Thor Power: Revolutionary Electric Motor Design Cuts Energy Use in Half
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008 @ 22:00:42 GMT
Topic: Devices

Traditional electric motor designs (left) haven't changed substantially since 1906. Thor Power's technology uses rare earth magnets, resulting in a motor that generates twice the power at half the weight and double the efficiency (right).

Electric motors consume 67 percent of the energy produced in the United States, yet their fundamental technology hasn't changed much in the past 100 years. Thor Power, a resident company in the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, is well on its way to commercializing an entirely new electric motor design that could have a dramatic impact on nearly every sector of society.

Alternating current (AC) motors are used extensively in many products, including refrigerators, air conditioners, power tools, washers, dryers and computers. The basic design, perfected in the late 1800s, involves supplying an external stator with an electrical current to produce a rotating magnetic field. This electromagnetic field spins the rotor that rests inside the stator. Such a design is only 47 percent efficient in its use of electricity, according to Dave Bonner, CEO of the Bethlehem-based company...

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