Madison, WI, United States

C-Motive Technologies Inc.

www.c-motive.com
Madison, WI, United States
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Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II | Award Amount: 721.09K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop a novel platform technology: a high-torque electrostatic motor (EM). This readily scalable platform machine technology can provide any desired torque or power rating necessary along with increased energy accessibility and reduced energy/operating costs compared to traditional steel-copper-magnet based motors. Instead of using permanent magnets or wire coil mechanisms, this motor exploits electrostatic forces between closely spaced, conductive metal plates to create an electric field, with shaft-torque capabilities far beyond those of conventional machines. By allowing industry more efficient operations, resources will be freed for continued innovation, spurring economic growth. This EM uses domestically-sourced materials like aluminum, steel, and plastic instead of rare earth elements like neodymium, dysprosium, or samarium used in traditional motors, thus reducing both dependence on foreign supply chains of rare earths and market volatility. EMs will be lighter-weight and less expensive to produce than traditional motors. Value is offered to numerous commercial markets, including electric/hybrid-electric cars, industrial automation, renewable energy (wind turbines), and machines operating in extreme environments (aerospace or down-hole drilling) through lower materials costs, increased reliability, higher efficiencies at low speed, and reduced weight.

The Small Business Innovation Research Project (SBIR) Phase 2 project will expand understanding of electrostatic machinery, including operational principles, design principles, and strengths/weaknesses of this novel platform technology. This represents the first significant breakthrough in motor/machine technology in almost 150 years. Previously, electrostatic technology had few applications due to a limited body of knowledge, despite occasional study throughout the last century. This was primarily due to technological limitations (low capacitance, the necessity of vacuum used as an insulating medium), whose solution required knowledge spanning multiple technical fields (electric field theory, chemistry, mechanical engineering, material science, and power electronic controls). By addressing these technological limitations in P-I, this project already expanded the body of pertinent engineering and physics knowledge. This P-II project offers opportunities for additional study ranging far beyond those currently envisioned. For example, optimizing electrostatic/mechatronic systems such as sophisticated electrostatic drive systems will likely involve the use of highly-engineered materials (metamaterials and composites); next-generation 3D multiphysics simulation platforms to simultaneously solve fluid dynamic, electrostatic, and thermal behaviors; and development of chemical synthesis processes to maximize electrostatic force production. Advanced manufacturing technologies will likely emerge, leading to possibilities including injection molding or 3D printing of a machine.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 721.09K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop a novel platform technology: a high-torque electrostatic motor (EM). This readily scalable platform machine technology can provide any desired torque or power rating necessary along with increased energy accessibility and reduced energy/operating costs compared to traditional steel-copper-magnet based motors. Instead of using permanent magnets or wire coil mechanisms, this motor exploits electrostatic forces between closely spaced, conductive metal plates to create an electric field, with shaft-torque capabilities far beyond those of conventional machines. By allowing industry more efficient operations, resources will be freed for continued innovation, spurring economic growth. This EM uses domestically-sourced materials like aluminum, steel, and plastic instead of rare earth elements like neodymium, dysprosium, or samarium used in traditional motors, thus reducing both dependence on foreign supply chains of rare earths and market volatility. EMs will be lighter-weight and less expensive to produce than traditional motors. Value is offered to numerous commercial markets, including electric/hybrid-electric cars, industrial automation, renewable energy (wind turbines), and machines operating in extreme environments (aerospace or down-hole drilling) through lower materials costs, increased reliability, higher efficiencies at low speed, and reduced weight. The Small Business Innovation Research Project (SBIR) Phase 2 project will expand understanding of electrostatic machinery, including operational principles, design principles, and strengths/weaknesses of this novel platform technology. This represents the first significant breakthrough in motor/machine technology in almost 150 years. Previously, electrostatic technology had few applications due to a limited body of knowledge, despite occasional study throughout the last century. This was primarily due to technological limitations (low capacitance, the necessity of vacuum used as an insulating medium), whose solution required knowledge spanning multiple technical fields (electric field theory, chemistry, mechanical engineering, material science, and power electronic controls). By addressing these technological limitations in P-I, this project already expanded the body of pertinent engineering and physics knowledge. This P-II project offers opportunities for additional study ranging far beyond those currently envisioned. For example, optimizing electrostatic/mechatronic systems such as sophisticated electrostatic drive systems will likely involve the use of highly-engineered materials (metamaterials and composites); next-generation 3D multiphysics simulation platforms to simultaneously solve fluid dynamic, electrostatic, and thermal behaviors; and development of chemical synthesis processes to maximize electrostatic force production. Advanced manufacturing technologies will likely emerge, leading to possibilities including injection molding or 3D printing of a machine.

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