A Colorado Firm Claims It Can Triple the Power of Electric Engines

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Bill-Higdon

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12notes

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What they've done is made a lighter electric motor. Which is great, but the heavy part of an electric aircraft isn't the motor.

Their website has CAD models and "target specifications". No pictures of the motor or prototype. No actual specifications or test results.

It's nice to have goals, but don't announce them as accomplishments just because the goals have been set.
 

Hephaestus

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Angusnofangus

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Speaking of...

I mean they were mildly successful - they made an electric beaver fly. But the batteries took all the useable weight of the "commercial" aircraft.

So now they get more?
Didn't you know that money grows on trees here in BC?
 

BJC

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Speaking of...

I mean they were mildly successful - they made an electric beaver fly. But the batteries took all the useable weight of the "commercial" aircraft.

So now they get more?
The public at large, as well as most of the imperial and state government employees, are largely ignorant of general science and fundamental physics. That statement is made from a position of having dealt first hand with employees at all levels of multiple government agencies responsible.


BJC
 

BJC

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You are being kind.
I have done business with the states’ Departments of Environmental Protection, states’ Public Regulatory Commissions, as well as the number two leaders of the (federal government) EPA, Corp of Engineers, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, OSHA, and the head of the Bush (junior) White House Committee for Energy Reliability. [I think that I remember that title correctly.] All were nice, well-intending people. Most, but not all, were somewhat ignorant when it came to understanding cause and effect of technical issues. That is the nature of political appointees.

Note that the FAA Administrator is a political appointee, too.


BJC
 

Dan Thomas

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One horsepower is 746 watts and it can create up to 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute.

You can't get three times the work per watt out of any electric motor. You'd have to make that motor 300% efficient. That would be some special magic, like cold fusion or something.

Physics tends to wipe the wishful thinkers off the map.
 

trimtab

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The key contributions are magnetic geometries to push saturation out further and to provide cooling.

There are fundamental limits to the saturation issue. It appears the specifications released would be close to or well beyond those fundamental limits using conventional materials.

There are limits to the cooling issue, and are quite a bit more pressing for the credibility department to conceive of a 15kg package that could dissipate 250 kW of power with a thermal time constant of 30 seconds with their flow of 10-15 gpm from the spec sheets. A volume as advertised and entirely dedicated to the heat transfer task without the pesky shaft horsepower requirement added on would do well to meet that performance. So I do not see that at all.

So the entire thing is interesting, but there isn't even enough info to be skeptical, let alone optimistic about the specs. However, all the check boxes are filled to place this alongside the irrationally exhuberance of the Otto Aviation, Theranos, etc projects. But I'm less able to be as pessimistic as I was for those at first blush.
 

Orange4sky

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You can't get three times the work per watt out of any electric motor. You'd have to make that motor 300% efficient. That would be some special magic, like cold fusion or something.

Physics tends to wipe the wishful thinkers off the map.
Not to disagree with you, but the claim is “more powerful” not more efficient. Their claim is higher power density and cooling the motor with new mfg techniques. I’m sure there’s something to that but I doubt the triple number.
 

trimtab

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Note the motor voltages.

You can increase torque until the motor saturates, and the rest is turned into heat in a stalled condition or becomes slightly more complicated in a dynamic operation. The trick is to allow a high voltage before saturation, and then cool the living daylights out of it. Both have clear physical limits, and both have opposing rather than congruent engineering requirements.

As for being able to "triple the power" out of a motor, I can demonstrate a large power increase even with a $6 brushed DC motor...for a very short period of time before the motor will either tear itself apart or melt from I2R losses or arcing. Making a practical motor at those operating points is pretty sketchy. Yet the pathway they suggest is to push the better part of a kV through it and scream 10-15 gpm through it. I simply don't buy that either of those is trivial, and the overhead to support each of those is significant (cooling and power engineering).

So I can't even bet we won't ever hear from them again. I'll just be surprised.
 

Pilot-34

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One horsepower is 746 watts and it can create up to 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute.

You can't get three times the work per watt out of any electric motor. You'd have to make that motor 300% efficient. That would be some special magic, like cold fusion or something.

Physics tends to wipe the wishful thinkers off the map.
Wait a second you mean to tell me the current electric motors are 100% efficient?

What is the current state of the art for efficiency in electric motors and generators?
 

Dan Thomas

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Note the motor voltages.

You can increase torque until the motor saturates, and the rest is turned into heat in a stalled condition or becomes slightly more complicated in a dynamic operation. The trick is to allow a high voltage before saturation, and then cool the living daylights out of it. Both have clear physical limits, and both have opposing rather than congruent engineering requirements.

As for being able to "triple the power" out of a motor, I can demonstrate a large power increase even with a $6 brushed DC motor...for a very short period of time before the motor will either tear itself apart or melt from I2R losses or arcing. Making a practical motor at those operating points is pretty sketchy. Yet the pathway they suggest is to push the better part of a kV through it and scream 10-15 gpm through it. I simply don't buy that either of those is trivial, and the overhead to support each of those is significant (cooling and power engineering).

So I can't even bet we won't ever hear from them again. I'll just be surprised.
Yup. We can overvolt the motor to force more current through it, but that isn't getting more power for the same input wattage, which I think was what they were hoping people would think.

Aren't these brushless DC motors already better than 90% efficient? Pretty hard to get even close to 100%. There will always be some bearing friction and heat losses. Some room-temperature superconductors sure would help. Would get rid of most of the heating due to resistance.
 

Marc Zeitlin

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An electric motor is not a engine. I suppose you have to increase the battery out put more then worry about the motor.
Mildly OT, but:


Now, I'm a bit partial to MIT, but still - the words pretty much mean the same thing. Distinction without a difference. Ask any "motorhead" what he's working on in his backyard under the tree - it's not going to be an electric one.

Back to our regularly scheduled beatdown of any electric propulsion in airplanes.
 
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