British electrification specialist Equipmake, expanding from its founder’s roots in designing Formula 1 race cars, has launched an ultra-lightweight, power-dense electric motor designed for demanding aerospace and marine applications. Debuted at the Future Propulsion Conference held in Solihull, UK in March, the HPM-400 is an advanced high power, short duration motor that was originally specified as a high-performance rocket fuel pump for Australian company, Gilmour Space Technologies, for use in its Eris rocket program.
Featuring several technological and packaging innovations born out of its need to withstand extreme acceleration while also operating at atmospheric pressure and in space, the HPM-400 has multiple applications in high-performance environments. A permanent-magnet motor with a maximum speed of 20,000rpm, peak power/torque of 400kW/250Nm, yet a mass of just 30kg for the motor only, the HPM-400 is believed to be the most power dense in the world, says Equipmake. Combined with its integrated silicon carbide inverter, which weighs only 10kg, the entire system tips the scales at just 40kg.
“Because of its original intention for use as a rocket fuel pump, the HPM-400 features several novel innovations over conventional motor/inverters, making it ideal for use in high-performance space, aerospace and marine applications,” said Ian Foley, CEO. “Firstly, the complete package is ultra-lightweight and capable of withstanding incredible acceleration. Secondly, when an inverter must operate in a vacuum, it needs to be high voltage, because lots of power is required.
“HPM-400 keeps air pressure inside and has been completely redesigned mechanically to withstand the pressure from within when it goes from atmosphere into the vacuum. That has resulted in a super compact cylindrical package – conventional inverters being square – with a carbon fibre shell to keep pressure in and weight down. It all adds up to an advanced high power, low weight motor/inverter that’s at home in space, in the air or in water.”
Established in 1997 and based in Snetterton, Equipmake provides complete electric mobility solutions with capability to design, test and manufacture everything from motors to fully electrified platforms. Foley, who serves as managing director, is an experienced motorsport engineer who has been involved in leading global motorsport programs from LeMans to Formula 1. See www.equipmake.co.uk.