Engineers at GE Global Research recently tested a prototype Interior Permanent Magnet traction motor that is more powerful, more efficient and less costly than the best motors on the market today. The new motor can also run at a higher temperature, eliminating the need for a dedicated cooling loop.
GE’s prototype operates at a peak power level of 55 kW and improves on state-of-the-art motors in the same class in several ways:
- nearly twice the power density (acceleration)
- 3-5% more efficient
- lower DC bus voltage – as low as 200 volts versus 650 volts
- operates continuously at 105° C over a range of 2,800 – 14,000 rpm at 30 kW, and can be cooled with engine coolant
“We at GE are pushing the boundaries to build more robust, yet more efficient motors for hybrid and fully electric platforms,” said GE electrical engineer Ayman El-Refaie. “We have built a motor that is substantially more powerful than what’s commercially available now, all while improving efficiency by up to 5%.”
The new motor, which was developed as part of a $5.6-million DOE project, has been tested in the lab and demonstrated for the DOE, but GE plans to do further testing for reliability before considering commercial production.