Eco Factor: Highly efficient electric motor for electric cars.
Researchers at the Tokai University have developed a new brushless DC motor, which the inventors claim is up to 96% efficient in converting electrical energy into usable form. The motor is intended to be used in the eco-cars of the future, which have to be low emission along with being energy-efficient.
Depending on an iron-based amorphous metal for the core, the conversion efficiency of the motor is 96.5% when the output is around 100W. The inventors claim that the actual efficiency is even higher, considering the measurement error. Another notable feature of the motor is that it can maintain the conversion efficiency in the range of 93% to 96% even if the output keeps on fluctuating from 50W to 200W. This capability has made the motor ideal for use in electric cars.
To achieve this level of efficiency, the researchers have made use of a low-power microcomputer, which minimizes the energy loss attributed to power consumption of the control circuit and the loss from the coil winding. The researchers are now testing the new motor in cars which would be more energy-efficient than ever before.
The Dark Side:
The only issue that needs to be resolved is the high-cost of this microcomputer-integrated DC motor. At the price the motor is costing at present would only make it feasible for luxury green cars. For use in affordable green cars, which definitely will be in more demand, the cost needs to be reduced.