MADISON—The National Science Foundation awarded C-Motive Technologies $150,000 to develop the first commercially viable high torque electrostatic generator. NSF announced the Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research award to C-Motive on December 18. Only 14 percent of applicants receive the highly coveted SBIR grants annually from NSF, after undergoing a rigorous review process that lasts several months. Madison, Wisconsin-based C-Motive received the maximum award available.
C-Motive’s research will focus on developing a generator for use in the large wind-turbine industry as well as for broader applications in the global electric machines marketplace. Called the C-Machine™, C-Motive’s generator is designed to produce high torque at low speed, and at less cost than any generator under development or on the market today.
C-Motive CEO Justin Reed said the NSF grant validates the technical merit and commercial viability of the C-Machine.
“NSF scrutinizes the business potential of each applicant's innovation," said Reed. "C-Motive's NSF grant confirms our belief that the C-Machine has significant market potential."
To be competitive with fossil fuels, wind turbine manufacturers must reduce costs with a lighter, cleaner, more energy efficient delivery system. The C-Machine eliminates the need for a gearbox, which significantly reduces the size of the turbine tower and foundation.
The C-Machine is lighter than conventional generators because it runs without reliance on copper windings, steel laminations, or heavy magnets with expensive rare-earth materials. The C-Machine is designed to operate with 95 percent energy efficiency.
Rather than use magnetic fields to produce motion to create electricity, C-Motive’s C-Machine uses the electrostatic force of electric fields and is based on C-Motive’s patented Capacitive Technology Platform™.