You’ll be forgiven for not knowing of DHX Electric Machines but unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past ten years DeltaWing Technology Group should at least ring a bell, and for those with great recall, the strange looking Nissan endurance racer will come to mind.
“This is a marriage of two extremely innovative approaches – one bringing to market the state-of-the-art and efficient DeltaWing vehicle architecture and other vehicle platforms, and the other an electric motor tech leader able to make amazing power and torque in a truly tiny package,” said Don Panoz, chairman of DeltaWing Technology Group. “We’re both entrepreneurial dreamers and together we’ll change cars as we know them today. That’s why we’re coining our approach disruptive cumulative technologies.”
Now DeltaWing Technology Group and DHX Electric Machines, both based in Georgia in the US, are collaborating to build small, lightweight electric motors for automotive applications. The companies claim their electric motors are 75 percent smaller than equivalent-output motors for automotive applications thanks to engineering improvements in heat management.
Thermal management is key to high power density traction motors.
Much of the bulk of high-torque electric motors, such as those typically used in automotive applications for electrified vehicles, is in the heat management systems engineered into the motor casings, and efforts to reduce this bulk typically result in loss of torque output in heavier usage. DHX claims its design reduces bulk by up to 75 percent without losing thermal management efficiency, thus retaining the motor’s expected output in heavy usage.
A smaller, lighter motor reduces weight and volume requirements, which improves the efficiency of the vehicle, resulting in greater range.
The majority of the thermal losses in high-torque electric motors are generated in the windings. Heat typically dissipates through the stator to the frame via air or liquid cooling. DHX Electric Machines’ patented advanced cooling uses the Direct-Winding Heat Exchanger (DWHX) to remove the heat right at the source. Each DWHX features tiny channels to dissipate heat, significantly reducing thermal resistance and increasing efficiency. This replaces heavy liquid cooling and less efficient air cooling.
“Our DHX Falcon electric motor features standard materials, not exotic steels and magnets,” said J. Rhett Mayor, DHX Electric Machines Inc. president and co-founder. “It achieves power densities of 25kW per liter and extraordinary torque of 70 Nm/l. In simple terms, it delivers the power and torque of the standard sedan’s powertrain in the space of a one-gallon can of paint.”
DeltaWing will design cars at the cutting edge of technology.
For its part, DeltaWing, which became known for its Nissan collaboration on the Ben Bowlby-designed racing car of the same name, will design vehicles to use the motor. The company currently produces the Panoz DeltaWing Racing coupe for IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) competition.
Vehicles for development and production using the DHX motors, DeltaWing says, will include two-, three-, and four-wheeled designs ranging from scooters to urban vehicles to highway-ready EVs and delivery vehicles. The motors will be designed for use in both battery electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.