Electric Motors with Lossless, Lightweight Torque

W. Butrymowicz, R. Knippel, J. Reed, G. Reitz
C-Motive Technologies, United States

Keywords: Electric machine, electrostatic, generator, actuator, motor

Electric motors, generators and actuators (“electric machines”) are critical and enabling components to every system the warfighter touches and relies upon. The underlying physics of electric machines, however, limit their achievable performance due to heat, weight and noise signature of the electromagnetic materials inside. C-Motive Technologies is developing electric machines that overcome these limitations by breaking free of electromagnetic materials, including steel, copper coils and rare earth permanent magnets. Using electrostatic principles, C-Motive’s electric machines have 2-20x the torque per lb of conventional motors, eliminate costly active cooling systems and have near-zero acoustic and EMI signatures. Our machines can be made from aluminum, composites and other previously unavailable lightweight materials, and are easily cooled while being completely sealed against contaminants. The technology also provides very high dynamic performance, especially at low speeds. Civilian and military applications include heavy-lifting UAV propulsion, UUV and submarine propulsion, wind and hydro power generation, and actuation for vehicles and robotics. Through a partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison and including funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Army and the US Navy, this technology has achieved a TRL of 4 and we are seeking partnerships to develop prototypes for specific applications and transition into commercialization.