Siemens' 110 lb world-record electric aircraft motor produce 348 hp at 2,500 RPM
Siemens' world-record electric aircraft motor punches above its weight
COLIN JEFFREY APRIL 20, 2015 7 PICTURES
Researchers working at Siemens say that they have produced an electric
aircraft engine with a claimed ...
Researchers working at Siemens say that they have produced an electric aircraft
engine with a claimed weight-to-performance ratio of 5 kW per kilogram (Photo:
Image Gallery (7 images)
Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically
designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to
produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times
greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to
get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground.
The motor was developed with the support of the German Aviation Research
Program LuFo as a ... Siemens hopes to see further evolutionary increases to
the power output of their new electric motor ... Researchers also utilized a
range of computer simulation methods to model the motor prior to construction
.... Weighing in at just 50 kilograms (110 lb), a new prototype electric motor
specifically designed for ...
Researchers say they produced such a light but powerful motor by analyzing all
of the components of previous electric aircraft motors and incorporating
optimized improvements to these in their new prototype. Added to this, the
researchers also utilized a range of computer simulation methods to model the
motor prior to construction, before then applying the findings to produce the
lightest and strongest set of components possible.
As a result, the new aircraft electric drive system achieves a claimed
weight-to-performance ratio of 5 kW per kilogram. This ratio is an exceptional
figure – especially if compared to similarly powerful industrial electric
motors used in heavy machinery that produce less than 1 kW per kilogram, or
even to more efficient electric motors for vehicles that generate around 2 kW
per kilogram. The four electric motors in the Solar Impulse 2, by comparison,
produce just 7.5 kW (10 hp) each.
The new Siemens electric motor is also direct drive and does not require a
transmission, spinning a propeller up to speeds of around 2,500 RPM.
"This innovation will make it possible to build series hybrid-electric aircraft
with four or more seats," said Frank Anton, Head of eAircraft at Siemens
Corporate Technology, the company's central research unit. "We're convinced
that the use of hybrid-electric drives in regional airliners with 50 to 100
passengers is a real medium-term possibility."
Siemens has been involved in a range of electric motor driven vehicles,
including a collaboration with Volvo on a fast-charging motor vehicle and with
shipping company Norland for an electrically-driven passenger ferry.
This electric motor innovation, however, may be just the ticket for the
company's joint venture with the Diamond aircraft company, who they supply with
electric fan motors for their DA36 E-Star 2 motor glider. The last one
generated just 60 kW.
The motor, which was developed with the support of the German Aviation Research
Program LuFo as a project of Grob Aircraft and Siemens, is planned to start
in-flight-testing before the end of 2015. Siemens also hopes to see further
evolutionary increases to the power output in the not-too-distant future.