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Controller achieves IE5 efficiencies with PCB motors

30 October, 2023

The US electric motor developer ECM PCB Stator Tech has announced a customisable integrated motor controller that operates with a claimed efficiency of 98%. The 5kW Unum Potentia controller was developed to maximise the benefits from the company’s PCB stator motor technology and its PrintStator Motor CAD platform. When combined with its PCB stator machines, the new controller is said to achieve IE5 efficiencies.

“The unit efficiency of this ECM controller is what’s driving greater overall system efficiency,” explains ECM CEO, Brian Casey “With a near-100% efficient controller – versus the 80s or low 90s – you’re drawing less system energy to compensate for an inefficient controller.”

The new controller also enhances the design optimisation capabilities of ECM’s PrintStator Motor CAD software platform, which is used for the custom design, manufacture and integration of the PCB Stator electric motors to achieve precise performance and form factor specifications.

The motor controller can be customised via the software and integrated, both structurally and thermally, with the motor housing, resulting in a compact footprint. Pairing the controller to the CAD platform can also help to optimise the complete motor system. The software can output motor tuning parameters and translate them into a code file that is uploaded to the controller. ECM says this makes the motor system plug-and-play.

By changing components, the controller can be used with motors from 3–8kW. The board and its footprint stay the same. The motor offers sensorless control and can operate motors at speeds down to around 50 rpm. Its FETs are capable of switching at frequencies above 100kHz. It operates on 220V and 480V three-phase AC supplies.

The new motor controller will be available to ECM’s PrintStator SaaS (software-as-a-service) clients, and to partners that work with the company to create optimised PCB Stator electric motor systems. ECM says that controllers will cost roughly 1/10th as much as others for similar motor power ratings.

ECM’s controller integrates with its PCB stator motors to produce IE5 efficiency packages

“With this controller, ECM customers will now have the ability to pursue fully integrated design on our PrintStator platform,” says Casey. “Not only can you customise and optimise your PCB Stator motor; you can now design a drive-controller perfectly tuned to your full electric system.”

ECM claims that its PCB Stator motors are lighter, quieter, and more energy- and space-efficient than rivals for a broad range of uses. They achieve efficiencies above 90% while needing up to 70% less raw materials.

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