It is clear that electric vehicles are the future, but there is more to this change than replacing a battery-powered gas motor – especially in airplanes. H3X Is a startup that aims to accelerate the future with a new, fully integrated electric motor that claims to dominate the market.
A small founding team – CEO Jason Sylvester, CTO Max Libin, and CEO Eric McCulloch – met at the college to participate in an electric vehicle building and racing program. After disruptions in the technology and automobile industries (including Tesla and SpaceX), the crew returned when they saw that the Energy Reza Department offered high-density electric motors.
“The problem was uniquely suited to our abilities, and so was Josh – we’re happy about that. We oversee the decolonization of the various transportation sectors, and aviation is set to become a growing part of the global carbon footprint over the next few decades as electricity improves ground vehicles, “said Leibniz. I decided to jump and implemented the Y combine. ”
Electric flight is not as wild an idea as it was in its infancy. Lightweight crafts like drones can do great with the batteries and motors that are available and Replace small plane Like ships are capable of making small flights, but this is the limit with today.NGS.
The problem is mainly a simple lack of power: the energy required to propel a plane to generate an elevator increases rapidly as the ship’s size and mass increase. A few kilowatt-hours will work for a drone, and some EV-scale batteries will work for a light aircraft, but flying beyond that requires a lot of energy and a lot of weight, which makes the flight practitioner. Make.
Of course, this does not happen. To be like this, And there are two common ways to improve: a better battery or a better motor. You can either fit more energy permits in the same group or use which energy permits more efficiently. Many companies are promoting both, but H3X claims that there has been a big leap in power density that could open up new industries overnight. While a 10% or 20% improvement in power per kilogram (for example, a 50-pound motor applies 120 horsepower instead of 100) would be noteworthy, the H3X states that its motor performs about 300% of the competition. Is.
How so It’s all about integration, Leibniz explained. Although the pieces are similar in some ways to motors and power assemblies here, the team actually started from scratch with the idea of maximizing efficiency and reducing size.
Electric motors generally have three main components: the motor itself, an electric delivery system, and a gearbox, each of which can have its own housing and be sold and mounted separately from each other. Is. One of the reasons this isn’t a big machine is because of the temperature. For example, gearbox parts and coolant systems may not work at the temperature generated by the motor or power system, or vice versa. Put them together, and they can control each other or fail. Different parts have different needs, which seem natural.
H3X challenges this model with a novel integrated design, but Leibniz was careful to clarify its meaning.
“We’re not just taking the inverter box and calling it a top slap Integrated“All parts are closely connected to the same housing and motor. We are creating a truly integrated design that is the first of its kind at this power level,” he said.
And by “the first one,” he doesn’t mean that Airbus has one of the few powertrains, but rather that research projects are done along these lines – nothing for production.
The idea that no one else could scale everything in the same box that could use commercially may seem skeptical. One would think that players in aerospace would have been barking at this tree for years. Still, Leibniz said that large companies are too slow to innovate and invest in other methods, while smaller companies take risks by increasing successful existing designs. Are avoided. And compete among themselves. “No one is targeting the level of performance we see right now,” he said.
But it’s not like the H3X stumbled in a single advance that magically tripled the performance of electric motors.
“We’re not relying on big technology or anything – there’s no magic bullet,” Leibniz said. “There have been some improvements that have significant benefits, such as 50% better than state of the art, and many areas that add 10% -20%. This is good from a technical risk point of view. ”
He went into great detail on many of those improvements, but the less technical thinking in our readers, if they’ve read it so far, could close the tab if I tried to repeat the whole conversation. In short, it is the equivalent of combining advances in materials, construction, and electrical components to enable them to work collaboratively, influencing each other.
For example, recently improved power switching hardware can be operated at warmer temperatures and handle more loads – this increases performance and allows for sharing cooling infrastructure. The common infrastructure itself can be improved by using new pure-copper 3D-printing techniques, which allow for more cooling inside the house. The use of 3D printing means custom internal geometry. The motor, gearbox, and power supply can all be mounted on top of each other instead of being positioned in a favorable position where the existing parts allow.
The result is an all-in-one motor, the HPDM-250, which is smaller than most competitors, yet produces far more power. The best-produced motors are about 3-4 kilowatts per kilogram of uninterrupted power. The H3X produces a prototype 13 – coincidentally, well above the theoretical power density that would enable midrange passenger ships.
The risk is that stacking such cutting techniques increases performance faster than performance. Liben said that while it is definitely more expensive in some ways, the smaller size and integrated design also lead to new savings in cost, time, or materials.
“People think, ‘3D-printing copper; it’s expensive!’ But when you compare it to the super high-performance windings that you will need more, and the different ways you design them, that may require a lot of manual steps and the people you need … It can be a little easier printing, “he explained.” It can be counterproductive, but at least from my BOM. [bill of materials] Cost, when you’re selling three times less than the other guy, even though it’s high-performance content, it’s not really as expensive as you think. Based on the customers we’ve talked to so far, we think we’re in a good place. ”
Serving a fully integrated motor is basically more complicated than doing that for an off-the-shelf. Still, Leibniz noted that he was careful about the maintenance from the start – and even when Their motor maybe a little less expensive to service than a typical electric one, it is much easier to service than very reliable and famous gas-powered motors.
Despite the great advantages of the H3X, there is hardly a target market for passenger ships in which they, or anyone, can only enter. Regular heavy travel industries such as air travel require many years of work and technology to prove to change a fast style, let alone the method of assembling.
That’s why the H3X focuses on many smaller, less regular industries that can use electricity more efficiently. Cargo drones, Electric boats, And air taxis may still have very few visions on the planet, but a major blow to motor power and efficiency is probably what helps bring them from space (or stemware) into the mainstream. Of course, all three applications can benefit greatly from improved range or payload load capacity.
Graduating passenger flights is not a distant dream; of course, Libin suggested: “We are already on our way – this is not the 20th year. The timelines have narrowed considerably over the years. You may soon have a fully battery-powered electric vehicle, but that won’t cut it for longer flights.
Hybrid aircraft still have a role to play for motors such as the H3X that replace jet fuel, batteries, and perhaps even hydrogen fuel cells. Unlike electric car switches, this does not happen all at once and does not require their business objectives. “It’s a great thing about motors,” Leibniz said. “They are very ubiquitous.”
H3X declined to disclose any funding or partners. However, it is hard to believe that the team could have achieved as much without any significant capital and facilities – such a project would have garaged the workbench quickly. Turns out. But with Y Combinator’s demo day coming up tomorrow, it looks like they’ll get a lot of calls in the next few weeks, after which it would be fair to expect a seed round to come together. Cannot damage M 105M in LOIs.
If the prototypes of the H3X perform as well in the wild as they do on the bench, they could well be capable of many new electric transport applications. We’ll take a closer look at how early sports affect the future of electric mobility.