,000rpm, a peak power/torque ratio of 400kW/250Nm, and a mass of just 30kg for the motor alone. Combined with its matching silicon carbide inverter, which weighs 10kg, the total for the complete system is just 40kg.

“Because of its original intention for use as a rocket fuel pump, the HPM-400 features several novel innovations over conventional motor/inverters, making it ideal for use in high-performance space, aerospace and marine applications,” says Equipmake CEO, Ian Foley. “Firstly, the complete package is ultra-lightweight and capable of withstanding incredible acceleration. Secondly, when an inverter must operate in a vacuum, it needs to be high voltage, because lots of power is required.

The motor maintains its internal air pressure and has been designed to withstand this pressure when it moves from the Earth's atmosphere into the vacuum of space. This has resulted in a compact cylindrical package for both motor and inverter, with a carbon fibre shell to keep the pressure in and the weight down.

Equipmake has designed its HPM-400 motor for high-performance applications in challenging environments

“It all adds up to an advanced high-power, low-weight motor/inverter that’s at home in space, air or water,” says Foley.

Equipmake, based in Snetterton, Norfolk, designs, tests and manufactures complete electric powertrains for a variety of applications.

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