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Alternator Advancements Accelerated

ANDERSON, Ind.--Delco Remy International Inc. and Ecoair Corp. of Hamden, Conn., have joined forces to produce a new type of technologically advanced alternators. These alternative alternators are to be “capable of significantly higher outputs at much greater efficiencies than traditional claw-pole designs, resulting in more electrical power for vehicles while using reduced amounts of fuel.”

Delco Remy also has inked a link with Lynx for its advances in brushless electric motor technology.

The company points out that advancements in alternators are becoming increasingly important with continuing demands of higher electrical energy requirements at higher efficiencies as cars carry add-ons such as telecommunications equipment, video and navigation screens, appliances and always-on lighting, in addition to electrically powered devices such as valves and pumps. These demands require charging systemsthat minimize vehicle weight, reduce fuel consumption, improve emissions, and increase durability.

Toward that end, Ecoair has put together a series of enhanced alternator systems that step-up the output of a traditionally sized unit by using a new brushless permanent magnet design. “We have patented significant enhancements for vehicle charging systems that we can jointly produce and offer to the entire world as the result of our alliance with Delco Remy,” said Ecoair Founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Knudsen Jr.

“Ecoair has developed technology advancements that will help keep our products on stage with engine designers and vehicle requirements for added power and convenience while using less fuel,” said Richard L. Stanley, the president of Delco Remy America, a subsidiary of Delco Remy International.

Ecoair, founded in 1991, develops and licenses energy-efficient, environmentally friendly electrical products for the electrical power needs of vehicles. Its inventions include a hybrid alternator; a low-pressure, high-efficiency air conditioner; an integrated starter/alternator and a device that enables a vehicle to act as an AC electric power generator.

Also, Delco Remy has reached a licensing agreement with Lynx Motion Technology of New Albany, Ind., for its patented SEMA (Segmented Electromagnetic Array) electric motor technology.

Lynx received the patent for its SEMA technology in 1998. Chairman Roy Kessinger noted that “we believe the SEMA motor is revolutionary and truly needed in the electrical motor market. A partnership of this magnitude with one of the world’s great electrical component manufacturers underscores our faith in, and the value of, this technology.”

“SEMA technology is a brand new concept in electrical motors that has proven to be highly efficient,” said Delco Remy CEO Thomas J. Snyder. “It will allow us to grow in new directions, both in automotive technology and in the very important field of distributed generation.”

The Lynx licensing agreement provides Delco Remy with:

• Exclusive rights to develop, sell, market and distribute products based on Lynx technology for on-road drive train applications (including series hybrid traction motors, parallel hybrid traction motors, electric/fuel cell drive motors and generators connected directly to the vehicle drive line).

• Exclusive right to the technology for distributed generation applications in the 2 kW to 100 kW size range.

• Non-exclusive rights to use the technology for belt-driven generators/alternators for vehicle applications.

The Lynx SEMA technology features a brushless, permanent magnet, axial flux “pancake” motor that offers high (greater than 95 percent) efficiency, low weight per horsepower of output (high power density) and low volume per horsepower of output. A SEMA motor is much shorter in length but slightly larger in diameter than a traditional motor.

The SEMA design results in higher efficiency over a broader range of speeds than a traditional AC induction motor. SEMA technology also offers the same advantages in applications as an electrical generator with improved efficiency and high power density.

Delco Remy plans to develop the Lynx technology with iPower LLC, a newly formed joint venture between Delco Remy and AeroVironment LLC.

Products based on this technology are targeted for application as generators for the distributed generation (on-site electric power generation) market and as traction motors and generators for hybrid electric vehicle applications.

Delco Remy and Lynx are already working together to develop two automotive traction drive motors (15 kW/20hp and 30 kW/40hp output) under a program partly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. This program, called the Automotive Electric Motor Drive (AEMD) program, is a 3 year, $6 million effort to develop cost effective traction motors for automotive use. DOE is contributing half of the cost.

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