High performance electric motors for grid applications

News Analysis




High performance electric motors for grid applications

  • Nils Backeberg

Startup Infinitum has secured US$185M in venture capital to bring its electric motor to warehouses to help cut carbon emissions​​.

Electric motors are used in a wide range of applications, mainly gaining global attention to help optimise energy efficiency in mobility. For stationary applications, the use of electric motors has not required lightweighting or optimal energy efficiency. However, with energy consumption increasingly under the lens of Scope 2 carbon emissions, optimising grid energy use will play an important role in the overall Net Zero ambitions.

Much like Tesla made the switch from induction motors to high-power rare earth magnet permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) to improve energy efficiency (and battery cost) in a diversifying electric vehicle landscape, a switch to higher performance electric motors on the grid can have a significant impact on energy consumption. A key example, where a switch to efficient rare earth PMSMs has already started ramping up is in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), specifically reducing energy costs for hotels and commercial buildings.

The Infinitum motor is targeting warehouse conveyor belts with its latest funding round, with the motor designed to optimise energy consumption based on operational needs – using a variable frequency drive (VFD). In the latest press release, Infinitum also points towards the HVAC sector as a key market for improved energy efficiency.