Sustainability is outpaced only by AI in terms of inputs into my email stream. Many people, even technology pundits, don’t realize that sustainability is also Lean thinking and technology. It’s good for the environment and for the bottom line. This news release concerns funding for expansion for Infinitum, creator and manufacturer of a sustainable air-core electric motor.
- The industrial sector is one of the largest and hardest-to-abate emitters of greenhouse gases.
- By 2040, 30% of the growth in global electricity demand is expected to come from industrial motors as the sector expands and shifts to electrification.
- In the US industrial sector, motors alone consume nearly 70% of total electricity used; however, the majority of motors today waste energy because they operate at a single speed. Higher-efficiency, variable speed motors in industrial applications are critical for reducing energy and emissions.
- Implementing advanced motor technology like Infinitum’s has the potential to save 127 terawatt-hours per year (TWh/yr), translating into cost savings of $14.7 billion and reductions of 90.2 MMT of CO2 for the US industrial and commercial sectors.
Infinitum, creator of the sustainable air-core motor, announced $185 million in Series E funding led by Just Climate with participation from Galvanize Climate Solutions and NGP. Existing investors including Alliance Resource Partners, Rockwell Automation, Riverstone Holdings, Chevron Technology Ventures, Cottonwood Technology Fund and Ajax Strategies also participated in this round, bringing total funding to-date to $350 million. Funds will be used to expand the company and increase production to meet customer demand and drive decarbonization in the industrial sector, one of the largest and hardest-to-abate emitters of greenhouse gases.
I sold (or tried to sell) variable frequency drives in the 90s as energy saving devices in addition to just doing the job better. Here is an update on that.
Infinitum’s advanced motors meet this challenge through a built-in variable frequency drive (VFD) that reduces energy usage by running the motor at lower speeds when possible. The motor is 50 percent smaller and lighter, uses 66 percent less copper and no iron in the stator, and consumes 10 percent less energy1 than traditional motors. Infinitum’s air-core motors, so named because the stator does not have an iron core, replace the copper-wound iron core found in traditional motors with a lightweight printed circuit board stator that is 10x more reliable. Manufacturing and servicing Infinitum motors is less carbon intensive than traditional motors and the motor’s modular design allows components to be reused multiple times.
CEOs have often come to me to tout their latest and greatest technology, and I always ask, “How will you sell it?” Here is an answer from Infinitum.
To accelerate the adoption of high-efficiency, variable speed motors across the global industrial sector, Rockwell Automation and Infinitum are jointly developing a motor system that is compatible with Rockwell’s market-leading industrial automation solutions. The resulting motor and low-voltage drive solution will be distributed through Rockwell.