Small & Efficient Electric Motor Developed
Although best known for its exotic approach to race car architecture and design as manifest in its DeltaWing vehicles, which are created to achieve high-efficiency, DeltaWing Technology (deltawingtech.com) is working toward bringing greater efficiency to automotive electric motors. It is working with DHX Electric Machines (dhxelectricmachines.com) to develop motors that are small yet powerful—as much as 75 percent smaller than conventional motors.
A key is managing heat, which has a deleterious effect on motor performance.
Most of the thermal losses in high-torque electric motors are generated in the windings, then dissipated through the stator to the frame via air or liquid cooling.
DHX Electric Machines has developed what it calls the “Direct-Winding Heat Exchanger” (DWHX). It features tiny channels to remove the heat right at the source, thereby reducing thermal efficiency.
“Our DHX Falcon electric motor features standard materials, not exotic steels and magnets,” says J. Rhett Mayor, DHX Electric Machines president and co-founder. “It achieves power densities of 120 hp per gallon”—25 kW per liter—“and extraordinary torque of 195 foot-pounds/gallon”—70 Nm/liter.
“In simple terms, it delivers the power and torque of the standard sedan’s powertrain in the space of a one-gallon can of paint.”
Don Panoz, chairman of DeltaWing Technology Group, states, “I was amazed when Rhett first showed me this new motor. Imagine a light and cool-to-the-touch 20-horsepower motor the size of a 12-ounce can, and one that fits in two hands and puts out 80 or more hp. It’s simply a transportation game-changer. We’ll use it in our DeltaWing road car architecture, which studies show is already in the range of the 2025 CAFE requirements.”
Mercedes has been putting diesels in vehicles since 1926. It has been offering them in the U.S. since 1949. And 2013 is seeing a range of offerings, including in its popular GLK SUV.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.
The 2016 model is all-new. As in platform and everything else. And the platform—which will have global use—was developed in North America.