Significant technology advances have been made in recent years in the general area of electrical power. The pace of advancement in electric machine technology, however, has not kept up with the large strides made in adjacent areas like power electronics. This is especially true for large machines at the megawatt scale and higher. Significant progress has been made in several enabling technologies that could be leveraged towards improved electrical machines. These include:
- New materials: high strength, lightweight composites; novel high temperature/ high conductivity insulation, practical superconducting technology, carbon-graphite conductors
- Lower cost, higher reliability power electronics: wide-band gap devices, high frequency electronics and magnetics.
- New manufacturing techniques like additive manufacturing
A number of emerging applications like subsea oil & gas processing, offshore wind turbines, and electric aircraft, can be significantly transformed by new electric machine technology, motivating advances in this field.
This workshop brought together leading researchers, thought leaders, application experts, and key stakeholders across industry, academia and government to generate a consensus based roadmap for transformational technologies for electrical machines with a 5 – 10 year time frame. Six working groups were put in place to discuss and refine the roadmap periodically to maintain its relevance as technologies and applications evolve. These groups have been meeting to identify key technology challenges and gaps that will lead to ideas for future collaborative research.