Mark Broadbent
By Mark Broadbent

Mark Broadbent is a freelance journalist specializing in aerospace and technology. He has written for numerous magazines and websites and became the assistant editor of Air International magazine 2014. He has covered a wide variety of topics across the aerospace industry spanning commercial aircraft, airline industry, unmanned, technology and historical subjects. Follow him on Twitter @mjbwriter.

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ePropelled sets sights on eVTOL market

The Massachusetts-based company ePropelled believes the electro-magnetic propulsion technology it is developing is ripe for eVTOL applications.

ePropelled motor
ePropelled believes its patented magnetic gearing technology can find applications in eVTOL aircraft. ePropelled Image

Nabeel Shirazee, ePropelled’s chief technology officer, told eVTOL.com the company regards aerospace as one of two key markets for its products, along with the automotive sector.

ePropelled specializes in developing innovations in magnetic engineering — that’s to say, design engineering that uses magnetic technologies in components — to improve electric motor and generator efficiency.

The company has patented seven different magnetic technology innovations for propulsion motors, starter generators, and power management units.

The company touts its patented magnetic gearing technology as “a combination of motor design and software control that produces a more efficient method of electric propulsion at various torque and speed levels.”

Speaking to eVTOL.com, Shirazee explained: “It gives you a very high starting torque without taking a lot of power from the battery. That conserves battery life, which not only gives you longer range but increases the lifespan of the battery.”

The result is a 25% improvement in efficiency and “a major increase in performance,” ePropelled said.

Shirazee added the technology directly tackles range and power density (specifically, kilowatts per kilogram) challenges faced by eVTOL developers.

He said: “There’s a big difference between hydrocarbon fuel and electric battery power delivery. Bringing in this new, innovative method [improves] the efficiency of the motor with increased kilowatts per kilogram. It will give you longer flying range, or you could have a lighter battery.”

Shirazee added that ePropelled is also researching innovations beyond the propulsion motor itself, especially materials used in electric engines.

“There’s so much to be done in the propulsion motor and generator efficiency area. We are pushing the boundaries,” he said.

ePropelled’s founder and CEO, Nick Grewal, a former vice president at Cisco Systems, said: “We are at the intersection of research and ‘everything electric’ and ePropelled is in the right place at the right time.”

Based in Lowell, Massachusetts, ePropelled is planning to open a site in the city’s Boott Mills complex to house its corporate and engineering headquarters to oversee operations in Europe and Asia. The company is also to open an additional location for a full-scale manufacturing center in the greater Lowell area within six to nine months.

Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales, as Electronica, the company has won several grant awards from the Welsh Government and the U.K.’s Technology Strategy Board and Carbon Trust to develop innovative designs.

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