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11 June 2007


UQM wins $750,000 USAF contract to develop SiC electric motor controller

UQM Technologies Inc of Frederick, CO, USA has been awarded a further $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract (over two years) from the U.S. Air Force to advance the development of a silicon carbide electric motor controller for the USAF Advanced Power Technology Office of the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing at Robins Air Force Base (in cooperation with the U.S. Army National Automotive Center and Mississippi State University). The focus will be to improve the power density and packaging of previous generations of SiC power modules developed in other Air Force programs.

Coincident with the project, UQM will convert a conventional pick-up truck to all-electric operation using a motor controller containing the higher-power SiC modules being developed. The results from this testbed will then be compared to those of other all-electric pick-up truck testbeds operating with earlier generations of the SiC modules.

“This project creates another opportunity to showcase our 160 horsepower propulsion system and advance the commercial prospects of SiC power modules by reducing their size and improving power density,” says UQM’s director of engineering Jon Lutz. “Improvements in power density and packaging are important attributes in reducing the production cost of the modules and their potential to achieve commercial success,” he adds.

As a manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators and controllers for the automotive, aerospace, medical, military and industrial markets, UQM focuses on developing products for the alternative energy technologies sector. This includes propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries and distributed power generation applications.

See related item:

TranSiC, KTH and Acreo share €1.3m in Swedish funding to develop SiC power modules