Lee Teschler of Machine Design magazine talks with Tom Prucha of Protean Electric about the Protean Drive system that can improve vehicle fuel economy, add torque, increase power and enable improved vehicle handling to both new and existing vehicles.
Hosted by: Lee Teschler Videography by: Terry Knight Edited by: Terry Knight
Bruce commented on June 11, 2012
1.) Electric motors have their maximum torque in the stalled state. The torque then drops off as the rotor increases in rpm. With no gearing in this motor configuration, there will be a point where the motor in the wheel is just dead weight.
2.) Unsprung weight, whether perceived by the driver or not, is undesirable. It affects handling and ride comfort. no matter how it is handled with suspension.
My money is better spent elsewhere where these two concerns are better handled.
I also agree with the other comment on environmental concerns.
The Reliability Physicist commented on June 06, 2012
An issue that was not addressed in the interview is what is the environmental durability/reliability capabilities of the magnets, coils and power electronics in the hub motors to endure the water, salt spray and heat of the wheel hub environment. I would think that corrosion of the magnets and head driven degradation of the magnets would be significant concern. I would of liked to have heard how the system would endure these stress factors.
EngineerBill commented on April 30, 2012
Back in 1980, in a half-page interview of me in the pages of Machine Design, I proposed a full-serial hybrid with electric motors in all four wheels and a constant-speed (for extreme efficiency) IC engine/alternator unit. I see that finally someone is headed in that direction. My proposed engine/alternator would have only one moving part in an opposed 2-cylinder engine with one "connecting rod" with a magnet attached (no crankshaft or rotary output at all). The magnet in the middle is surrounded by coils to comprise an alternator. Such an engine could use resonant intake and exhaust porting to achieve very high efficiency. I understand such an engine has been prototyped at a university in the Carolinas (sorry, can't remember which). Of course, having a traction motor at each wheel opens lots of possibilities for traction controls. Maybe if I wait a few more years, the beauty of this idea (including using existing infrastructure for fueling) will catch on. - Bill Whitlock, Jensen Transformers, Inc., Chatsworth, CA.
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