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Magnomatics attracts the MoD

25 August 2009

Magnomatics, the Sheffield based company which specialises in the development of advanced magnetic transmission systems and high-torque electrical machines, has recently signed a six-figure contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Magnomatics will perform a detailed design study of a Magnetically Geared Propulsion Motor, based on the Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD) it has patented.

The contract with the MoD will see the company further developing its technology at the megawatt (MW) scale, such that Defence Equipment and Support can assess the potential for its use within Integrated Full Electric Propulsion systems within future frigates and submarines.
The Magnomatics PDD integrates magnetic gearing within a brushless permanent magnet machine to enable superior electrical machine performance in low speed, high continuous torque drive applications. A PDD solution offers the potential for increased system efficiency in a significantly more compact package than other motor technologies, offering significant benefits over standard propulsion motors.

Magnomatics has also developed a mature range of gear technologies using the high-torque magnetic gear the company has invented. These gears use permanent magnets to transmit torque between an input and output shaft without mechanical contact meaning they have reduced maintenance, improved reliability and higher efficiency than conventional gears. This is the same technology used to create the PDD.

The work for the MoD is due to be completed by the end of March 2010, at which point the MoD will decide whether to put additional funding into the project to advance the technology further.
Chris Kirby, Managing Director of Magnomatics, said, ‘We are delighted that the MoD has decided to thoroughly investigate the potential for the use of our magnetically geared propulsion motors within future marine vessels and we hope that this programme will successfully quantify the envisaged size reduction and performance benefits’.


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