What If?

For nearly a century, engineers and product designers have been limited by the status-quo of electric machines. Optimizing a system reliant on an electric motor or generator requires a balance of speed, efficiency, cooling, gearboxes, weight, dimensions, and supply chain security. When the only option for engineers is high-speed electric machines, they are forced to compromise to accommodate commercially available machines. This means adding heavy, costly, and efficiency-hogging gearboxes, active cooling systems, and often oversizing the machine for an extra factor of safety. For far too long, engineers have had to pay for more power than they need when it really isn’t about power at all – it’s about torque!

All In One – The C-Motive Difference.

C-Motive is offering a different approach to this problem. Electrostatic machines are naturally
high torque, low speed, and high efficiency. Our machines do not need gearboxes or active cooling
and due to the nature by which they produce torque, do not need to be oversized for safety.
A single C-Motive machine can replace two or even three components and sub-systems, delivering
immediate cost savings and long-term efficiency gains for nearly any application.

Upsize the Motor

In practice, if an engineer was faced with specifying a traditional electric motor for a conveyor belt, they start by understanding what speed they need the belt’s mechanism to spin at. After learning how fast and how much weight the conveyor needs to move, they could calculate the power that the motor needs to generate in order to move the products along.

An engineer would typically identify the right size motor, usually from a catalogue, and then pick the next size up. Upsizing the motor is done to account for unforeseen efficiency losses and ensure a factor of safety, but the downside is that an oversized motor runs less efficiently.

Add a Gearbox

More likely than not, the speed of the conveyor drive is only 150 revolutions per minute (RPM), but the motors that the engineer would look at purchasing have a peak efficiency of 1700 RPM. This means adding a gearbox.

The gearbox only has one function, to take high speeds from the motor and convert them to lower speeds. The engineer would have to find a gearbox that has a 10:1 ratio that converts 1700 RPM from the motor to 170 rpm. In that transition, efficiency is lost, but the torque is naturally boosted as there is a linear relationship between speed and torque. Providing a constant amount of power into the machine, it can be designed to deliver high speed and low torque (or, through a gearbox, high torque at low speed)

Add Active Cooling

Depending on the duty cycle (i.e. whether the machine is being run constantly or repeatedly turned on and off), the engineer would make a decision around whether or not they would need to increase the size of the motor further in the circumstance of the motor overheating.

Because traditional electric motors create motion by passing electric current through copper windings, resistance in the copper windings leads to heat generation. Heat is the number one cause of motor failures in the field, so because traditional electric motors create a lot of heat when they run, active cooling systems have to be added. Commonly, active cooling requires flowing coolant fluid across the rotor of the motor and then out to a form of a radiator, functioning like a very small air conditioner.

Learn Something New.

Want to know more about what really makes C-Motive’s machines operate? Head to our technology deep dive page for more information and explanations.

Tech Deep Dive