C-Motive Technologies is developing a new electric motor design using electrostatic force instead of the traditional electromagnetic force of induction motors. The electrostatic motor is an old concept dating back to the eighteenth century, but magnetic force was far easier to use at the time. The motor is manufactured with only aluminum components, reducing material costs. Pairs of rotating and fixed discs with an extremely small air gap between them yield reduced maintenance cost and noise. The design efficiency is rated at 95% comparable to large horsepower NEMA Premium electric motors. The ideal combination of high efficiency, low material cost, and low maintenance costs could have widespread impact in the industrial sector, which is dominated by electric motor load.
New Motor Under Development By UW-Madison SpinoffUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison News, September 8, 2014
A tabletop motor using an entirely new driving principle is under development at the headquarters of C-Motive Technologies, a startup business that is commercializing technology from the College of Engineering at UW-Madison.
“We have proven the concept of a new motor that uses electric fields rather than magnetic fields to transform electricity into a rotary force,” says company co-founder Dan Ludois, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UW. The distinction may sound minor, but it could solve a number of practical problems while saving money, he explains.