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UNSW engineers have built a new high-speed motor which has the potential to increase the range of electric vehicles.

The design of the prototype IPMSM type was inspired by the shape of the longest railroad bridge in South Korea and has achieved speeds of 100,000 revolutions per minute.

The and speed achieved by this novel motor have successfully exceeded and doubled the existing high-speed record of laminated IPMSMs (Interior Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor), making it the world's fastest IPMSM ever built with commercialized lamination materials.

Most importantly, the motor is able to produce a very high power density, which is beneficial for EVs in reducing overall weight and therefore increased range for any given charge.

The new technology, developed by a team headed by Associate Professor Rukmi Dutta and Dr. Guoyu Chu from the UNSW School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, is an improvement on existing IPMSMs, which are predominantly used in traction drive of electric vehicles.

An IPMSM type motor has magnets embedded within its rotors to create strong torque for an extended speed range. However, existing IPMSMs suffer from low mechanical strength due to thin iron bridges in their rotors, which limits their maximum speed.

But the UNSW team have patented a new rotor topology which significantly improves robustness, while also reducing the amount of rare earth materials per unit power production.

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