The Next Generation of Electric Motors
Electric motors are the central component of every EV, and they're also used in countless applications where electric power is needed. From industrial machinery to home appliances, electric motors will continue to play an important role in the world's energy future.
Currently, over 90 % of electric motors used in industry are traditional cage induction motors. They are reliable and affordable. However, new and more efficient electric motors are now beginning to gain ground. In this article, we’ll explore several new motor types.
Interior Permanent Magnet Motor
The interior permanent magnet motor (IPM) is a type of synchronous motor that uses a magnet as the rotor. Unlike other types of electric motors, it does not use electromagnets for its stator. The use of permanent magnets instead of electromagnets leads to a number of advantages, including increased reliability and lower cost.
The IPM configuration has been around since the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that improvements in technology made them viable for widespread adoption in industrial applications. Compared with traditional asynchronous motors, IPM motors are quieter and have higher torque density—meaning they can produce more power per unit volume or mass than other types of electric motors. The interior permanent-magnet motor (IPM) is the most suitable electric motor for EVs.
VinFast has made use of the IPM engine type in its first, smart electric car model —the VinFast VF e34—as a way to stay ahead of global trends in manufacturing EVs. With its 110 kW maximum capacity and 242 Nm of torque, VinFast's VF e34 electric car is a performance powerhouse. The VF e34, with its MacPherson front suspension and torsion bar rear suspension, is both fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Because of its ability to constantly alter the speed of the electric motor, the VF e34 only requires a single-speed transmission—eliminating the need for various gear ratios. VinFast’s VF e34 model accelerates more smoothly and optimally than other models in its sector, due to the innovative technology used by VinFast.
An induction motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy from a rotating magnetic field. They are the most common type of electric motor, used in air conditioners and fans, electric drills, washing machines and other household appliances. Today’s induction motors have many advantages over other types of motors; they are more efficient, easier to control and quieter than their predecessors.
Research shows that asynchronous IM engines work well on terrain at high speeds. However, they perform poorly when a vehicle travels short distances and stops frequently. The simplicity of this engine makes it cost-effective to produce—and because of that, many manufacturers employ the induction motor.
Because of the different frequencies of the rotor and the stator's magnetic fields, torque is generated. Induction motors lack brushes and commutators, are less expensive and need little maintenance. These characteristics make the induction motor an appealing option for EVs.
DC motors are the most common type of motor and can be used in a variety of applications. They are simple, robust and reliable. In fact, DC motors account for the majority (~85%) of all electric motors used today.
They work by using an electromagnet to apply force against a permanent magnet. As long as there's sufficient voltage applied across these two sets of coils—or "phases"—the rotor will keep turning continuously until you stop supplying power; they're not capable of stopping themselves once they've started spinning unless something goes wrong.
Advantages of DC motors include low initial cost, high reliability, and ease of motor control. Disadvantages include a lower lifespan and high maintenance costs. This motor is seldom used in transportation today except for some Indian railway locomotives.
Brushless DC Motor
Brushless DC motors are similar to AC induction motors, but instead of a squirrel cage rotor, they have a rotating permanent magnet. Brushless DC motors are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and other applications where high torque and high efficiency are required.
Brushless DC motors provide great power density, excellent torque output, and exceptional performance. However, the biggest restriction of the Brushless DC motor is its huge torque oscillations—this leads the automobile to generate up to six torque pulses every cycle.
Unfortunately, at present there are no economically viable brushless DC motors available for EV use. The main disadvantage for EV use is the cost of the large permanent magnet required for the rotor, and the added expense of the speed controller.
Switched Reluctance Motor
The switched reluctance motor is an AC motor with no moving parts and no brushes. The switched reluctance motor comprises a rotor block made of iron without windings or magnets. On the stator, a winding resembles the field winding of a DC motor, providing mechanical assurance. With its unique construction, the variable reluctance SRM motor's speed range may reach tens of thousands of revolutions per minute.
It generates torque by switching the reluctance of the magnetic field. This system is simpler than other types of motors, as there are no magnets or windings. However, they are notoriously difficult to control and are often prone to emitting significant amounts of acoustical noise while in operation.
Synchronous Reluctance Motor
The synchronous reluctance (SR) motor is a type of electric motor that uses an AC source to generate a rotating magnetic field, which induces an alternating current in the rotor coils.
The SR motor is similar to the permanent magnet synchronous motor, but does not use magnets on its rotor. Instead, it uses a series-wound reluctance machine as its stator and permanent magnet on its rotor. The SR motor has lower efficiency than induction motors or synchronous machines but can operate at very high speeds.
The most significant downside of the SRM is the need for complicated control systems. It is also a little noisy. However, in the future, SRM may replace permanent magnet synchronous motors and induction motors.
The future looks bright for electric motors. As they continue to evolve, they will become more efficient and powerful. This is great news for consumers who want to use less fossil fuels and help save the planet!
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