Drives and Controls Magazine
PCB-stator pump motor is much lighter and more efficient
Published:  28 July, 2023

A US company that has developed a technology that uses PCBs (printed circuit boards) to create electric motor stators, has joined forces with a pump-maker to apply the technology to a “next generation” 3hp (2.2kW) pump motor that, they claim, is much more efficient, lighter and shorter than existing motors.

Massachusetts-based ECM PCB Stator Technology says that the axial-flux motor is
• 94% efficient – 2.9% higher than the leading rival;
• 68% lighter – 22lb (10kg) rather than 67lb (30.4kg);
• needs 66% less copper; and
• is just 100mm long, rather than 424mm for the rival.

ECM and the unidentified global pump-maker believe that their pump will meet a global need. Pumps are one of the biggest uses for motors with a global demand for more than a billion pumps a year, worth more than $200bn.

The developers claims that poorly designed pump systems consume 20% of the world’s electricity, and 25% of the energy used to power electric motors in the US alone. Traditional pumps also have shorter lifecycles, resulting in higher operating costs.

“Though often overlooked, electrically-powered pumps are an integral component of millions of commercial and industrial systems,” says ECM CEO, Brian Casey. “Pump motors are in drastic need of a 21st century design upgrade.

“ECM’s ultra-light, premium-efficiency pump motor design offers the next-generation performance, durability, customisation, and sustainable characteristics the market demands,” he adds.

The 3hp PCB-stator pump motor promises greater power, efficiency, and durability in a smaller package.Photo: Business Wire

To create the new pump, ECM used its patented PrintStator technology, which pairs the PCB stators with advanced CAD to design the premium-efficiency motors that are smaller, quieter, lighter and more durable.

ECM announced its technology in 2022, and is planning to release PrintStator as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform in the last quarter of this year. The software can be used to design and manufacture PCB stator motors that are lighter, quieter, more powerful, more energy- and space-efficient, and greener for a broad range of sectors. The motors can achieve efficiencies higher than 90%, while needing up to 70% less raw materials to produce. The technology can be customised to specific applications.

ECM says it has already partnered with multiple organisations to create optimised motors for sectors including HVAC, e-mobility, fitness, robotics and renewable energy. These partners include the aerospace and defence developer L3 Harris, the electronics manufacturer Celestica, and the consumer electronics start-up, Nodo Film Systems.

Motors account for more than 40% of the world’s electricity consumption.

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