Automotive

DeltaWing and DHX to shrink electric vehicle motors without compromising power

DeltaWing and DHX to shrink el...
The DHX Falcon, at front, produces 80 hp and is equivalent to the typical automotive electric motor shown behind, yet is 75 percent less bulky
The DHX Falcon, at front, produces 80 hp and is equivalent to the typical automotive electric motor shown behind, yet is 75 percent less bulky
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The DHX Falcon, at front, produces 80 hp and is equivalent to the typical automotive electric motor shown behind, yet is 75 percent less bulky
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The DHX Falcon, at front, produces 80 hp and is equivalent to the typical automotive electric motor shown behind, yet is 75 percent less bulky

DeltaWing Technology Group and DHX Electric Machines, both based in Georgia in the US, are collaborating to build small, lightweight electric motors for automotive applications. The companies claim their electric motors are 75 percent smaller than equivalent-output motors for automotive applications thanks to engineering improvements in heat management.

Much of the bulk of high-torque electric motors, such as those typically used in automotive applications for electrified vehicles, is in the heat management systems engineered into the motor casings, and efforts to reduce this bulk typically result in loss of torque output in heavier usage. DHX claims its design reduces bulk by up to 75 percent without losing thermal management efficiency, thus retaining the motor's expected output in heavy usage.

A smaller, lighter motor reduces weight and volume requirements, which improves the efficiency of the vehicle, resulting in greater range.

In an electric motor, the windings generate most of the heat produced during use. Air or liquid cooling is usually used to dissipate this heat into the motor's frame and case through the stator, which, unlike the windings, is fixed to those elements. In the DHX design, a heat exchanger in the winding pulls heat away and to the casing more efficiently. DHX calls this a Direct-Winding Heat Exchanger (DWHX), and it is made up of tiny channels made to reduce thermal resistance by pulling heat away from the windings. This replaces heavy liquid cooling and less efficient air cooling.

For its part, DeltaWing, which became known for its Nissan collaboration on the Ben Bowlby-designed racing car of the same name, will design vehicles to use the motor. The company currently produces the Panoz DeltaWing Racing coupe for IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) competition. Vehicles for development and production using the DHX motors, DeltaWing says, will include two-, three-, and four-wheeled designs ranging from scooters to urban vehicles to highway-ready EVs and delivery vehicles. The motors will be designed for use in both battery electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

Source: DeltaWing Technology Group

10 comments
Daishi
I mentioned the super light weight motor McLaren made for P1 in a comment on another article but out of curiosity I looked up the motor Lightning Motorcycles uses for their 218 and it appears to be the same High Voltage Hairpin (HVH) IPM liquid cooled electric brushless motor that MotoCzysz moved to after the Agni/Lynch motor. It was produced by Remy Motor which supplies Lightning now. For people who followed MotoCzysz in TT Zero that's probably an interesting piece of trivia. MotoCzysz and Remy partnered on a "D1g1tal Dr1ve D1" platform that combines the HVH with a handful of other required kit for $9k. Michael Czysz took a break from IoM for health reasons but looking at MotoCzysz twitter it looks like they are planning to be back for 2016. It will be a different field now than when they won 4 straight years but it will be good to have them back.
POOL PUMPREAPAIR guy longwood
The motor behind it is a 1/2-3hp square flange single phase AC centrifugal pump,my guess is this is the coolant suport pump for the 3 phase DC motor pictured in front, what would be interesting is to see the coolant system to operate a 80hp of that size ? bet it's huge and heavy. And the shaft looks a tad small 3/4-7/8 ? 80 hp will nap that like a twig. this motor would make a cool trolling motor for my bass boat.
Don Duncan
Does 75% less bulk translate to 75% less weight, i.e., what is the weight savings?
Bob Stuart
A little more weight in the motor to raise efficiency can often save more weight on the battery pack, but it is very hard to find those numbers.
halcyon_m
No mention of efficiency... Getting heat out is important, and this is probably a slick motor, but be real about the implications.
Eletruk
Found their website http://www.dhxmachines.com/ where they have actual numbers. They claim 96% efficiency and energy efficiencies approaching 120HP per gallon or 25KW/liter. But as POOL PUMP REPAIR GUY points out, highly suspect, as I don't think the shaft could handle 80HP, nor the power terminals handle the 60KW of electricity, nor the tiny water coupling the approx. 2400watts of heat
Walt Stawicki
30 pounds peak efficiency 96% also reference 2 of "gallon paint cans for 500hp and 800 ftlb http://www.dhxmachines.com/index.html
Tom Lee Mullins
I think this is good news for electric vehicles.
Daishi
@Eletruk The small motor in that photo is 80 HP vs the large one at 1.5 HP but I'm not so sure it's impossible. Take a look at the specs of the Mclaren P1 electric motor that powers Formula E race cars http://www.mclaren.com/technologygroup/news/articles/mclaren-powers-formula-e-beijing/ The DHX motor is 80 hp (60kW) and weighs 30lbs (13.6kg). The Mclaren Formula E motor is 268.204 (200kW) and 57lbs (26kg). The Mclaren motor 3.3 times the power and 1.9 times the weight of the DHX giving it even more density and it's used for high endurance applications like racing where it's under constant load and cooling would be a challenge. In regular automotive use these engines would run at max load only some of the time and keeping them cooled would be less of an issue but it seems as though it's certainly possible. Also if that solid metal shaft won't handle 80 HP it would be hard to make gearboxes for 500 HP cars that don't immediately turn to butter. Here is a photo of the motor for Formula E: http://i.imgur.com/Wj52lHx.jpg
noteugene
And the mechanics will have more room to work when crawling under a vehicle........