Lynx Motion Technology Corporation, has developed a totally new type of electric motor which is so precise and so powerful (10 times the torque-to-weight ratio of conventional electric motors) that it could revolutionize the way Navy ship systems operate. Furthermore, the basic simplicity of the motor design promises greatly reduced maintenance costs.
The Lynx motor can produce superior cost, performance, and reliability benefits for the Navy because of its high torque-to-weight ratio, compact design, high reliability, quickness, and accuracy. With expected low production costs, the Lynx motor can help the Navy reduce shipboard maintenance costs and meet future affordability goals. The Lynx motor is ideal for propulsion systems because the specific torque is not only very high, it is also linear with applied motor current, unlike conventional electric motors.
Thus far, NAVSEA has identified over 20 potential applications for this motor onboard aircraft carriers alone. One of these is a seawater fire pump. The current pump is driven by a large and heavy steam turbine and requires significant maintenance. It has been estimated that the cost of a Lynx motor to operate the fire pump, even in prototype production, is less than the annual maintenance cost of the current system.
Another possible use for the Lynx motor is in a warping capstan for underway replenishment. This employs winches that maintain constant tension on lines strung between two ships at sea. This application is perfect for the high torque capabilities of the Lynx motor. Other potential Navy ship applications include: weapons elevators, aircraft elevators, steering/rudder controls, and ventilation fans.
The Lynx motor consists of a flat rotating disc inside a housing containing non-inductive windings and permanent magnets. Several of these discs can be stacked like pancakes to produce an equivalent multiple of torque or redundancy for emergencies. If the diameter of each disc is increased, the torque may increase as the fourth power of the diameter. In other words, a 2-foot-diameter motor could be 16 times as powerful as a 1-foot-diameter motor.
Because of this startling prediction, NAVSEA 03 has expressed interest in assessing a 10 foot diameter motor for a propulsor. Lynx estimated that such a motor may produce 25,000 hp, and by eliminating conventional linkages, it could reduce unwanted noise.
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