Cryogen-Free Ultra-High Field Superconducting Electric Motor
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Hinetics will develop and demonstrate a high-power density electric machine to enable electrified aircraft propulsion systems up to 10 MW and beyond. Hinetics’ technology uses a superconducting machine design that eliminates the need for cryogenic auxiliary systems yet maintains low total mass. The innovative concept features a sub-20 K Stirling-cycle cooler integrated with a low-loss rotor to maintain the SC coils below 30 K. This design could enable a 10 MW, 3000 RPM aircraft propulsion motor weighing less than 250 kilograms that rejects up to 10 times less total heat to the ambient environment (>99% efficiency) and magnetic fields that are an order of magnitude higher than conventional machines. A novel coil suspension and torque transfer system cuts the cryogenic heat load by a factor of 10 to streamline the cryogenic design without the need for external coolers. The higher efficiency eases aircraft-level thermal management challenges with a factor of six to ten reduction in total heat exhausted to the ambient.
This technology can enable electrification of commercial transport class aircraft with a range of power sources (batteries, fuel cells, turbo-electric with Jet-A, and hybrids) to help meet emissions targets set by the aviation industry and global agreements.