Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Copper or Aluminum for Motor Rotor?
• Copper has a higher conductivity than aluminum (57 MS/m compared to 37 MS/m)
 An induction motor with copper rotor can be more efficient, or for the same efficiency, lighter and smaller

• For a long time, the high melting point of die-casting copper was a major barrier

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Die casting copper
• Over the past years, several breakthroughs in copper die-casting technology have been achieved
 Leading to industrial production of copper motor rotors

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Copper rotor today
• Regular production of copper rotor motors in the range 100W – 100kW • 250,000 units are in use • Average efficiency improvement compared to aluminum rotor motors is around 3% • Global electricity savings potential is 108 TWh/year
 Equivalent to 60-70 million tonne CO2 emissions

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Main benefits of motors with copper rotor
• Two ways to use the higher conductivity of copper:

 Same design The motor has a higher efficiency, compensating for its higher purchasing price  Same efficiency The motor can be made lighter and smaller, and therefore cheaper

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Other benefits of copper rotors
1. A lower temperature rise in operation
 Other parts can heat up more, or less cooling facilities are required  A more compact machine, fitting better into a system  Smaller efficiency drop when deviating from the nominal load

2. A flatter efficiency curve

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Other benefits of copper rotors
1. Torque-speed characteristic reaches maximum torque at higher speed

 Useful for combining high speed with high torque (e.g. centrifugal pumps)

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Other benefits of copper rotors
1. Improved steel properties
 Due to the higher melting point of copper, the temperature of the surrounding steel becomes higher during die-casting, which can lead to a more energy-efficient magnetic steel with proper steel specifications

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Environmental performance
Two possibilities:
 Constant efficiency = reduced material consumption  Improved efficiency = reduced energy losses  A copper rotor is a composite material = difficult to recycle, but techniques exist to separate copper

Recycling:

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Operation issues
A copper rotor motor has:
 Lower starting torque → can be addressed by a special design of the rotor slot shape  Higher start-up current → requires use of a soft starter  A higher rotor inertia

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Examples of applications
• • • • • • • • Agricultural pumps (efficiency, torque) Water circulation pumps (efficiency, torque) Oil well pumps (efficiency, torque) Airport baggage handling (low volume) Rolling curtains (low volume, high speed) Aeronautic applications (low volume, high speed) Refrigeration compressors (high efficiency) Ceiling conveyor belt (low weight)

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Round-up
• Industrial production of induction motors with die-cast copper rotor is available today • Main advantage: better conductivity of copper, leading to improved efficiency, or with the same efficiency, to lower volume, weight and variable cost • Improved steel in combination with die-cast copper rotors enables Eff1 performance, or better, resulting in reduced environmental impact

Minute Lectures

Benefits of Motors with Copper Rotors
Further information
• Website www.copper-motor-rotor.org • Production of copper rotors www.favi.com • Motors with Copper Rotors Can Cost Less to Produce view article