Drives and Controls Magazine
Nidec develops ‘first magnet-free motor with SiC inverter’
Published:  22 December, 2014

The Japanese motor-maker Nidec claims to have developed the first motor-drive system in which a magnet-free switched reluctance (SR) motor is powered by an inverter incorporating silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices.

It says that the 44kW liquid-cooled prototype occupies less than a third (32%) of the volume of a conventional motor and inverter of a similar rating, and weighs 31% less.

Nidec believes that the development could lead to future drive systems that are compact, lightweight and have a low power consumption. Compared to conventional silicon semiconductors, SiC devices exhibit lower power losses, improved heat resistance and higher current capacities.

Nidec's prototype 44kW SR-SiC motor-drive

During 2015, Nidec is planning to develop an integrated motor-drive system with the inverter inside the motor housing.