Drives and Controls Magazine
‘Breakthrough’ motor will use low-loss magnetic material
Published:  18 October, 2022

An Australian start-up company is developing a new generation of smaller, lighter and more efficient electric motors based on a new magnetic material called Aeroperm which has energy losses one-tenth those of existing magnetic materials used in today’s electrical devices.

Melbourne-based Kite Magnetics, founded in 2021, has attracted A$1.85m (US $1.16m) in seed funding to design, build, test and fly electric motors for two-seater electric aircraft. The company is building an electric motor test facility and hopes to fly its first electric motor on a crewed aircraft as early as next year.

The low-loss Aeroperm magnetic material was co-invented at Australia’s Monash University by Professor Kiyonori Suzuki and Dr Richard Parsons, who is Kite Magnetics’ founder and CEO. The magnetically soft material is composed of nanoscale crystals in an amorphous metal matrix.

“Aeroperm’s amazing nanocrystalline microstructure means it has an energy loss one-tenth that of existing magnetic core materials used in today’s electric motors, allowing us to design what we believe will be the world’s highest-performance electric motors and generators,” says Parsons.

“Our electric motors will enable electric aircraft of all sizes to fly further and carry more, reducing the costs to operate them and enabling sustainably powered aircraft to fly more routes sooner,” he adds. “Today the global aviation industry contributes about three times more to climate change than all of Australia’s emissions combined, so helping to accelerate the adoption of electric aircraft is our top priority.

“Outside of aviation, we also see our electric motor and generator technology supporting a wide range of other industries as it matures – such as cars, buses, boats and trains.”

Kite Magnetics’ motors will be based on a newly-developed low-loss magnetic material

Kite Magnetics hopes to become a dominant player in the electric propulsion market for aviation. It plans to build electric motors for aircraft of all sizes, including those powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

According to Parsons, Kite is “developing the technologies required for a new age of electric aviation – one that is safer, quieter, significantly cheaper and emissions-free”.

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The Aeroperm magnetic material has much lower losses than existing materials