Genius ideas usually are so simple you start to wonder after seeing them: Why did no one think about this before? This is precisely what we felt after seeing what Infinitum Electric has created: a printed circuit board stator. It saves a lot of resources, such as copper and iron. If applied to electric cars, they can help them crucial for a higher range: save mass.
UPDATE: the author misread Ben Schuler on the engine efficiency and made a mistake. The article is now corrected.
Gallery: Infinitum Electric With a Printed Circuit Board Stator Promises A Revolution
Ben Schuler, Infinitum’s CEO, and founder sums that up:
“What our technology does is that it pulls out all the iron and copper windings out of the stator. That pulls out all the losses associated with the core. We then add our copper circuits into a printed circuit board and that makes for a more efficient and more durable stator. What our circuit board does is that it fully installs the entire coil”
The image below gives us an idea of how much smaller the printed circuit board stator is when compared to the stator of a conventional electric motor.
Schuler says how lighter it is.
“In an equal comparison, with the exact same power, exact same everything, ours is about 90 percent lighter weight.”
Besides saving resources and weight, the idea of a printed circuit board stator also enables Infinitum Electric to put all sensors on the same piece. The printed board stator also monitors the components. In a regular electric motor, you would have to install sensors separately.
The new motor also claims to eliminate torque ripple, which makes it even more silent than the ones already for sale. The copper conductors are fully insolated, which makes them less prone to failures. But how energy efficient is this breakthrough? Even more than the Magnax?
“It is hard to give you the correct number because the efficiency range depends on the size of the motor. What I can say is that we are at up to 10 percent higher efficiency than equivalent engines. For the ones that are already like 95 percent efficient, we are one or two percent higher. We started our design at a much higher baseline than anyone else. We’ll always be more efficient. Others might be able to match our performance, but only using very rare materials. Ours is cheap, easy to manufacture. Our sales pitch is simple. It is is like: ‘Hey, we’re lighter, we’re cheaper, we have higher efficiency, what else do you need?’”
The way the stator is produced also allows it to have an equal coefficient of thermal expansion in all its surface, which would make it more durable and reliable. If you think the stator seems fragile because it is basically a circuit board, you're wrong, according to Infinitum's CEO.
“You look at the car today. It has lots of printed circuit boards already. We are not the first one’s using printed circuit boards in cars. We are just applying them in a different way. We are highly confident in our ability to be as durable and as reliable as traditional ones.”
Infinitum Electric decided to start its commercial career in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning market. You also know it as HVAC.
“The HVAC industry has a lot of interested customers in the high-efficiency elements of our technology. It is ideal for them. Everything from cars to drones, to propulsion motors, auxiliary motors, its attributes apply very well to electric vehicles.”
The choice was not arbitrary, according to Schuler.
“Our reasoning for starting off in the HVAC market is that is has a rather low barrier to entry. So this allows us to sell 10,000 20,000 100,000 and prove to everyone how durable and high-performing our motors actually are. Having that proof case in the HVAC market will open up lots of other avenues, such as oil and gas, or space, whatever it is. The HVAC launch will enable that.”
What was random was the 1,000 hp limit information on the press release. According to Schuler, its company’s motor can achieve whatever the demand requires.
“The 1,000 hp limit for his motor is just an arbitrary number to talk about the technology. It can go higher than that. In the oil and gas business, these motors are like 5,000 hp. They use huge machines. Most cars would not need more than 300 hp.”
Infinitum’s CEO says the new investment of $12.5 million they announced this December 5 allowed them to enter their new production facility in Austin, Texas.
“We’re going to ship our first products in June of next year.”
There are already some automakers paying careful attention to the printed circuit board stator motor from Infinitum.
“I wish I could share their names. We are in contact with a handful of them, as well as suppliers, to find the best applications in the EV industry. Propulsion, hybrid, auxiliary motor in the car, whatever it is. We are actively working with all of them.”
Infinitum Electric Closes $12.5M Series B Round to Bring Disruptive Motors to Market
New funding will enable the motor innovator to deliver HVAC-specific motors with an expanded employee base and new Austin-area manufacturing facility
AUSTIN, TEXAS, DECEMBER 5, 2019 –Infinitum Electric, a leading motor technology company delivering ultra-high-efficiency, durable, lightweight and IoT-enabled electric motors, built with patented printed circuit board stator technology and integrated motor controls announced today that it has closed a $12.5 million Series B round of financing. This follows a successful Series A round completed in January, bringing total funding to $15.2 million. The Series B round was led by Cottonwood Technology Fund (CTF) and includes participation from Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), AJAX Strategies and other individual investors.
Infinitum will leverage the new funds to hire in the areas of research and development, engineering, supply chain and production and to open its new global Headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Austin, Texas area. With six patents in hand and a further 15 pending, Infinitum’s motor technology provides advantages in a wide range of market segments including HVAC, oil and gas, and aerospace. Infinitum’s initial focus is on 1HP to 30HP commercial and industrial air-moving applications in the HVAC space, with three customer contracts already inked with the industry’s most well-respected fan and blower OEMs. Ultimately, the unique modularity of Infinitum’s motors allows the company to address power ranges from 100HP to 1,000HP and beyond.
“Since participating in the Series A round in December, we’ve seen Infinitum advance tremendously. They’ve added key leaders to the team, signed multiple customer contracts and are prepared to ramp their own manufacturing facility,” said Dave Blivin, managing director, CTF. "We’re proud to have led the Series B round, and we’re excited to see Infinitum attract the support of leading investors who will further enhance their success in the growing electric motor industry -- one that is ripe for the type of disruptive innovation Infinitum provides.”
“Our patented motor technology will completely transform the electric motor market, a market that has changed very little since inception more than 100 years ago,” said Ben Schuler, CEO, Infinitum Electric. “With this latest round of funding, we’re well positioned to replace traditional HVAC motors with our breakthrough motor technology, resulting in a smaller, smarter and more efficient offering for thousands of HVAC end users.”
“Infinitum’s mission aligns well with our goals for the Future Energy Fund,” said Barbara Burger, President, Chevron Technology Ventures. “The purpose of the Future Energy Fund is to invest in breakthrough energy technologies that reflect Chevron’s commitment to lower emission energy sources and that are integral to low-carbon and efficient value chains.”
Infinitum’s electric motor efficiency exceeds IE5 efficiency, a standard that the industry today considers to be the highest efficiency class. In addition, the customizable design of Infinitum’s motors and generators allows for greater optimization than any other electric motor, resulting in up to 25 percent lower costs, up to 60 percent less weight, as well as superior durability and enhanced IoT connectivity.
About Infinitum Electric
Infinitum Electric was born in 2016 by founders with decades of experience and a deep understanding of how electrification will impact the world. Infinitum Electric’s mission is to disrupt the way electric machines consume and create electricity. The company’s patented printed circuit board stator technology forever changes the electric motor landscape, allowing for light weight, lower cost electric motors and generators with unparalleled efficiency and durability.
About Cottonwood Technology Fund
CTF is a seed and early-stage technology commercialization fund with offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Enschede, the Netherlands. It invests in founding stage technology-related (particularly telecom, chemistry/material sciences, photonics, biosciences, robotics and new energy) businesses originating throughout the Southwest region of the US and also in Northern Europe. Visit www.cottonwoodtechnologyfund.com for more information.
About Chevron Technology Ventures
Formed in 1999, Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), operating as a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., pursues new business solutions and externally-developed technologies that have the potential to enhance the way Chevron produces and delivers affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy. CTV fosters innovation, supporting vibrant startup ecosystems and championing technology integration internally. Through its investment portfolio and internal use pipeline that trials technologies for use within Chevron, CTV has supported a wide range of pioneering companies that are helping to shape the future of energy.