High Power Density Compact Drive Integrated Motor for Electric Transportation

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OPEN 2018
Atlanta, Georgia
Project Term:
05/02/2019 - 11/01/2023

Critical Need:

Internal permanent magnet (IPM) motors are used in a variety of applications including transportation, power generation, pumping and drilling, and manufacturing. Their primary heat generation occurs in the stator (stationary portion of the motor). IPM motors’ power and torque densities are limited by their heat removal capability and their system sizes by the individual motor, drive, and various thermal management hardware. Recently, motor drives have been fabricated with high temperature semiconductors including silicon carbide (SiC)-based devices. SiC can handle significantly higher continuous operating temperatures and current densities than straight silicon (Si) for high power electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid applications. However, electrical and thermal packaging limitations have stymied SiC device applications.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

The Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) will develop a new approach to internally cool permanent magnet motors. The technology could dramatically improve electric motors’ power density and reduce system size and weight. To do so, the team will integrate motor and drive electronics into a unique system packaging incorporating an embedded advanced thermal management system. They will also develop wide bandgap power electronics packaging to enable high power density operations at higher temperature. The new design could substantially increase the power and torque density above the state of the art and enable more energy-efficient electric trucks, buses, and, potentially, aircraft.

Potential Impact:

The IPM motor will provide transformative opportunities in electrification of ground and air transport sectors.


The proposed concept will enhance economic and energy security of the U.S. through enabling a technological lead in electrification of ground and air transportation.


These innovations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to more electrification, and improve energy efficiency of transportation systems using electric motors.


Electrical motors currently account for 47% of global electricity consumption. High power density motor development will positively impact many other motor applications for compact systems. High performance, low cost power electronics would enable significant efficiency gains across the economy.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Peter de Bock
Project Contact:
Prof. Yogendra Joshi
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Project Contact Email:

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