Magnetism improves electric motors

Magnetic materials can help develop electric motors and generators that promise energy savings.


The University of Adelaide researchers used two emerging magnetic materials, soft magnetic composite (SMC) and amorphous magnetic material (AMM), and two novel production techniques to form the stator within the electrical motor or generator. The stator is the stationary and magnetic part of a motor surrounding the rotor which turns.

Both new techniques have been successfully developed and tested with small prototypes, showing substantial energy efficiency gains - up to 90% energy efficiency in small motors compared to 60-70 percent in conventional motors. The new motors are also smaller in size for a given power output.

These new motors were an important part of the development of a patented highly efficient water pump system with potential widespread application. In the developed world, more than 50 percent of all energy generated is used by electrical motors. A significant portion of these motors are used to drive water pumps. They are invisible, but used everywhere - in pools, vehicles, boats, irrigation and industry. For example, large buildings have multiple water pumps and every swimming pool has at least one water pump which runs for several hours a day, consuming a large amount of electrical energy. Currently all commercial motors are made by pressing very thin metal sheets of silicon iron together and then stamping out the shape of the stator from the metal, but this process is wasteful of the metal sheeting and it limits the best use of available space for the copper wire needed in motors.

Using SMC material, the researchers developed motors that operate at low speed with high power output and low production costs, suitable for swimming pool and similar pumps. The new stators using SMC have no need for machining, no scrap metal, and come with improved space utilization of copper wire for greater power output. The research teams have developed patented prototypes and testing facilities. They are now looking for further investment partners to commercialize the technology.

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (, a news and information website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector. This content originally appeared on the ISSSource website. Edited by Joy Chang, Digital Project Manager, CFE Media, 

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me