With how the current world functions, gas-fueled cars could be a thing of the past. As it stands, several companies have brought out their own versions of the electric car- which are somewhat similar. Also, there are quite a lot of issues that crop up in the current electric vehicles. This is what has put Robert Sansone- an adolescent engineer- in the spotlight. This engineer won a grand total of $75,000 at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. For those who are unaware, this is the largest international high school STEM competition in the world.
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According to a report from the Smithsonian Magazine, the new invention proposed by Sansone could change the entire electric car industry. The invention is a synchronous reluctance motor which could result in improved performance. Ideally, such motors form an integral part of fans and pumps. And this is because they aren’t suited for electric vehicles. But the new model by this young engineer does work upon the torque of such motors. For those worried about the expenses, these aren’t pricey and can often be sourced from ethical metals.
Young Engineer Devises A Way To Improve Electric Cars
The inventor of a new device for electric cars, Robert Sansone is just 17 years of age. And while we have no idea what our readers were doing at 17, this prodigy has completed close to 60 different engineering projects already. The inventor hails from Florida and has already created high-speed running boots, animatronic hands, and a go-kart that can go up to 70 mph. Think of him as a real-life Phineas and Ferb. The desire to improve the motor of an electric car came to him a couple of years ago. While surfing the internet, he chanced upon a video that had been explaining the pros and cons of electric vehicles. The video spoke about how the motors that electric cars used were highly expensive and sourced through rare metals that were exhaustible.
This led to the young engineer looking for and creating plans that would improve upon the existing models. Over a year, he devised a prototype for a new form of the synchronous reluctance motor. This engine had a far more efficient torque than preexisting models. The prototype was created out of copper wires, plastic that was 3D printed, and a steel rotor. This innovation led to this ‘young Sheldon’ bagging the first prize at ISEF.
The engineer mentioned that it had taken him close to 15 attempts to create this prototype. After moving through several tests, he discovered that the original design definitely exhibited 39% greater torque. There was greater efficiency at around 300 RPM than any conventional synchronous reluctance motor. At around 750 RPM, the efficiency was 37% greater. The high school student couldn’t check the prototype further as the plastic would have melted. With the advent of fame and monetary funding, he is hopeful that he would be able to run tests on materials that are far sturdier.
One such company which has been running its innovation along similar trails has been BMW. The fifth-generation electric motor- that is used for electric cars- is free from electromagnets. The company also announced the standard combined output of the rear and front motor. MAHLE, another manufacturer of auto parts, has also been another leading propounder of the magnet-free electric motor. The motor utilizes a different design to create torque through power transmission that is contactless.
Image Credits: Society For Science